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Build a simple Watermarking utility in VB.NET

Posted by Scott Lysle Articles | Visual Basic .NET November 08, 2012
This article shall describe an approach to building a simple watermarking utility that may be used to add watermarks to any supported image file format. The resulting application shall permit the user to open any supported image file format into a scrollable picture box.
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Introduction

This article shall describe an approach to building a simple watermarking utility that may be used to add watermarks to any supported image file format. The resulting application shall permit the user to open any supported image file format into a scrollable picture box, to define the text to be applied as a watermark (with a default version supplied), to set the font and color of the watermark, to define the opacity of the watermark, to determine whether or not the watermark appears at the top or bottom of the image, and to preview the watermark prior to saving it to the image.

Utility-Application-showing-Watermarked-Image.jpg

Figure 1: the Utility Application showing a Watermarked Image

If you are at all curious about the image, it is of an American Goldfinch, this time of year, I have a about 50 or so such birds hanging around my bird feeders.I tookthe picture with myFuji S700 digital camera through the kitchen window.

Getting Started

The solution contains a single Windows Forms project called “WatermarkingVB” written in Visual Basic 2005; the application contains only a single form (frmWatermark.vb) and all of the code necessary to drive the application is contained in that single form class.

Solution-Explorer-with-the-Project-Visible.jpg
Figure 2:  Solution Explorer with the Project Visible
 

Code:  Watermarking Main Form (frmWatermark.vb)

All of the code necessary for this project is contained in this single form; that form shall be described entirely in this section.

The code for this form class begins with the following:

Imports System.Drawing

Imports System.Drawing.Drawing2D

Imports System.Drawing.Imaging

Imports System.Text

 

''' <summary>

''' An Image Watermarking Utility

''' </summary>

''' <remarks></remarks>

Public Class frmWatermark

Following the declaration of the form class, the next order of business in the application is to declare a collection of member variables requiring form wide scope; these variables are contained in a defined region entitled, “Member Variables”. The declaration of the variables follows; as can been determined, the variables are used to keep track of the current file location and image, codec and encoder information used to translate the image from one format to another, and the color and font used to display the image watermark.   

#Region "Member Variables"

 

    Private CurrentFile As String

    Private img As Image

    Private myImageCodecInfo As ImageCodecInfo

    Private myEncoder As System.Drawing.Imaging.Encoder

    Private myEncoderParameter As EncoderParameter

    Private myEncoderParameters As EncoderParameters

    Private myWatermarkColor As System.Drawing.Color

    Private myFont As System.Drawing.Font

 

#End Region

 

The next block of code in the form class is the constructor; in this instance, the constructor is used to establish a default configuration including the definition of the watermark color, the opacity level of the watermark, the positioning option (top or bottom), the text contained in the watermark, and the font used to display the watermark.

#Region "Constructor"

 

    ''' <summary>

    ''' Constructor with default settings

    ''' </summary>

    ''' <remarks></remarks>

    Public Sub New()

 

        InitializeComponent()

 

        ' setup default settings

        myWatermarkColor = Color.SteelBlue

        cboOpacity.SelectedIndex = 2

        optTop.Checked = True 

        txtWaterMark.Text = "Your Name " & _Char.ConvertFromUtf32(169).ToString() & " " & _            

                                        DateTime.Now.Year.ToString() + ", All Rights Reserved"

        myFont = txtWaterMark.Font

 

    End Sub

 

#End Region

 

Following the constructor, there is a region defined to handle file input/output operations. This region contains two event handlers, one for the selection of the Open File menu strip option, and one for the save buttons’s click event. The open file menu option is used to allow the user to navigate to and select an image file for load; the selected image file is placed into a scrollable picturebox.

The save button click event handler is used to save the image file with the watermark; the original file may be renamed or overwritten.

