If you generate reports in various applications, there's a good chance you're familiar with watermarks: semi-transparent logos printed in the page's background to mark a document in a certain way. Watermarks are typically used to designate a document's status, possibly as a draft or for internal distribution only. Watermarks are better for this sort of thing than a cover page or a header/footer line because they are commingled with the document's text, making them next to impossible to ignore.
Reporting Services doesn't have a specific way to produce watermarks, but you can create them manually.
Watermark at the printer level
Look at the capacities of the printer driver you use to create a paper copy of the report. Many printers, even low-end ones, have the ability to add watermarks as part of the print process. This is usually defined in the printer driver's settings. It can be configured by creating a separate instance of an existing printer driver and then configuring that instance to add a watermark to all output. Adding another instance of a printer driver does not take much system overhead, so this is economical and convenient. To produce the watermarked edition of a document, just print to the right instance of the printer driver.
Watermark at the report level
If you want to add the watermark on the report level, there are a few ways to do this. You may simply create a bitmap with the appropriate watermark on it and set that as a
Another possibility is to create a textbox for the watermark, make the background of that textbox transparent, and bring it to the top of the Z-order for the report, so it remains on top of everything else.
About the author: Serdar Yegulalp is editor of the Windows Power Users Newsletter. Check it out for the latest advice and musings on the world of Windows network administrators -- and please share your thoughts as well!
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This was first published in February 2006