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Making text invisible

P: n/a
I'm sending an HTML email to Lotus Notes and I'd like to hide some text
from casual observation. There is nothing sinister in this; the text to
be hidden is simply a 12-digit number that I use to indicate to the
recipient (me!) that the mail can be archived without reading (It is a
"Job ran successfully" note). It makes writing message filters simpler.

So the challenge is to find something that Lotus Notes will "see", but I
won't. How browsers respond is not relevant here.

At the moment I'm using <SPAN STYLE="color:#fff">. The white text
disappears on the white background. This works, but under some
circumstances the background is not white, so not ideal.

I played with opacity, but Notes doesn't support this, so the text
doesn't remain hidden.
I tried using visibility:hidden but Notes doesn't see the hidden text
either, so I can't use this.

I'm running out of tricks to hide text. Any suggestions?

This is a trivial an unimportant matter, but one of my mottoes is "There
is always a way", so I'm persisting with my attempts to find a better
solution.

--
Steve Swift
http://www.swiftys.org.uk/swifty.html
http://www.ringers.org.uk
Oct 29 '08 #1
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26 Replies


P: n/a
On Wednesday 29 October 2008 07:48, Swifty wrote:

<zap!>
At the moment I'm using <SPAN STYLE="color:#fff">. The white text
disappears on the white background. This works, but under some
circumstances the background is not white, so not ideal.
[...]
I'm running out of tricks to hide text. Any suggestions?
What about <span style={background: #fff; color: #fff;}The only drawback
that I can see is that it will cause a white streak on a non-white
background, but still without any visible text.

Irina

--
"Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth
should that mean that it is not real?" --Albus Dumbledore
http://www.valdyas.org/foundobjects/index.cgi Latest: 27-Oct-2008
Oct 29 '08 #2

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rf

"Swifty" <st***********@gmail.comwrote in message
news:5Y******************************@brightview.c om...
I'm sending an HTML email to Lotus Notes and I'd like to hide some text
from casual observation.
At the moment I'm using <SPAN STYLE="color:#fff">.
Never having seen Lotus Notes I shall treat this as a guessing competition.

<span style='position: relative; left: -1000px;'>

But I must ask, if you are sending the emails to yourself then don't you
have control over the background colour?

Further, if you have sent yourself an email that you are causing your email
client to archive without further intervention does it matter if the text is
visible? After all you are not going to read it anyway.
Oct 29 '08 #3

P: n/a
On 2008-10-29, Swifty <st***********@gmail.comwrote:
I'm sending an HTML email to Lotus Notes and I'd like to hide some text
from casual observation. There is nothing sinister in this; the text to
be hidden is simply a 12-digit number that I use to indicate to the
recipient (me!) that the mail can be archived without reading (It is a
"Job ran successfully" note). It makes writing message filters simpler.

So the challenge is to find something that Lotus Notes will "see", but I
won't. How browsers respond is not relevant here.

At the moment I'm using <SPAN STYLE="color:#fff">. The white text
disappears on the white background. This works, but under some
circumstances the background is not white, so not ideal.

I played with opacity, but Notes doesn't support this, so the text
doesn't remain hidden.
I tried using visibility:hidden but Notes doesn't see the hidden text
either, so I can't use this.

I'm running out of tricks to hide text. Any suggestions?
CSS3 "color: rgba(0,0,0,0);" Quite likely not to work in Notes.

"position: relative; left: -1000px" works in UAs that disallow left
scrolling. I disapprove of disallowing left scrolling but that doesn't
stop them all doing it.
Oct 29 '08 #4

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Irina Rempt wrote:
What about <span style={background: #fff; color: #fff;}The only drawback
that I can see is that it will cause a white streak on a non-white
background, but still without any visible text.
Yes, thanks. That's a step in the right direction.

