I am about to send a painstakingly formatted LaTeX PDF to a system that will add a watermark and an unpleasing, entirely superfluous attempt to include automatically line numbers in the left page margin (completely disregarding the actual lines in the process, and the fact that there is already nice line numbering).

The result looks somewhat like the following (actually worse, but I did not have the heart to reproduce the full, colored, effect):

Demonstration of the watermark effect

My question is this: How might I prevent, or at least cover, the line numbers? I guess I will have to live with the watermark, lest somebody important ask questions, but I find the automatically generated line numbers offensive, and would like spare myself and my readers.

Could you give me a hint as to how to achieve this? Any, even rough, ideas are much appreciated — I'll gladly report back whether your approaches were successful. Thank you so much!

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    What does this have to do with floats or subversion? Is this a submission to a manuscript management system (e.g. ScholarOne does this). If so, forget it. There is nothing you can do and you shouldn't do it even if you could. If not, probably there is nothing you can do and you probably shouldn't do it even if you could. – cfr Dec 22 '16 at 2:42
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    Is the content written in the foreground (over top of) or in the background (behind) of the text? It's not clear from the image. If it's in the background, then you could perhaps include a background white sheet. If it's in the foreground, there's no possibility to intervene... – Werner Dec 22 '16 at 2:49
  • @Werner Almost certainly it makes no difference as the page is probably scaled and the numbers added in the margin outside the area of the original page. – cfr Dec 22 '16 at 3:00
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    Can you add a test document? If so, try adding something like \documentclass{article} \usepackage{xcolor,pagecolor,lipsum} \pagecolor{white} \begin{document} \lipsum[1-5] \end{document} (and/or choose a different colour than white) and see if you can still see the watermark/numbers. – Werner Dec 22 '16 at 3:16

First, there is nothing you can do. The system overlays the line numbers and watermark onto the pages of your PDF. Whatever you put in your PDF will be underneath whatever the system puts on top. Nothing in your PDF can possibly affect what is overlaid onto it.

Second, you shouldn't do it anyway. The journal or other organisation you submit this to require all submissions to be marked in this way. If you object, you could take it up with the providers of the online system or the organisation using that system, but I think you would be wasting time and energy better spent on other things. However, if you want a harmless hobby, there are certainly worse.

This is just a draft for review. Within reason, it doesn't matter what it looks like as long as it is readable.

If you are truly attached to your formatting, don't submit at all as it will be destroyed if your work is accepted.

The only thing you could conceivably do is surround your entire page by a thick black border or place a thick black line on the left. However, I doubt this would work because the page is almost certainly scaled down before the watermark and marginalia are added. At least, this is what systems I've used have done.

If the watermark is placed behind the page, you could conceivably place something in between, as Werner mentioned. But this would not obliterate the line numbers. And, as I say, you ought not do this in any case.

Note that you probably do not really want the watermark removed. If a reviewer prints a copy to read, the watermark identifies it as confidential.

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