Why Waterwoo?

First of all, if you’re very concerned about security you should be using WooCommerce to distribute your PDFs because it collects more information from customers during checkout, even with free files. WooCommerce allows you to collect name, email address, phone number, business name, and more.

WaterWoo has a further edge on ALL other watermarking plugins in that it offers two watermarking positions on the page. That means on each page you can have a header AND a footer, or a header and an overlay, or an overlay and a footer, or one or the other — it’s up to you! What further sets WaterWoo apart is that positioning on the page is fine tune-able – you can put the watermark absolutely anywhere you want on the page. Other plugins limit watermark placement to specific quadrants of the page, but WaterWoo will watermark anywhere on the page – and with two separate watermarks if desired.

WaterWoo has a ton more leverage in robust yet easy-to-understand backend settings. These settings will help you get your files watermarked exactly how you need them – on a per file basis. You can have a different watermark – different text, different font, different colors – for every file in your catalog should you desire. It’s still a lightweight plugin that operates quickly on most file sizes. You won’t believe it’s not magic.

Do I have to use WooCommerce for this to work?

Yes. WaterWoo watermarks PDFs sold through the WooCommerce WordPress e-commerce platform. It functions when a WooCommerce file download link is clicked. Custom watermarking data is culled from the checkout form, e.g. customer name, email, telephone number etc.

If you want to password and watermark PDFs with Easy Digital Downloads, check out EDDiMark PDF.

Will WaterWoo PDF watermark images?

WaterWoo PDF is intended to watermark PDF (.pdf) files. If you are specifically looking to watermark image files (.jpg, .jpeg, .gif, .png, .etc), you may want to look into a plugin such as Image Watermark.

You can; however, place transparent (and opaque) images on your PDFs. Learn more about stamping your image on a PDF.

Will WaterWoo preserve advanced PDF features such as layers, fillable forms and internal links (Table of Contents/TOC, bookmarks)?

No. The third-party library which WaterWoo and its competitors use does not recognize these features when parsing PDFs into memory for watermark treatment, and they are lost. If you insist on the integrity of your PDF (which you should), please invest in a PDF Stamper setup instead of WaterWoo.

Does this work for ePub/Mobi files or .XYZ (not .PDF)?

No, this plugin watermarks PDF file types only.

Can I control how PDF readers show my PDF?

Not really. PDF is a Wild West! Anyone can create a PDF and in all sorts of ways, but once it is released into the wild, you cannot control how it is presented. This is because PDF is an open specification which is not always adhered to. Some app developers (and most PDF creators) will not necessarily follow the specification correctly, whether on purpose or not. Therefore, your PDF will likely appear differently depending on the viewer your user decides to use. You can use TCPDF to make suggestions for how your PDF ends up displayed; however, we take no responsibility for what 3rd parties decide to do with those suggestions.

Any tips for upgrading from the free version?

The Premium (paid) version of the plugin will replace an installation of the free version, automatically deactivating the free version if it is active. The Premium version uses any basic watermarking settings you have saved from the free version, and adds many new options.

You will find general settings in the same place as you did with the free version, but now you will also have access to per-product watermarking options under each product editing page. Look for those options in the same "Wordpress metabox" where you'd normally find Inventory, Shipping, and Attributes/Variations settings.

How do I activate my API License key?

An API key is not necessary for the plugin to have full watermarking functionality, so don’t panic.

The first thing to make sure is, is your API key less than a year old? They last one year, then must be renewed. Renewals are 40% off, just enter your existing license key during checkout for the discount. You can find out more on your account at /web.little-package.com/account. Secondly, your API key is entered under WordPress Settings->WaterWoo License. It is not found in the WooCommerce or WaterWoo settings.

where to find waterwoo license settings

WaterWoo License settings are located in the WordPress “Settings” panel

Once you are on the license settings page:

  1. Enter your license key
  2. Click "Save Changes" so it is saved to your WP database
  3. THEN click to Activate the license

Where do I change watermark settings?

You can find the WaterWoo settings page by

  • navigating to the WooCommerce -> Settings -> Watermark tab, — or —
  • clicking on the “Settings” link under the WaterWoo PDF plugin title on your WordPress plugins panel

Individual product (simple and variable) settings are all located on the Products editor screens, on the same screen panel where you edit product price and inventory.

How do I test my watermark?

The Premium version of Waterwoo allows on-the-fly manual creation of watermarked PDFs on the settings page. Look for the Test Run feature under WooCommerce -> Settings -> Watermark, fill in the settings you want, and go!

Two tricky alternatives:

  1. Create a coupon in your Woocommerce shop to allow 100% free purchases. Don’t share this coupon code with anyone! Test your watermark by purchasing PDFs from your shop using the coupon.
  2. Create a free product but make it hidden, or better yet make it a private post (visible only to you).

Once you have purchased the test file once, you can demo your changes from your “http://mywebsite.com/my-account/downloads” screen as long as your download privileges remain valid.

Where do the watermarked files go?

They are generated with a unique name and stored in the same folder as your original WordPress/Woo product media upload (usually wp-content/uploads/year/month/file). The unique name includes the order number and a time stamp. If your end user complains of not being able to access their custom PDF for some reason (most often after their max number of downloads is exceeded), you can find it in that folder, right alongside your original.

Test PDFs are stored in the test PDF folder (wp-content/plugins/waterwoo-pdf-premium/assets/pdf). As of WaterWoo version 1.8 test PDFs can be wiped off the server with the touch of a button on the Global settings screen.

If a customer has trouble generating a PDF, make sure they have download permissions on their order. If you’re still having trouble, use the Test Run feature.

Why doesn’t the first page get watermarked?