--
Steve Swift
http://www.swiftys.org.uk/swifty.html
http://www.ringers.org.uk
Oct 29 '08 #5

P: n/a
rf wrote:
<span style='position: relative; left: -1000px;'>
I'll try this one, thanks.
But I must ask, if you are sending the emails to yourself then don't you
have control over the background colour?
So I must answer: Emails that do not explicitly set the background
colour (some of mine do, some don't) inherit the default mail backgound
colour, which I occasionally change. So trying to set the background
colour is also a guessing game. :-)
Further, if you have sent yourself an email that you are causing your email
client to archive without further intervention does it matter if the text is
visible? After all you are not going to read it anyway.
Ah, an excellent debating point! A "preoccupation for detail".
See http://www.swiftys.org.uk/wiz?267 (the HTML is execrable; don't look)
It will be there to annoy me if someone forces me to read one of these
notes. It's in my genes. My father used to paint the inside of the
cistern in our outside lavatory, on the basis that the inside went just
as rusty as the outside. I'm doomed.

--
Steve Swift
http://www.swiftys.org.uk/swifty.html
http://www.ringers.org.uk
Oct 29 '08 #6

P: n/a
rf wrote:
Never having seen Lotus Notes I shall treat this as a guessing competition.
You don't know what you are missing...
<span style='position: relative; left: -1000px;'>
This looked excellent, and worked perfectly until it came across the
rather... unusual... html rendering in Notes. The "hidden" text appeared
as if the <SPANweren't there. I'm not entirely surprised. But thank
you anyway!

--
Steve Swift
http://www.swiftys.org.uk/swifty.html
http://www.ringers.org.uk
Oct 29 '08 #7

P: n/a
rf

"Swifty" <st***********@gmail.comwrote in message
news:Gp******************************@brightview.c om...
rf wrote:
>Never having seen Lotus Notes I shall treat this as a guessing
competition.
You don't know what you are missing...
><span style='position: relative; left: -1000px;'>

This looked excellent, and worked perfectly until it came across the
rather... unusual... html rendering in Notes. The "hidden" text appeared
as if the <SPANweren't there. I'm not entirely surprised. But thank you
anyway!
So, you are using an email client that purports to support HTML yet clearly
does not, by ignoring certain attributes and style properties that have been
mentioned in this thread. Best of luck with that "email client" :-)
>Never having seen Lotus Notes I shall treat this as a guessing
competition.
You don't know what you are missing...
Now I do know what I am missing. An email client that supports only a little
bit of HTML :-)

Then again the point is moot. I most forcibly deny my email clients form
supporting *anything* exept plain text.
Oct 29 '08 #8

P: n/a
Swifty wrote:
I'm sending an HTML email to Lotus Notes and I'd like to hide some text
from casual observation.
Not much reason to expect to get an answer from people in a newgroup
devoted to authoring HTML for the web. Isn't there a Lotus Notes newsgroup?
Oct 29 '08 #9

P: n/a
In article <Cc******************************@brightview.com >,
Swifty <st***********@gmail.comwrote:
Irina Rempt wrote:
What about <span style={background: #fff; color: #fff;}The only drawback
that I can see is that it will cause a white streak on a non-white
background, but still without any visible text.

Yes, thanks. That's a step in the right direction.
Is there some reason why you can't use display: none ?
Oct 29 '08 #10

P: n/a
In article <no****************************@news1.chem.utoront o.ca>,
David Stone <no******@domain.invalidwrote:
In article <Cc******************************@brightview.com >,
Swifty <st***********@gmail.comwrote:
Irina Rempt wrote:
What about <span style={background: #fff; color: #fff;}The only drawback
that I can see is that it will cause a white streak on a non-white
background, but still without any visible text.
Yes, thanks. That's a step in the right direction.

Is there some reason why you can't use display: none ?
Come to think of it, is there some reason your code can't be wrapped
inside an html comment? A text filter in your mail client should still
be able to find the code in the body.
Oct 29 '08 #11

P: n/a
On Wednesday 29 October 2008 12:31, rf wrote:
I most forcibly deny my email clients form
supporting *anything* exept plain text.
Amen, sibling.

