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I am writing a conference paper and want to have a big black line drawn across the bottom of page 12 (the conference has a 12-page limit). Is there any way to do that, and specify it at the beginning, rather than figure out which page has page 12?

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Yes, but any solution may be stymied without a minimal example from you. – cfr Jan 24 at 23:03
up vote 5 down vote accepted

This may not work with the specialist class you are probably using, but, since you didn't provide a minimal example, I presume you are happy to make any necessary modifications.

Doubtless it is overkill to use TikZ, but still....

Delete , red to make the line black. The colour is just for dramatic effect.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{everypage,tikzpagenodes,kantlipsum}
\makeatletter
\AddEverypageHook{%
  \ifnum\value{page}=12\tikz[overlay,remember picture]{\draw [line width=10mm, red] ([yshift=-10mm]current page text area.south west) -- ([yshift=-10mm]current page text area.south east);}\fi}
\makeatother
\begin{document}
\kant[1-50]
\end{document}

warning line

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That works perfectly. – vy32 Jan 24 at 23:23

You can add page-related conditions inside fancyhdr's page style settings. Since the footer text is set after the footer rule, we just condition on a page before your cut-off (11 pages):

enter image description here

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{fancyhdr,lipsum}

\fancyhf{}% Clear header/footer
\fancyfoot[C]{%
  \ifnum\value{page}=11\gdef\footrulewidth{5pt}\fi% Update the footer rule after page 11
  \thepage}
\renewcommand{\headrulewidth}{0pt}% No header rule (or whatever your default is)
\renewcommand{\footrulewidth}{.4pt}% .4pt footer rule (or whatever your default is)
\pagestyle{fancy}

\begin{document}

\lipsum[1-50]\lipsum[1-50]

\end{document}
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