# [Tex/LaTex] Obfuscation of @ and . in e-mail addresses

fontspdfprivacysymbols

I manage style files for an academic journal. A typical article will contain authors' email addresses, which we attempt to obfuscate in order to give some measure of protection against e-mail harvesters.

Our current strategy: We replace the @ and . in e-mail addresses with bitmapped images of these symbols. (Specifically, we define new commands \imageat and \imagedot which print .pdf images of their respective characters; then an email address like me@place.com is typeset as me{\imageat}place{\imagedot}com.) This has some problems:

1. The images don't reflect the font or size of the surrounding text.
2. With this solution, our LaTeX distribution must include the .pdf of these images, which can lead to errors and confusion.

What I would like: I would like (you to tell me how) to define two commands \crazyat and \crazydot which have the effect of typesetting @ and . in the current typeface, but appear as non-standard characters in the generated .pdf file. Specifically, I would like to temporarily populate a little used part of the current font with the @ and . so that they appear correctly, but make no sense to anyone else. (Other suggestions very welcome.)

A few notes about other postings on this (and closely related topics):

1. I am aware of the AccSup package. It seems very appealing, but only Adobe Acrobat seems to play along. Specifically, the LaTeX line My email address is \BeginAccSupp{ActualText={email address}}me@place.com\EndAccSupp{} produces output that copies and pastes (in)correctly with Adobe Acrobat (giving the intended behavior) but misbehaves (so that copy/paste gives the e-mail address) on other .pdf readers. Anyway, I guess this will not fool an e-mail harvester. (See What can cause generated PDF document whose text are not correctly copyable?.)
2. I do not want to, e.g., simply replace the @ symbol with the text [AT]. I am dead set on this symbol actually appearing correctly in the .pdf document. (See How to redefine @ and . to obfuscate email addresses?.)
3. There seems to be a way to blow away the "cmap," which I do not understand. However, I would only like to be "locally" destructive–I would like the rest of the document to be well-formed. (See Is it possible to produce a PDF with un-copyable text?.)

To provide PDF files containing the dot and the at in the right font, put this in at.tex

\documentclass{standalone}
\usepackage{mathptmx}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\begin{document}
@
\end{document}


and likewise this in dot.tex

\documentclass{standalone}
\usepackage{mathptmx}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\begin{document}
.
\end{document}


Edit: This solution was actually wrong as I first wrote it. I assumed you can just use the generated PDFs as a neutral vector graphic. You can't; the mail addresses are still easily copy-and-pasted. You can, however, use some software like inkscape to convert the text to a "real" vector graphic and save it as a PDF again. You can then proceed as before. [End of Edit]

\documentclass[a5paper]{article}
\usepackage{mathptmx}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage{graphicx}
\newcommand{\crazyat}{\includegraphics[width=.9em]{at}}
\newcommand{\crazydot}{\includegraphics[width=.25em]{dot}}
\begin{document}
\noindent foobar@example.com\\
foobar\crazyat{}example\crazydot{}com\\
\Large foobar@example.com\\
foobar\crazyat{}example\crazydot{}com
\end{document}


Which looks good to my eye: