4 Replies Latest reply on Dec 2, 2010 12:23 PM by Thom Parker

    Dynamic Stamps in Acrobat 9

      I have used Acrobat 3, 4, 5, 6 and have now upgraded to Acrobat Pro 9. My system is OS X Tiger 10.4.11.  A useful feature is the dynamic stamps. I want to take an existing dynamic stamp such as "Reviewed" with the name & date and change the text only to "Scanned" with name & date.  I've read the posts "Creating a Custom Dynamic Stamp" by Anonymous, "Dynamic Stamp Secrets" and "Automating Placements of Annotations" by Thom Parker.  I've also purchased "PDF Forms Bible" by Ted Padova and Angie Okamoto.  All of them tell you how to create custom stamps-that's easy.  The posts above go on to describe modifying an existing dynamic stamp using Acrobat 8.  The instructions are straightforward. However tOK his isn't working for me in Acrobat 9. 


      First I can't find the existing stamp files.  I can open them in Acrobat 9 OK by Tools>Comment & Markup>Stamps>Show Stamps Palette, but in order to modify them I have to find them in the directory.  I've searched for "Acrobat User Data", "Application Data", and/or "Stamps" no such folders.  Thom Parker says "Acrobat automatically generates stamp files and gives them very cryptic names".  In order to track down the stamp folder I made a custom stamp, saved it and did a search for todays date in order to find it. I couldn't find it!  I opened up Acrobat again and the custom stamp was still there so it had to be saved somewhere.


      Where is the stamp file kept in OS X 10.4.11.  Has anyone actually modified a dynamic stamp using Acrobat 9 under OS X 10.4.11?  I read all the posts having to do with Acrobat 8 and they don't cut it.  Anyone with recent experience, your help would be appreciated.


      Thanks in advance


      John Schubert

        • 1. Re: Dynamic Stamps in Acrobat 9
          thou000 Level 1

          Here is how I was able to create dynamic stamps in Acrobat 9 Pro. I am working in Adobe's Creative Suite Design Premium on a iMac running OS X 10.5.7. I was able to find the necessary resource files in a Windows XP machine as well.


          STEP ONE - create your stamp image(s)


          Create your stamp image. I used Illustrator but I suspect that most programs that will create PDF's can be used. Export that document as a PDF and open it in Acrobat. Under the Forms menu invoked the "Start Forms Wizard". This will convert your document (stamp) into a form. Save it.


          At this point, there is one document open. It is an Acrobat PDF form.


          STEP TWO - copy the dynamic element from a furnished stamp


          On a Mac, using the Finder, navigated to the Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro applications folder and right click the object named Adobe Acrobat Pro. Select the "Show Package Contents" command from the menu and you will be able to see the component files of Acrobat. Navigate to this folder "Contents/Plug-ins/Comments.acroplugin/Stamps/ENU/" and open the file "Dynamic.pdf.


          (On a PC I found the Dynamic.pdf inside an object named Data1.cab and was able to open it. Data1.cab resides inside the C:/Program Files/Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro folder. I suspect the rest of this will translate easily enough for Windows XP users.)


          At this point you should have two Acrobat documents open on your desktop. The document you wish to make dynamic and Acrobat's furnished dynamic stamps document. Both documents are Adobe Acrobat forms.


          In the document Dynamic.pdf  chose the Forms drop down menu and selected the "Add or Edit Fields" command. That allows you to select a form field. Once the field is selected copy it and paste it into your first document. Save your document.


          STEP THREE - customize the dynamic field!


          Now that the form field is in your document invoke the Add or Edit Fields command to change the content of the field to your own needs.


          Once the Add or Edit command has been activated, right click the form field and chose Properties from the menu. This will open the Text Field Properties Controls box. Here you control the appearance of the text (font, size color, alignment, etc.) as well as the content of the field. Select the Calculate tab to see the script that controls the field. The fourth radio button (Custom Calculation Script) contains the script that makes your field dynamic.


          I started from a field that showed time and date and rearranged it to read date and time. I don't recognize the kind of script but I suspect it was java. I could not change the am and pm elements with java and so used a 24 hour clock instead. I am no scripter. What I ended up using actually fit better so I accepted that.


          You can now save and close your newly dynamic PDF form.


          STEP FOUR - add dynamic stamps


          After saving that document you can add your new dynamic stamps to your stamps library. Navigate to Tools: Comment and Markup: Stamps: Create Custom Stamp to open the Select Image for Custom Stamp dialog box. Use the browse button to find your file, use the window to navigate to the first stamp image, click OK and the Create Custom Stamp dialog box opens. Select an existing Category or create a new one and name your stamp. Since my stamps were already PDF's I didn't need to use the Down Sample check box. I did this four times to select four different images as stamps.


          Unlike instructions I found for earlier versions of Acrobat nothing was added to the directory where the original dynamic file existed. So it is a good possibility that the location and path to the file you created is important to their being available in the future. I haven't checked that yet.




          I actually use my new Acrobat form document as a watermark as well as a stamp. All I have to do is select Document: Watermark: Add from the Document menu and select the PDF form I created. My proof stamp now appears on each page of my proof in the same position on each page with the date and time that the stamp applied. I achieve the positioning by starting with an InDesign document into which I placed the Illustrator stamp. The InDesign document is sized to match my target files. The PDF I worked from actually came from this InDesign file. It does not affect the size of the stamp image and it makes your work useful in other ways.


          Thaks to simonATS on this thread about dynamic stamps for showing me how to find the dynamic stamp samples furnished with Acrobat 9


          If anyone can point out any incorrect assumptions or plain old errors in my description please let me know. If there are any conventions available for language relative to the Creative Suite interfaces, I would truly love to see that. I regret dropping out of Technical Writing way back when.

          • 2. Re: Dynamic Stamps in Acrobat 9

            THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!  You just saved me SO MUCH TIME.


            I think you wrote it perfectly.

            • 3. Re: Dynamic Stamps in Acrobat 9

              When I use the stamp I created using this procedure on a document the date and time is always whatever it was the last time i saved the stamp document.  I went though the process several times to make sure I wasnt missing anything with no luck.


              Is there a setting somewhere or something keeping this from working.  The stamps provided with acrobat work fine.


              When I bring up the PDF I used to make the stamp and edit the date time note it updates to the current time.


              Any help would be greatly appreciated

              • 4. Re: Dynamic Stamps in Acrobat 9
                Thom Parker Adobe Community Professional

                The PDF file that you used to create the stamp is just an image.  That's all it is.  It should not contain any form fields.  Acrobat uses this file to create a stamp file.  Which is completely different.   To make a dynamic stamp you have to add form fields to the stamp file.  You'll find articles on this topic at this link.  Click on the "Tutorials" filter to narrow it down


                http://acrobatusers.com/search/google/stamps?query=stamps&cx=010702214422959725198:mrw4k19 7ftq&cof=FORID:11&sitesearch=


                You'll find more detailed info, and samples, and a video that covers exactly what you are trying to do here:  http://www.pdfscripting.com

                Thom Parker
                The source for PDF Scripting Info


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