9/6/2011 12:00:00 AM

A text watermarking method embeds an auxiliary message in an original electronic text document to form a watermarked text document. The method applies a spreading function to message symbols to spread the symbols over a carrier, which forms a modulated carrier. It maps elements of the modulated carrier to corresponding inter-word spaces in the electronic text document, and applies an embedding function to modify the corresponding inter-word spaces according to elements of the modulated carrier signal such that the modified inter-word spaces hide the modulated carrier signal in the watermarked text document. The message symbols are automatically decodable from the watermarked document without the original electronic text document. A compatible decoder extracts the auxiliary message from a printed or electronic watermarked text document. The decoder automatically measures inter-word spaces in the watermarked text document. It estimates elements of a modulated carrier signal embedded in the inter-word spaces to form an estimated modulated carrier signal, and applies a de-spreading function to the estimated modulated carrier signal to extract message symbols.