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This paper improves the use of text color modulation (TCM) as a reliable text document data hiding method. Using TCM, the characters in a document have their color components modified (possibly unperceptually) according to a side message to be embedded. This work presents a detection metric and an analysis determining the detection error rate in TCM, considering an assumed print and scan (PS) channel model. In addition, a perceptual impact model is employed to evaluate the perceptual difference between a modified and a non-modified character. Combining this perceptual model and the results from the detection error analysis it is possible to determine the optimum color modulation values. The proposed detection metric also exploits the orientation characteristics of color halftoning to reduce the error rate. In particular, because color halftoning algorithms use different screen orientation angles for each color channel, this is used as an effective feature to detect the embedded message. Experiments illustrate the validity of the analysis and the applicability of the method.