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In preparation for press printing, I would like to produce a version of a document for printing a glossy varnish layer, where all the text is "missing", but the images and other elements are at the same position.

\color{white} sounds like a good solution, but since the text is still there, I'm concerned that the printer might still print some thin stray artefacts at the letter edges, or make similar mistakes due to antialiasing or some obscure stage in font rendering.

Or perhaps this is a non-issue?

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color space might be an issue, unless done right. Laywo/men sometimes are shocked when they realize that »black« and »black« can be different things in rgb vs. cmyk. Doing it right shouldn't be too difficult, though. You may want to talk to the people in charge of the printing about this. –  Nils L Mar 26 '13 at 9:10
11  
Possible duplicate of “If a tree falls in a forest …” ;) –  Qrrbrbirlbel Mar 26 '13 at 10:23
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2 Answers 2

You can \phantom{} out the text. The beamer package for slides makes text (and other stuff) dissappear routinely with its overlays, perhaps there are implementation tricks to be shamelessly pilfered...

I share your concern, in that it should end up printing white (think e.g. printing on pink paper, obnoxious perfume added for extra effect ;-)

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Unfortunately \phantom only works for one line of text, as it doesn't follow linebreaks (as with \mbox) –  Nyiti Mar 27 '13 at 12:22
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up vote 0 down vote accepted

It seems that implementing "disappearing" text on a general-purpose level would be rather complicated. (It would be interesting to understand how the beamer package does it)

So eventually I solved it with a conditional and a placeholder, just substituting the text with a (white) rule:

\usepackage{calc}
\usepackage{xcolor}

\newif\ifhidetext
\hidetexttrue

\newlength\tmp@height
\newlength\tmp@width

% #1 -- color of rectangle (optional, default white)
% #2 -- text or \includegraphics command
\newcommand\placeholder[2][white]{
\ifhidetext
\settowidth{\tmp@width}{#2}
\settototalheight{\tmp@height}{#2}
{\color{#1}\rule{\tmp@width}{\tmp@height}}%
\else
#2
\fi
}
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