Tips & Tricks

Creating Dynamic Stamps in Acrobat

November 20, 2003

Advertisement
Advertisement
 

One of the big issues for me this week was: "How do I create my own dynamic stamps in Acrobat 6 - It doesn't seem to work?" So ... after a bunch of emails and some trial and error, I now know how to do it. It's not really documented so I thought I'd pass it along.

What are dynamic stamps?

Dynamic stamps consist of the PDF image of the stamp and a text form field that contains JavaScript to make your stamp dynamic. For example, the Dynamic Stamp "Approved" contains a form field that generates user name, time and date.

Stamps can be stored in [install directory]\plug_ins\Annotations\Stamps\[language] or [user directory]\Application Data\Adobe\Acrobat\6.0\Stamps. There are two methods you can use to create a dynamic stamp in Acrobat 6.

Method One - Stamp Tool

  1. From Commenting Toolbar: Select the Stamp Tool > Create Custom Stamp or From the Menu: Tools > Commenting > Stamp Tool > Create Custom Stamp.
  2. Select the file you want to be your custom stamp. This can be any file type that File > Create PDF > From File supports.
  3. Select a Category and a Name for your stamp.
  4. Go to the Application Data directory (see above).
  5. The PDF that contains your custom stamp will have a "crazy" name (example: UNol_YjtKdIgptuMIQ3LxC.pdf). Open that PDF file. Hint: if you have multiple files in this directory - sort by Date Modified and the "newest" one is where your newest custom stamp is located.
  6. Apply a form field with JavaScript. Hint: you can go to [install directory]\plug_ins\Annotations\Stamps\[language]\Dynamic.pdf and copy one of the form fields from there as a starting point.
  7. Save the PDF.

You now have a custom DYNAMIC stamp.

Method Two -- Page Templates

The alternative way is to use the "old" Acrobat 5 method of creating stamps with page templates.

  1. Place the PDF you want to use as a stamp in the [install directory]\plug_ins\Annotations\Stamps\[language] folder, and then open it in Acrobat 6.
  2. Select Advanced > Forms > Page Templates.
  3. Give your PDF page a "name" - this name should be formatted as < stamp name > = < stamp name > and it will be stored under the menu item of the name of the PDF file. For example if I create a file named "MyStamps.pdf" and I create a Page Template named "MyBox=MyBox", there will be a new Category under Stamps called "MyStamps" which will include a stamp called "MyBox."
  4. Apply a form field with JavaScript. Hint: you can go to [install directory]\plug_ins\Annotations\Stamps\[language] \Dynamic.pdf and copy one of the form fields from there as a starting point.
  5. Save the PDF.
  6. Re-start Acrobat (since it is in the Acrobat installation directory Acrobat won't "see" it until you restart).

You now have a custom DYNAMIC stamp.

What about Reader?

If you want to use custom stamps with Reader (*and* you have "reader-enabled" PDF that has commenting "rights") you can:

  • place your custom stamp in the C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 6.0\Reader\plug_ins\Annotations\Stamps folder and the next time you launch Adobe Reader your custom stamp will be available.
  • use Acrobat 6.0 to create your custom stamp. It will be placed in the C:\Documents and Settings\[user name]\Application Data\Adobe\Acrobat\6.0\Stamps folder. You can either leave it there and Adobe Reader will also look there for custom stamps or move it to the installation folder.
PDF In-Depth Free Product Trials Ubiquitous PDF

Debenu Quick PDF Library

Get products to market faster with this amazing PDF developer SDK. Over 900 functions and an equally...

Download free demo

Two Passwords Are Better Than One: The Low-Down On PDF Security

For people who don't spend their time looking at PDF files in text editors*, PDF security is a sometimes misunderstood beast.

For example, those document restrictions that PDF files sometimes have -- no Printing, Content Copying, Page Extraction, etc -- are essentially useless unless the PDF also has a User Password.

January 09, 2014
Platinum Sponsor



Search Planet PDF
more searching options...
Planet PDF Newsletter
Most Popular Articles
Featured Product

Debenu PDF Aerialist 11

The ultimate plug-in for Adobe Acrobat. Advanced splitting, merging, stamping, bookmarking, and link control. Take Acrobat to the next level.

Features

Adding a PDF Stamp Comment

OK, so you want to stamp your document. Maybe you need to give reviewers some advice about the document's status or sensitivity. This tip from author Ted Padova demonstrates how to add stamps with the Stamp Tool along with related comments.