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I'm writing a document where some text portions are confidential and would therefore like to create an environment (e.g. confidential) which I can then exclude from the PDF by simply setting a variable or option.

Is there any way of doing this in LaTeX, or better yet, is there a package for this?

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If you want to simply remove/skip such environments then Joseph's solution is the way to go. If you want to replace the text with something else, e.g. empty space, than have a look at Phantom and line break, which could be modified to not even draw the underlining. – Martin Scharrer Sep 11 '11 at 10:16
Here are some attempts as solving this for inline or paragraph text that maintains the paragraph typesetting (hyphenation at line breaks - not supported by \phantom): Censor text spanning multiple lines. The soul package provided a good solution to tapping into the line breaking. – Werner Sep 11 '11 at 14:24
up vote 14 down vote accepted

You want the comment package. This provides the \includecomment and \excludecomment macros:

Some text

Some secret text

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Nice, this works perfectly! Thanks! – gablin Sep 11 '11 at 15:05
I ran into a problem where I got a lot of errors about too many }s or missing \endgroups and it took a while to find out how to fix it: How to fix issues with closing the commented out environment – LJNielsenDk May 5 '13 at 11:08

One option is to use newcommand and renewcommand in conjunction:

\renewcommand{\condidential}[1]{} %Comment out this whole line to surpress exclusion.
    His name was \confidential{Frank}.

One advantage with this method is that you easily can style the text in different ways, and you can put a standard message to appear whenever something is excluded.

For example:


makes all the included, confidential information appear in bold.



makes all the confidential information, when excluded, replaced with a placeholder which says: CONFIDENTIAL.

You can also easily set up different environments for different needs. For example, if you want to have different levels of confidentiality, you can have a \superConfidential environment in addition to the \confidential environment.

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