Irina
--
"Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth
should that mean that it is not real?" --Albus Dumbledore
http://www.valdyas.org/foundobjects/index.cgi Latest: 27-Oct-2008
Oct 29 '08 #12

P: n/a
Swifty wrote:
I'm sending an HTML email to Lotus Notes and I'd like to hide some
text from casual observation. There is nothing sinister in this; the
text to be hidden is simply a 12-digit number that I use to indicate
to the recipient (me!) that the mail can be archived without reading
(It is a "Job ran successfully" note). It makes writing message
filters simpler.
I can't help but think that you are looking for the wrong solution to
the problem.

Set up a new email address for these Job Ran Successfully notes, and
filter on the recipient address.

If you are writing the code that generates these notes, can't you
include wording other than the 12-digit number that you can filter on?

"The following job ran successfully:..." or some such?

The hidden 12-digit number can't be the only text that identifies the
email as one of your Job Ran Successfully notes.

I receive Job Ran Successfully notes that are sent by the cron daemon. I
filter on the sender.
Oct 29 '08 #13

P: n/a
Scott Bryce wrote:
If you are writing the code that generates these notes, can't you
include wording other than the 12-digit number that you can filter on?

"The following job ran successfully:..." or some such?
The problem is that you cannot come up with any valid English phrase
which we can guarantee will not come from a person who expects me to
read their email. A 12-digit number is sufficiently unlikely that I'm
prepared to take that chance.

--
Steve Swift
http://www.swiftys.org.uk/swifty.html
http://www.ringers.org.uk
Oct 29 '08 #14

P: n/a
On Wed, 29 Oct 2008 07:48:20 +0100, Swifty <st***********@gmail.comwrote:
I'm sending an HTML email to Lotus Notes and I'd like to hide some text
from casual observation. There is nothing sinister in this; the text to
be hidden is simply a 12-digit number that I use to indicate to the
recipient (me!) that the mail can be archived without reading (It is a
"Job ran successfully" note). It makes writing message filters simpler.

So the challenge is to find something that Lotus Notes will "see", but I
won't. How browsers respond is not relevant here.

At the moment I'm using <SPAN STYLE="color:#fff">. The white text
disappears on the white background. This works, but under some
circumstances the background is not white, so not ideal.

I played with opacity, but Notes doesn't support this, so the text
doesn't remain hidden.
I tried using visibility:hidden but Notes doesn't see the hidden text
either, so I can't use this.

I'm running out of tricks to hide text. Any suggestions?

This is a trivial an unimportant matter, but one of my mottoes is "There
is always a way", so I'm persisting with my attempts to find a better
solution.
Might I offer a possible, totally different, solution to you: add a header
to the mail instead of fiddling with the content (which is quite hackish,
and could possibly tie you not only to the specific program, but even to
the specific version of that program) and make a rule based on that? I
never worked with Lotus Notes, but as filtering on header is quite common
I assume it can, and as it seems it is an automated process mailing these
adding a header shouldn't be all that difficult either.

Something like:
From: "Job Runner" <no*****@example.com>
To: yo*@example.com
Subject: Job ran successfully
X-My-Header: 123456789012

random content...
--
Rik
Oct 30 '08 #15

P: n/a
Rik Wasmus wrote:
Might I offer a possible, totally different, solution to you: add a
header to the mail instead of fiddling with the content
I was wondering about that, and have used the technique in Outlook. but
the rules mechanism in Notes doesn't have that ability, at least, not in
the configuration that I'm using. Notes (despite its name) is primarily
a database/application platform; its email function is just one of its
applications. The rules capability seems to be something of an afterthought.

--
Steve Swift
http://www.swiftys.org.uk/swifty.html
http://www.ringers.org.uk
Oct 30 '08 #16

P: n/a
In comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html message <5YWdncggFYOqmpXUnZ2dneKd
nZ******@brightview.com>, Wed, 29 Oct 2008 06:48:20, Swifty
<st***********@gmail.composted:
>
I'm running out of tricks to hide text. Any suggestions?
As well as setting the text and background colour both to what you
expect the background to be, can you set the font size to be minuscule?
IE7 accepts document.body.style.fontSize=0 ; I don't get 0, but I get
something almost too small to be seen. Likewise in Firefox 2. Opera
9.2 gives a minimum size which is still readable, Safari makes it
smaller than IE, possibly true zero.

