Protect Your Email Address in PS and PDF

The randtext package is a great random find in CTAN. Here is its description in full, but with an emphasis added by me:

The package provides a single macro \randomize{TEXT} that typesets the characters of TEXT in random order, such that the resulting output appears correct, but most automated attempts to read the file will misunderstand it.

This function allows one to include an email address in a TeX document and publish it online without fear of email address harvesters or spammers easily picking up the address.

The author is Charles Duan.

While you most certainly want to use this package for some protection, you should not rely solely on it. For a historical reason(*) , Adobe’s PDF library can easily extract an email address protected by this package. I don’t know about the top search engines, but I would expect their extractors to perform no worse.

(*) Basically, space characters need not exist after the TeX phase. They may instead exist as kerning and spacing information. Therefore, Adobe have an extraction routine that guesses the word breaks based on how the characters are spaced. In other words, the routine is literally “reading” the text from the rendering, just like any human!

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