Adobe Acrobat comes with a number of dynamic PDF stamps. You can select them by going to the Comment pane on the right side, then click on the Stamp tool to bring up the list of stamps. All the factory default dynamic stamps are in the “Dynamic” category:
What if we need a dynamic stamp that is not in the list? Let’s assume we need a stamp that is very similar to the “Received” stamp, but instead of the term “RECEIVED”, it should say “PREPARED”… The rest of this blog post will explain how you can take an existing dynamic stamp, copy it and modify it so that it fits your workflow.
On a Windows system we would either get
C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Acrobat 11.0\Acrobat\plug_ins\Annotations\Stamps or
C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 11.0\Acrobat\plug_ins\Annotations\Stamps – depending on if we are running on a 32bit or 64bit version of the operating system. On a Mac, Acrobat would report
/Applications/Adobe Acrobat XI Pro/Adobe Acrobat Pro.app/Contents/Built-in/Comments.acroplugin/Stamps/.
When we look in these directories, we would find sub-directories (one or more, depending on the type of Acrobat installation) for different languages. For English, we would use the ENU directory.
In this directory are all the stamp files that Acrobat comes with. The one we are interested in is the file Dynamic.pdf. When we open this in Acrobat, we can see that there is one page per stamp. To duplicate e.g. the Received stamp, we can use the technique I described in my blog post “Duplicate a Page in Adobe Acrobat”. Once you have a second copy of this stamp in your document, make sure that you work with the copy and not the original stamp.
When we go to the page that contains our copy of the Received stamp, we can modify it.Let’s start this by adding the new text just above the current stamp. To do that, we need to use the Tools>Content Editing>Add Text function.
Now we can click on the blank space above the stamp and start to type “Prepared”. To match the color and the font, select the just typed text and change the font to Arial, Arial Unicode MS or Helvetica, click on the Bold and Italics button, set the font size to 20 and adjust the color by clicking on the black box to the right of the font size. I measured the color in Illustrator, and it’s R=24, G=37 and B=100.
Now that we have our new text, it’s time to remove the old text. Unfortunately, we don’t have “real” text for the “RECEIVED” string, every character is its own path, and we need to remove the text character by character. To do that, select the “Edit Text & Images” tool and click on e.g. the “D”. Now you can delete this character by using the Delete key (or fn-Delete on a Mac).
Do this for all characters in “RECEIVED”:
To move the new text, we still use the “Edit Text & Images” tool. Select the text again, and move the cursor over the outline of the text until you see the “Move” cursor:
Now click and move the text to its correct position:
At this point, the new stamp image is correct. All we need to do know is to “tell” Acrobat that this is a stamp, and by what name it should be referred to. This is done in the “Page Templates” tool. Select Tools>Document Processing>Page Templates to activate it. If “Document Processing” is not in the Tools pane, you need to click on the little “Show or hide panels” menu icon at the top of the pane and enable it.
Activating the Page Templates tool will display the Page Templates dialog. Before you do that, make sure that our new stamp is still the active page in Acrobat. Enter the following string in the “Name” field:
#DPrepared=Prepared and click on the “Add” button. Acknowledge that you want to convert your active page to a template, and close the dialog.
At this point you can save the updated stamp file. Depending on which operating system you are on, saving back to the original file will just work, or you will have to save to a temporary location (e.g. your Desktop), then quit Acrobat and move the file to its correct location.
The new stamp is now ready to be used, all you need to do is restart Acrobat so that it re-reads the stamp files.