But note that <font size=1is still about readable IIRC, as it uses a
range of 1 to 7 in a manner differing from what some FAQ, possibly
CIWAH, says.

Much may depend on user-accessible browser settings.

It's a good idea to read the newsgroup c.l.j and its FAQ. See below.

--
(c) John Stockton, nr London UK. ?@merlyn.demon.co.uk IE7 FF2 Op9 Sf3
news:comp.lang.javascript FAQ <URL:http://www.jibbering.com/faq/index.html>.
<URL:http://www.merlyn.demon.co.uk/js-index.htmjscr maths, dates, sources.
<URL:http://www.merlyn.demon.co.uk/TP/BP/Delphi/jscr/&c, FAQ items, links.
Oct 30 '08 #17

P: n/a
Dr J R Stockton wrote:
As well as setting the text and background colour both to what you
expect the background to be, can you set the font size to be minuscule?
IE7 accepts document.body.style.fontSize=0 ; I don't get 0, but I get
something almost too small to be seen. Likewise in Firefox 2. Opera
9.2 gives a minimum size which is still readable, Safari makes it
smaller than IE, possibly true zero.
What a delight to read a post from someone who knows how to spell
"minuscule". I'm honoured; thank you.

I hadn't thought about going for a tiny font. Combined with setting both
fore- and back-ground colours to white, this should make the resultant
white rectangle almost invisible even when on a slightly contrasting
colour.

The only downside of this is that eventually I will forget what I did,
and then I'll start wondering what that tiny white rectangle contains.
So I'll end up either inspecting the source, or selecting it an copying
it into a rich-text agnostic editor.

--
Steve Swift
http://www.swiftys.org.uk/swifty.html
http://www.ringers.org.uk
Oct 30 '08 #18

P: n/a
On Oct 30, 8:01*pm, Swifty <steve.j.sw...@gmail.comwrote:
The only downside of this is that eventually I will forget what I did,
--
Steve Swifthttp://www.swiftys.org.uk/swifty.htmlhttp://www.ringers.org.uk
It is possible that <span style='position: relative; left:
-1000px;'>
did not work because span is an inline element and positioning
works for block elements, but not always for inline elements,
so maybe try to have the text you want to hide in a block
element like <div>
But it is much better to have all text visible,
and not to use hidden text,
especially in an email.
Someone already suggested you have some
visible explanatory something, maybe like
'email sent successfully status 12345....'

Nov 2 '08 #19

P: n/a
On 2008-11-02, my*******************@googlemail.com <my*******************@googlemail.comwrote:
On Oct 30, 8:01*pm, Swifty <steve.j.sw...@gmail.comwrote:
>The only downside of this is that eventually I will forget what I did,
--
Steve Swifthttp://www.swiftys.org.uk/swifty.htmlhttp://www.ringers.org.uk

It is possible that <span style='position: relative; left:
-1000px;'>
did not work because span is an inline element and positioning
works for block elements, but not always for inline elements,
Relative positioning works on inline elements. Absolute and fixed
positioning do too, but they turn the inline elements into block
elements.

I'm only clarifying the specifications here, not about what does or
doesn't work in particular lousy software.
Nov 2 '08 #20

P: n/a
On Nov 2, 10:13*pm, Ben C <spams...@spam.eggswrote:
Relative positioning works on inline elements. Absolute and fixed
positioning do too, but they turn the inline elements into block
elements.
I'm only clarifying the specifications here, not about what does or
doesn't work in particular lousy software.
Relative positioning is also positioning, like absolute and fixed,
but it is ... relative.
Applying positioning rules to an inline element like <span>
does not change it automatically to a block element,
at least not in all browsers.
You are describing a somehow 'quirks mode'.

