Frequently asked questions
Changes in version 2.0
How do I save a list of watermark names?
Above the field for Watermark Text, click Save List. You'll be presented with a standard save sheet to save the list of names.
The list that Bronson saves is simply a text file, with one name per line. You're welcome to edit it with any text editor.
How do I open a list of watermark names?
Above the field for Watermark Text, click Open List. You'll be presented with a standard open sheet where you can choose the list of names.
The lists that Bronson uses are simply text files, with one name per line. You're welcome to create or edit these files with any text editor.
Can I copy-and-paste a list?
Yes! You can copy a list out of an email, a spreadsheet, or almost any other document. To paste it into Bronson, click on the Watermark Text field and choose Paste from the Edit menu. (
Can Bronson create a multi-line watermark?
Yes! Just separate the lines with a backslash
Confidential\Do Not Distribute
Why would I want to use the Header placement?
Headers are particularly useful for handouts, where you're not trying to protect the document as much as individualize it. Try using a fairly small font size (such as 12pt), with text set at 100% opacity.
What does Outline do?
Outline draws only the edge of the watermark text, leaving the center hollow. This is often a good balance between security and legibility.
What does Fit do?
Fit adjusts font sizes so that each line in the watermark text field covers the maximum amount of the page without breaking to a second line.
A short name like "Ann Li" will have very large letters, while a longer name like "Rudresh Harrinton-Smith" will have smaller letters.
Can I use an image as a watermark, such as a logo?
Bronson focuses on individually watermarking PDFs with custom text, so we don't attempt to watermark with logos or other custom images.
But if you want to add a logo or image, here are some ways to do it:
- Add the logo to your master PDF first -- either when you first create it, or afterwards using an app like Preview or Acrobat. Then use that PDF with Bronson.
- Bronson supports a wide range of fonts, including image fonts (like Zapf Dingbats), symbols and emoji. You can often find the image you want among these character sets.
What's a good opacity setting?
In testing, we've found 30% to be a good level for most documents, so that's Bronson's default. But the right level for you depends on the document, the font, and your personal taste.
Can I make an invisible watermark?
Yes! Just slide the opacity down to zero.
Does Bronson remember my watermark style?
Yes! Bronson remembers the last watermark style you chose, including the fonts and opacity, even if you quit the application.
How can I get back to the default watermark style?
Click the Reset button to the right of Watermark Style.
How hard is it to remove a watermark?
It depends on the file, and whether the final product is designed to be printed or viewed on-screen.
For printed documents, it's generally quite difficult to remove a watermark that overlaps with a significant portion of the text or images.
For documents where the PDF itself is being delivered, a sophisticated user could strip out the watermark using other software. That's why we offer additional security features such as Random Noise, Deep Burn, Fingerprint and Password Protection.
Does Bronson work with images in iPhoto or Aperture?
Bronson Watermarker PDF is strictly for PDFs. This version doesn’t work with images, either inside or out of iPhoto and Aperture.
What does Random Noise do?
Random Noise creates the watermark using algorithmically-generated dots rather than a solid color. This makes it harder to remove the watermark using image-editing software.
What does Deep Burn do?
Deep Burn saves the PDF as a collection of images, rather than text and vector data. Your watermark is "burned in" and extremely difficult to remove.
PDFs created with Deep Burn are significantly larger, and may be more difficult to email.
What does Fingerprint do?
The fingerprint option invisibly duplicates the watermark throughout the document. So even if someone removes the visible watermark, the invisible one will likely remain.
Fingerprint also changes the Author field of the PDF to the watermark text.
How can I check if a file has a fingerprint on it?
Currently, the easiest way to check for a fingerprint on a Mac is to do a Get Info on the file in the Finder. Then look at the Author field.
We are working on a free Mac app to verify the fingerprints on a file.
How strong is Bronson's encryption?
We use a 40-bit PDF encryption engine for speed and compatibility. The password-protected PDFs we generate work with a wide range of readers, including Acrobat and Preview.
In testing against common PC-based PDF-cracking software, we've found Bronson's encryption stands up well against brute-force attacks provided you use a strong password.
Weak passwords are by far the greatest vulnerability with PDFs. Bronson's default passwords are nine alphanumeric characters, with the option to go up to 32.
I've lost the password to a password-protected PDF. What do I do?
Without the password, you won't be able to open the file. We can't do it either.
Because Bronson generates new PDFs off of an existing master PDF, you hopefully held on to the original file.
How will I know what passwords Bronson generates for my PDFs?
When you save PDFs using the Generate Individual Passwords option, Bronson will save a list of names and passwords as a text file in the same location as the PDFs.
Because email can be compromised, we strongly recommend you don't email passwords with files. If you email a PDF, deliver the password on paper, or by phone, or by text.
What if I just want to password-protect a PDF, and not apply a visible watermark?
Set the opacity in Watermark Style to zero.
What are the system requirements for Bronson Watermarker PDF?
Bronson Watermarker PDF requires a Mac running 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
Can I install Bronson on both my main computer and my MacBook, or do I need to buy it twice?
Like all apps sold through the Mac App Store, the license is tied to your Apple ID. You can install Bronson on multiple Macs this way without needing to repurchase.
Do you offer volume discounts for companies or organizations?
In a few cases, we've been able to offer discounts for companies buying many copies. Email us at email@example.com.
Is Bronson available for Windows or Linux?
Unfortunately, no. Because Bronson Watermarker PDF uses a lot of special Apple magic to do its work, we're not able to port it to other systems.
Changes in version 2.0
Why does Bronson no longer support watermarking images?
The new features we developed for PDFs simply weren't possible for watermarking images. So with this new version, we decided to focus on what the app does best.
Bronson Watermarker PDF is a new app, and won't replace earlier versions of Bronson on your system. You're welcome to keep both. If you like the old Bronson image features, they'll keep working.
Can I still download the old Bronson?
The old Bronson is no longer listed in the Mac App Store, but if you purchased the previous version and ever need to redownload it, you can still find it in the Purchased tab of the Mac App Store.