How To Create Custom Dynamic Stamps

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In Adobe Acrobat, you can add an online stamp to a PDF document in much the same way you apply a rubber stamp to a paper document — for instance, to show the document’s approval status or the date it was received. A DYNAMIC stamp also has the ability to automatically add today's date, time, as well as the the author's name.

NOTE: You can create custom stamps using any version of Adobe Acrobat OR Adobe Reader but in order to create a custom DYNAMIC stamp that automatically includes the date, time, and or author name, you will need to have a license of Adobe Acrobat Pro. This feature requires form editing that is not available in Adobe Reader OR Adobe Acrobat Standard. If you do not have a copy of Adobe Acrobat Pro and require your custom stamp to have dynamic properties, please contact support.

If you're having trouble creating your custom stamp, we can create one for you. Please contact us by submitting a support ticket here:

Create a Custom Stamp Image
The first step in creating a custom stamp is to choose a starting image, such as a company logo or the original artwork used to create one of your existing rubber stamps, like a "Document Received" stamp. Try to make the image as small as possible — ideally, smaller than 100 K; anything over than 500 K will make the stamp too large for most purposes. Remember to leave room within the stamp image for your dynamic text.

Create a Custom Stamp
Open a document in adobe acrobat and click Comments > Stamps > Create Custom Stamp. In the dialog box, browse to the image file you want for the starting image and click OK. Then enter a category and name. This dialog box includes a check box for reducing the image’s file size. If the starting image you selected is a raster file, such as JPG or TIF check this box. If you start with a PDF file, uncheck the box, since the PDF will already be as small as you need. You'll be given the opportunity to create a new category and name for your stamp here.

Locate Your Stamp
Now we need to add some javascript to the stamp so that it can automatically insert the date, time, and or author name. First we need to find the "Stamps" file that was created in the step above. This folder location can vary depending on your operating system, but on most windows systems, you should be able to find it here (you may need to configure your system to show hidden files and folders!):

C:/Users/[your login or user name]/[app data OR application data]/Roaming/Adobe/Acrobat/[10.0 OR 11.0]/stamps

Once you've located your stamps folder, you should see at least one pdf file in the directory. The stamp files have very cryptic names so you'll have to open the files to identify which one contains your new stamp. If you open this file, it should have a blank first page, but the stamp that you added in the step above should display on page 2 or greater. If you don't see your stamp, try opening a different pdf file within the stamps directory until you find it.

Add Dynamic Properties To Your Stamp
Once you've located your stamp, we will need to add the dynamic properties. First we need to add a form text field. Click "Tools > Forms > Edit". Click "Add New Field > Text Field" and then drag a rectangle over your stamp indicating the area where you would like the dynamic information to display. Once the text field has been placed, right click it and select "Properties".

On the General tab, change the name to something unique. If this is not unique and you have several stamps on the page, it can change all stamps when you edit one.
On the Options tab I like to select "Alignment: Center" so that the text is centered within the text field.
On the Calculate tab select "Custom calculation script" and then click "Edit".
From here you'll need to paste in one of the code blocks below depending on your intended use. If you're comfortable with javascript, you can edit these to display differently.

8:50 pm, Aug 26, 2004

event.value = (new Date()).toString(); AFDate_FormatEx("h:MM tt, mmm dd, yyyy");

By Jace Coleman at 8:50 pm, Aug 26, 2004

event.value = (new Date()).toString(); AFDate_FormatEx("h:MM tt, mmm dd, yyyy"); event.value = "By " + ((! || identity.loginName != (event.source.source || this).Collab.user) ? (event.source.source || this).Collab.user : + " at " + event.value;

When done, click "Close" then be sure to save your pdf file by clicking "File > Save".

Verify Your New Stamp
You should now be able to open up a new pdf document, click "Comment > Annotations > Stamp Tool" and you should see your new stamp within the category that you created. Place a stamp on the page and verify that the date, time, and or author name is correct. If you're having troubles, you might want to try rebooting your computer.

Sharing Your New Stamp
You can add your new dynamic stamp to other computers, by simply locating your stamp file again, and placing a copy of it into the stamps directory of another computer. When you open adobe reader or acrobat on the second computer, you should see the new stamp category and dynamic stamp automatically.

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