#Region "File IO"
 

    Private Sub openToolStripMenuItem_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, _ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles openToolStripMenuItem.Click

 

        ' configure the open file dialog to point to some

        ' common (usable) image file formats

        openFileDialog1.Title = "Open Image File"

        openFileDialog1.Filter = "Bitmap Files|*.bmp" & _|Enhanced Windows MetaFile|*.emf" & _"|Exchangeable Image File|*.exif"

               & _"|Gif Files|*.gif|JPEG Files|*.jpg" & _"|PNG Files|*.png|TIFF Files|*.tif|Windows MetaFile|*.wmf"

        openFileDialog1.DefaultExt = "bmp"

        openFileDialog1.FilterIndex = 1

        openFileDialog1.FileName = ""

        openFileDialog1.ShowDialog()

 

        ' if the user did not select a file, return

        If (openFileDialog1.FileName = "") Then Return 

 

        ' update the current file and form caption text

        CurrentFile = openFileDialog1.FileName.ToString()

        Me.Text = "Watermark Utility: " & CurrentFile.ToString()

 

        Try

 

            ' open the image into the picture box

            img = Image.FromFile(openFileDialog1.FileName, True)

            picContainer.Image = img

 

            ' resize the picture box to support scrolling

            ' large images

            picContainer.Size = img.Size

 

        Catch ex As Exception

 

            MessageBox.Show(ex.Message, "File Open Error")

 

        End Try

 

    End Sub 

 

    Private Sub btnSave_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, _ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles btnSave.Click

 

        Try

 

            ' get the extension to figure out how to limit the save

            ' option to the current image file type

            Dim strExt As String

            strExt = System.IO.Path.GetExtension(CurrentFile)

            strExt = strExt.ToUpper()

            strExt = strExt.Remove(0, 1)

 

            ' if the current image is, for example, a gif, only

            ' allow the user to save the file with the watermark

            ' as a gif

            SaveFileDialog1.Title = "Save File"

            SaveFileDialog1.DefaultExt = strExt

            SaveFileDialog1.Filter = strExt & " Image Files|*." + strExt

            SaveFileDialog1.FilterIndex = 1

 

            If SaveFileDialog1.ShowDialog() = DialogResult.OK Then

                If (SaveFileDialog1.FileName = "") Then

                    Return

                Else

                    ' save the file with the name supplied by the user

                    picContainer.Image.Save(SaveFileDialog1.FileName)

                End If

 

                ' update the current image file to point to the newly saved

                ' image

                CurrentFile = SaveFileDialog1.FileName

                Me.Text = "Watermark Utility: " + CurrentFile

                MessageBox.Show(CurrentFile.ToString() + " saved.", "File

                Save")

            Else

                MessageBox.Show("The save file request was cancelled by

                user.", "Save Cancelled")

            End If

 

        Catch ex As Exception

 

            MessageBox.Show(ex.Message.ToString(), "Image Save Error")

 

        End Try

 

    End Sub 

 

#End Region
 

After handling the file IO operations, the next region of code is the Image Format Conversion section.  In this region, the methods provided are used to convert the open image into an alternative format (e.g., bitmap to JPEG, or JPEC to GIF, etc.). Each section of code is annotated and may be reviewed in the following:

#Region "Image Format Conversion"

 

    Private Function GetEncoderInfo(ByVal mimeType As String) As ImageCodecInfo

 

        Dim j As Integer

        Dim encoders As ImageCodecInfo()

        encoders = ImageCodecInfo.GetImageEncoders()

 

        For j = 0 To encoders.Length

 

            If (encoders(j).MimeType = mimeType) Then

                Return encoders(j)

            End If

 

        Next

 

        Return Nothing

 

    End Function

 

    Private Sub bitmapToolStripMenuItem_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles bitmapToolStripMenuItem.Click

 

        ' create a new name with the bitmap extension

        Dim newName As String = _

        System.IO.Path.GetFileNameWithoutExtension(CurrentFile)

        newName = newName + ".bmp"

 

        Try

 

            ' save the file as a bitmap

            img.Save(newName, ImageFormat.Bmp)

            CurrentFile = newName

            picContainer.Image = Image.FromFile(CurrentFile)

            Me.Text = "Watermark Utility: " + CurrentFile.ToString()

 

        Catch

 

            MessageBox.Show("Failed to save image to bitmap.", "Error", _

            MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Error)

            Return

 

        End Try

 

        MessageBox.Show("Image file saved to " + newName.ToString(), _"Image Saved", MessageBoxButtons.OK,   

                            MessageBoxIcon.Information)

 

    End Sub

 

    Private Sub emfToolStripMenuItem_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, _ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles

             emfToolStripMenuItem.Click

 

        ' create a new name with the emf extension

        Dim newName As String = _

        System.IO.Path.GetFileNameWithoutExtension(CurrentFile)

        newName = newName + ".emf"

 

        Try

 

            ' save the file as a EMF

            img.Save(newName, ImageFormat.Emf)

            CurrentFile = newName

            picContainer.Image = Image.FromFile(CurrentFile)

