FontCode: Embedding Information in Text Documents using Glyph Perturbation

Chang Xiao, Cheng Zhang, Changxi Zheng


ACM Transaction on Graphics (Presented at SIGGRAPH 2018)

Abstract: We introduce FontCode, an information embedding technique for text documents. Provided a text document with specific fonts, our method embeds user-specified information in the text by perturbing the glyphs of text characters while preserving the text content. We devise an algorithm to choose unobtrusive yet machine-recognizable glyph perturbations, leveraging a recently developed generative model that alters the glyphs of each character continuously on a font manifold. We then introduce an algorithm that embeds a user-provided message in the text document and produces an encoded document whose appearance is minimally perturbed from the original document. We also present a glyph recognition method that recovers the embedded information from an encoded document stored as a vector graphic or pixel image, or even on a printed paper. In addition, we introduce a new error-correction coding scheme that rectifies a certain number of recognition errors. Lastly, we demonstrate that our technique enables a wide array of applications, using it as a text document metadata holder, an unobtrusive optical barcode, a cryptographic message embedding scheme, and a text document signature.