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In this paper, we introduce a new approach to design smearing and desmearing filters for data transmission systems to suppress pulse-like disturbances inserted in the communication channel. Our method is based on time domain considerations. It consists of the optimization of two merit factors defined for the impulse response functions of the filters. The first one is a measure of the smearing efficiency, and the second one is a measure of the amount of intersymbol interference caused by the insertion of the two filters in the transmission system. Our method will be applied to smearing and desmearing filters for baseband signals as well as for passband signals. In particular, we show that our method leads to filters having a better smearing efficiency and a simpler implementation than the filters obtained by the classical frequency domain approach.