            Me.Text = "Watermark Utility: " + CurrentFile.ToString()

 

        Catch

 

            MessageBox.Show("Failed to save image to EMF.", "Error", _

            MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Error)

 

            Return

 

        End Try

 

        MessageBox.Show("Image file saved to " + newName.ToString(), _"Image Saved", MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Information)

 

    End Sub

 

    Private Sub exifToolStripMenuItem_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, _ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles

                 exifToolStripMenuItem.Click

 

        ' create a new name with the EXIF extension

        Dim newName As String = _

        System.IO.Path.GetFileNameWithoutExtension(CurrentFile)

        newName = newName + ".exif"

 

        Try

 

            ' save the file as a EXIF

            img.Save(newName, ImageFormat.Exif)

            CurrentFile = newName

            picContainer.Image = Image.FromFile(CurrentFile)

            Me.Text = "Watermark Utility: " + CurrentFile.ToString()

 

        Catch

 

            MessageBox.Show("Failed to save image to EXIF.", "Error", _

            MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Error)

 

            Return

 

        End Try

 

        MessageBox.Show("Image file saved to " + newName.ToString(), _"Image Saved", MessageBoxButtons.OK,

                         MessageBoxIcon.Information)

 

    End Sub 

 

    Private Sub gIFFileToolStripMenuItem_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles

                        gIFFileToolStripMenuItem.Click

 

        ' create a new name with the GIF extension

        Dim newName As String = _

        System.IO.Path.GetFileNameWithoutExtension(CurrentFile)

        newName = newName + ".gif"

 

        Try

 

            ' save the file as a GIF

            img.Save(newName, ImageFormat.Gif)

            CurrentFile = newName

            picContainer.Image = Image.FromFile(CurrentFile)

            Me.Text = "Watermark Utility: " + CurrentFile.ToString()

 

        Catch

 

            MessageBox.Show("Failed to save image to GIF.", "Error", _

            MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Error)

 

            Return

 

        End Try

 

        MessageBox.Show("Image file saved to " + newName.ToString(), _"Image Saved", MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Information)

 

    End Sub
 

    Private Sub jPEGFileToolStripMenuItem_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles

    jPEGFileToolStripMenuItem.Click

 

        ' create a new name with the JPEG extension

        Dim newName As String = _

        System.IO.Path.GetFileNameWithoutExtension(CurrentFile)

        newName = newName + ".jpg"

 

        Try

 

            ' save the file as a JPG

            img.Save(newName, ImageFormat.Jpeg)

            CurrentFile = newName

            picContainer.Image = Image.FromFile(CurrentFile)

            Me.Text = "Watermark Utility: " + CurrentFile.ToString()

 

        Catch

 

            MessageBox.Show("Failed to save image to JPEG.", "Error", _

            MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Error)

 

            Return

 

        End Try

 

        MessageBox.Show("Image file saved to " + newName.ToString(), _"Image Saved", MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Information)

 

    End Sub

 

    Private Sub pNGFileToolStripMenuItem_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object,ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles pNGFileToolStripMenuItem.Click

 

        ' create a new name with the PNG extension

        Dim newName As String = _

        System.IO.Path.GetFileNameWithoutExtension(CurrentFile)

        newName = newName + ".png"

 

        Try

 

            ' save the file as a png

            img.Save(newName, ImageFormat.Png)

            CurrentFile = newName

            picContainer.Image = Image.FromFile(CurrentFile)

            Me.Text = "Watermark Utility: " + CurrentFile.ToString()

 

        Catch

 

            MessageBox.Show("Failed to save image to PNG.", "Error", _

            MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Error)

 

            Return

 

        End Try

 

        MessageBox.Show("Image file saved to " + newName.ToString(), _"Image Saved", MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Information)

 

    End Sub

 

    Private Sub tIFFFileToolStripMenuItem_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles

    tIFFFileToolStripMenuItem.Click

 

        ' create a new name with the tif extension

        Dim newName As String = _

        System.IO.Path.GetFileNameWithoutExtension(CurrentFile)

        newName = newName + ".tif"

 

        Try

 

            ' save the file as a tif

            img.Save(newName, ImageFormat.Tiff)

            CurrentFile = newName

            picContainer.Image = Image.FromFile(CurrentFile)

            Me.Text = "Watermark Utility: " + CurrentFile.ToString()

 

        Catch

 