Anyway, sorry to repeat, I think it is better
not to have hidden text, especially in an email.
Nov 2 '08 #21

P: n/a
On 2008-11-02, my*******************@googlemail.com <my*******************@googlemail.comwrote:
On Nov 2, 10:13*pm, Ben C <spams...@spam.eggswrote:
>Relative positioning works on inline elements. Absolute and fixed
positioning do too, but they turn the inline elements into block
elements.
I'm only clarifying the specifications here, not about what does or
doesn't work in particular lousy software.

Relative positioning is also positioning, like absolute and fixed,
but it is ... relative.
Correct.
Applying positioning rules to an inline element like <span>
does not change it automatically to a block element,
Relative doesn't. Absolute and Fixed do.
at least not in all browsers. You are describing a somehow 'quirks
mode'.
Sorry if I wasn't clear. Absolute and fixed make an inline element
behave just like an absolute or fixed positioned block. Relative does
not. Any of the three can be applied to inline elements.
Nov 2 '08 #22

P: n/a
On Nov 2, 11:07*pm, Ben C <spams...@spam.eggswrote:
Sorry if I wasn't clear. Absolute and fixed make an inline element
behave just like an absolute or fixed positioned block. Relative does
not. Any of the three can be applied to inline elements.
What I meant was that some styling rules that apply to
boxes, like margin or the negative positioning of this thread
might not work in all browsers for inline elements like
<span>.
The OP wrote that the relative negative positioning
of <spandoes not work in Lotus Notes,
and I was just curious if it would work in
a block element like <divinstead of <span>.
It might not work in <diveither, for various reasons,
I do not know what HTML code the OP is using,
if it is valid HTML or CSS, etc. ... or
negative positioning might not work in an HTML embedded
in an email, etc. etc. etc.
I was obviously hoping to be helfpul :)
Nov 2 '08 #23

P: n/a
On Nov 2, 11:19*pm, dorayme wrote:
The idea is like this: ....
Your patronizing story is somehow unexpected and
I do not know how it will make work the
<spanpositioning that does not work now.
Nov 3 '08 #24

P: n/a
In article
<a7**********************************@b31g2000prf. googlegroups.com>,
my*******************@googlemail.com wrote:
On Nov 2, 11:19*pm, dorayme wrote:
The idea is like this: ....

Your patronizing story is somehow unexpected
I expect better from me too. Please don't be offended.
I do not know how it will make work the
<spanpositioning that does not work now.
How span works in what app when positioned relatively is not really
relevant to how it is supposed to work and even less to do with the
difference in behaviour between a span that is positioned one way or
another.

I am sure you could well be right that some apps that are supposed to
take HTML will not always follow standards...

--
dorayme
Nov 3 '08 #25

P: n/a
On 2008-11-02, my*******************@googlemail.com <my*******************@googlemail.comwrote:
On Nov 2, 11:07*pm, Ben C <spams...@spam.eggswrote:
>Sorry if I wasn't clear. Absolute and fixed make an inline element
behave just like an absolute or fixed positioned block. Relative does
not. Any of the three can be applied to inline elements.

What I meant was that some styling rules that apply to
boxes, like margin or the negative positioning of this thread
might not work in all browsers for inline elements like
<span>.
The OP wrote that the relative negative positioning
of <spandoes not work in Lotus Notes,
and I was just curious if it would work in
a block element like <divinstead of <span>.
Yes, you could be right about that-- the specifications are likely only
very loosely related to what Lotus Notes does with HTML emails.
It might not work in <diveither, for various reasons,
I do not know what HTML code the OP is using,
if it is valid HTML or CSS, etc. ... or
negative positioning might not work in an HTML embedded
in an email, etc. etc. etc.
I was obviously hoping to be helfpul :)
Yes of course. I was also only trying to be helpful.
Nov 3 '08 #26

P: n/a
In article <sl*********************@bowser.marioworld>,
Ben C <sp******@spam.eggswrote:
On 2008-11-02, my*******************@googlemail.com
<my*******************@googlemail.comwrote:
I was obviously hoping to be helfpul :)

Yes of course. I was also only trying to be helpful.
You two goody goodies! Don't you ever feel the need to make mischief? <g>

--
dorayme
Nov 3 '08 #27

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