If your watermarking is skipping the first page, maybe the parser (TCPDI) is not reading that page as part of the document. Is it possible the cover page was added as an afterthought? The cover page must be reintegrated into the PDF source code, and often this can be done by removing it, adding it back in, and saving the file as a PDF.

I recommend using a PDF viewer such as Apple Preview to delete the cover page, save, then drag and drop the cover page back into place from another open version of the same file, then ‘Export as PDF’ to save it. This should help smooth out any problematic PDF syntax issues. Unfortunately we know of no other PDF reader (Windows or Mac) that can help the way Preview does for syntactically-incorrect PDFs.

Why does the watermark go off the page, create new pages, or change the box size?

Your watermark text string is too big or long for the page! TCPDF is a little dumb, and created a blank page trying to accommodate the overflowing text.

Try decreasing font size, adjusting margins, adjusting rotation, or using the X and Y fine tuners to move the watermark back onto the page. The built-in adjustments on the settings page ultimately allow for watermarking on all document sizes. You may need to edit your watermark if it is too verbose.

If you find the PDF seems to look different after it is watermarked, it's quite possible your PDF wasn't displaying properly in the first place. There are countless variations and interpretations of PDF syntax such that the application you use to view your PDF might show it differently than the next application. If you send a copy of the PDF and we find that it also looks "incorrect" to you in Adobe Acrobat, we have found the problem: your PDF syntax is poor, and the open-source PDF parser/writer used in WaterWoo is just reproducing what it has found. Again, try re-saving the file with Apple Preview, or editing crop boxes/clip paths with Adobe Acrobat/Illustrator, then try again. Bottom line: your PDF must have reasonably predictable PDF syntax in order for a machine to be able to read it consistently across all applications.

If you are using WaterWoo v3.0+ and are attempting to encrypt your PDF, and are getting blank pages, your server might not support the encryption level you've chosen. This happens more often with AES encryption, so try RC4 instead.

It doesn’t seem to work.

First make sure you have checked the box at the top of your settings page (Woocommerce -> Settings -> Watermark) so that watermarking is enabled! If you’re not using Global watermarking settings, make sure watermarking is enabled at the product level.

If you’ve checked “Turn on Watermarking” at the individual product level, that’s a global setting override. Make sure you then set an individual watermark! Checking this box and leaving the overlay/footer watermarks fields blank below, will mean you get a blank watermark.

If your watermark contains characters that aren’t in Windows-1252, set “Déjà Vu” as your watermarking font. This would include the types of characters seen in French and Polish, for example. When in doubt, please try Déjà Vu.

Maybe make sure your original file name doesn’t contain spaces. Replace blank spaces with dashes or underscores and keep file names simple. This isn’t usually the cause of problems, though.

Make sure your uploaded PDF file is not already encrypted/passworded. WaterWoo needs full access to the PDF guts to do its magic!

Some PDF files are mildly corrupted un-readable by the parser. Re-saving them ("Export as PDF") with Apple Preview or Adobe Acrobat can help clean them up so WaterWoo can do its job. If we find that your PDF is the problem and not WaterWoo, it is up to you to repair your PDF.

I am getting an error message

Ack! That’s horrible. Please let us know right away!

Uncaught exception 'InvalidArgumentException' with message 'Cannot open'…

If you get this error while trying to watermark or test watermark a file, it is likely because your filename uses unsafe characters like spaces in the PDF file name. Replace spaces with dashes or underscores or remove them.

It’s also possible the PDF isn’t located where the computer thinks it is. Double check your file paths, and that the PDF is where you think you put it.

Warning: fopen(): remote host file access not supported

If you get this message it's because you're trying to store your PDF on another host (another domain). Your PDF needs to be hosted on the same URL as your WooCommerce installation (unless you're using the Woo Amazon S3 extension and hosting your PDF on S3 or WooCommerce Dropbox extension and have your file at Dropbox).

Fatal error: Allowed memory size of n bytes exhausted

If you get this error, please refer to “Recommendations” in the plugin documentation. TL;DR: start by upgrading your PHP installation and increasing your PHP memory limits. Simplify your watermark by removing HTML, images, fonts, and/or encryption. Remember: WaterWoo is essentially a bridge between the open source TCPDI/TCPDF libraries and WooCommerce. TCPDF makes a huge demand on the server after TCPDI parses the entire PDF into memory, in order to spit the PDF back out with the watermark added. If you have a large PDF and a complex watermark to add to it, and are expecting affordable, un-managed shared hosting to reliably process the file on potentially heavy customer demand, you're rolling the dice.

TCPDF_PARSER ERROR: decodeFilterFlateDecode: invalid code
If you get this error, it is likely because you are trying to manipulate a PDF which has already been passworded or protected. PDFs must be unlocked with full user permissions in order to be parsed by TCPDI and watermarked.

My watermark isn’t English

Select the “Deja Vu,” “Furat,” or “M Sung” font in the Settings panel if your language uses accent characters. To see if your language will be watermark-able with the Deja Vu font, view this chart. Select Furat for Arabic script, or M Sung for Chinese. Right to Left (RTL) watermarking is possible with WaterWoo.

A primary reason watermarks do not show up is when the watermark contains special characters but a font which doesn’t support those characters is in use. Since WaterWoo PDF Premium version 2.10, you can easily drag-n-drop upload your own .TTF font file to be used in watermarking. This is beneficial when you know your own font is encoded for the characters your language uses.

Can I get an invoice for my plugin purchase?

Yes! You can easily print your own invoice, including a VAT/GST number (if you added one during checkout) by going to your account page,” clicking on “Purchases,” and viewing the order. Click the red "Print" button at the top of your order review page, and use the print dialog to either print or export a PDF if desired.

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