            MessageBox.Show("Failed to save image to TIF.", "Error", _

            MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Error)

 

            Return

 

        End Try

 

        MessageBox.Show("Image file saved to " + newName.ToString(), _"Image Saved", MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Information)

 

    End Sub

 

    Private Sub windowsMetafileToolStripMenuItem_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles

    windowsMetafileToolStripMenuItem.Click

 

        ' create a new name with the WMF extension

        Dim newName As String = _

        System.IO.Path.GetFileNameWithoutExtension(CurrentFile)

        newName = newName + ".wmf"

 

        Try

 

            ' save the file as a WMF

            img.Save(newName, ImageFormat.Wmf)

            CurrentFile = newName

            picContainer.Image = Image.FromFile(CurrentFile)

            Me.Text = "Watermark Utility: " + CurrentFile.ToString()

 

        Catch

 

            MessageBox.Show("Failed to save image to WMF.", "Error", _

            MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Error)

 

            Return

 

        End Try

 

        MessageBox.Show("Image file saved to " + newName.ToString(), _"Image Saved", MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Information)

 

    End Sub

 

#End Region
 

Following the image conversion routines, the next region of code is used to perform the actual water marking functions.

#Region "Watermarking"

 

    ''' <summary>

    ''' Display the watermark as it would appear after

    ''' the watermark were saved to the file

    ''' </summary>

    ''' <remarks></remarks>

    Private Sub btnPreview_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles btnPreview.Click

 

        ' Update the applicaton by reloading the image

        picContainer.Image = Image.FromFile(CurrentFile)

 

        Dim opac As Integer = 0

        Dim sOpacity As String = cboOpacity.Text

 

        ' Determine the opacity of the watermark

        Select Case (sOpacity)

            Case "100%"

                opac = 255 ' 1 * 255

            Case "75%"

                opac = 191 ' .75 * 255

            Case "50%"

                opac = 127 ' .5 * 255

            Case "25%"

                opac = 64  ' .25 * 255

            Case "10%"

                opac = 25  ' .10 * 255

            Case Else

                opac = 127 ' default at 50%; .5 * 255

        End Select

 

        ' Get a graphics context

        Dim g As Graphics = Graphics.FromImage(picContainer.Image)

 

        ' Create a solid brush to write the watermark text on the image

        Dim myBrush As Brush

        myBrush = New SolidBrush(Color.FromArgb(opac, myWatermarkColor))

 

        ' Calculate the size of the text

        Dim sz As SizeF = g.MeasureString(txtWaterMark.Text, myFont)

 

        ' Creae a copy of variables to keep track of the

        ' drawing position (X,Y)

        Dim X As Integer

        Dim Y As Integer

 

        ' Set the drawing position based on the users

        ' selection of placing the text at the bottom or

        ' top of the image

        If (optTop.Checked = True) Then

            X = Convert.ToInt32((picContainer.Image.Width - sz.Width) / 2)

            Y = Convert.ToInt32((picContainer.Top + sz.Height) / 2)

        Else

            X = Convert.ToInt32((picContainer.Image.Width - sz.Width) / 2)

            Y = Convert.ToInt32((picContainer.Image.Height - sz.Height))

        End If

 

        ' draw the water mark text

        g.DrawString(txtWaterMark.Text, myFont, myBrush, New Point(X, Y))

 

    End Sub

 

    Private Sub btnFont_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles btnFont.Click

 

        ' default the current font and color to that

        ' used in the watermark textbox

        fontDialog1.ShowColor = True

        fontDialog1.Font = txtWaterMark.Font

        fontDialog1.Color = txtWaterMark.ForeColor

 

        If fontDialog1.ShowDialog() <> DialogResult.Cancel Then

 

            myFont = fontDialog1.Font

            myWatermarkColor = fontDialog1.Color

            txtWaterMark.Font = fontDialog1.Font

            txtWaterMark.ForeColor = fontDialog1.Color

 

        End If

    End Sub

 

#End Region
 

That wraps up the sum of the code needed to drive the Watermarking utility. With the code provided, it is possible to convert from one image format to another and to apply a user defined watermark on an existing image file.

Summary

While this article was written to demonstrate an approach to watermarking an image file in the context of a Win Foms utility application; the code used in the project could be modified to batch process image files, or to watermark image files programmatically and without user intervention. Even used as a utility, the application could have some value to anyone wishing to watermark or caption an image file before exposing the image file on the web.

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