How to remove Google watermarks from Public Domain scans

First, to be clear I am in no way trying criticize Google or insinuate that somehow the “Digitized by Google” watermarks are inappropriate or unethical. Maybe unnecessary though. Certainly, I’m most appreciative of Google’s funding for digitization, their hosting and providing free access to, their contribution to and the providing of searchable metadata through Google books. Nothing but praise can be given for these invaluable works to be widely available. Thank You!

However, there are all sorts of circumstances where that watermark on every page can be a problem. The main one is printing. It is trivial to skip printing the opening page with the Google notice on it. But I’d rather not waste the toner or integrity of the source document with all the little watermarks. Similarly, if high-quality images need to be extracted, especially for use in serious documents, the watermarks are a drag.

I eventually figured out a simple, non-scripted method for creating a source to print from. Assuming you have some version of Adobe Acrobat (not just reader):

  1. Run Advanced->Pre-flight routine “Put all transparent objects on layers” run to new output.
  2. Open new output
  3. Open layers (left bar)
  4. Turn visibility of any transparency layers off (save)
  5. Technically you can stop here; just to get a print or take screenshots.

From here there are a couple options:

  • From the layer menu you already have open select the cog-wheel (gear) at top-left and select “Flatten Layers”. This method is undo-able if you don’t save afterward.
  • Export to your preferred output as you would normally create a document.
  • Use Advanced->Print Production->Flattener Preview. I always run it at the highest settings, but the transparencies are off so it shouldn’t make a difference. Be aware this makes the file unnecessarily larger.
  • You can also flatten transparencies in Pre-flight

File-making section from The Circle of Mechanical Arts

From the File-Making section of Circle of the Mechanical Arts: PDF: circle-of-the-mechanical-arts_file-section_re-set   We shall introduce this article with some admirable observations on the progress of mechanical discovery, exemplified in an account of machines for cutting files, by Mr. Wm. Nicholson. “The folly and consequent distress of pursuing experiments in chemistry, for the sole purpose of […]

Dovetail-Slide Piano Maker’s “Studley-esque” Vise

Reflecting, I realize that I’ve found a lot of amazing tools in Northern California. I’ve hauled enough iron ~400 miles south to the LA area that compass readings might be affected. Luckily my latest trip up was no different. As they often are, my trip was a bit last minute. I stealthily slipped up and […]

Site Update

I recently had some issues with a backend site update, hopefully no features or pages were affected. I poked around and everything checks out but if you are having any issues please let me know in the comments or on the contact page.

Desmond Stephan and Morgan vise half-nuts

Desmond Stephan vises have come up before and almost always with a request for replacement bronze half-nuts. I’d picked up a Desmond some time ago with the intention of making it my main vise and upon cleaning was having seconds thoughts about the lifespan of the nut. I was recently cleaning up a Morgan 100 […]

Elna – Elnasuper 62C sewing machine manual

I was looking for one of these online and found little. Luckily I had access to a print copy so I made a color scan. Please download by right clicking the link and choosing “Save Link As”. Elna Elnasuper 62c manual. I also found a service manual for the next years’ model (SU) here: ( […]

Mystery Plane – LeGroote Iron

Wow, was May really the last time I put up a post? I was at the local toolswap trying not to come home with much. Usually, I’m quite good about not buying planes at the swaps but this one stood out. It’s an all-iron body, very heavy (about that of a Stanley No. 8-perhaps a […]

Another Plough Found

Some images of another binder’s plough I found recently.  

Analysis of a photo, Galoot style

The Porch brought up a photo by Man Ray (Link to photo at London Art Reviews) of Catherine Deneuve. I took a closer look at the photo and here are my findings: First, I believe the planes weren’t old tools when photographed and would barely be considered vintage today. The first photo below shows what […]