PDF Stamp Annotations
** Stamp Scripts and Articles at Bottom of Page
** Sample Stamp Files
PDF Stamps Gone Wild!! (Introductory Video) What's a PDF Stamp and How Far Can You Take It?
Copying Dynamic Features Between Stamps
|PDF Stamps, The Book!!|
Yes, its true, a whole book about PDF stamps in Acrobat. No other PDF markup tool comes close to the workflow utility of the PDF stamp in Acrobat. This book covers the full range of the how and why of PDF stamps , from understanding how stamps fit into the big picture of document processing to the nitty-gritty details of actually creating your own custom stamps and using them in automation scripts. Everyone from managers to programmers will benefit from this book.
The Stamp Annotation on a PDF is intended to be viewed just like an ink stamp, or a tape/ink marker on a paper document. It can be used for example, to place an approval with a date, a name, and a signature on a technical drawing. In this scenario, the stamp is used to indicate the stages in an ongoing document based process. Another example is marking up an invoice through the Received, Approved and Paid stages of the process. Stamp are an important part of any document process- technical, legal, or administrative. Figure 1 shows some examples of stamps that could be used in such processes.
|Figure 1 - Document Process Stamps|
Another very popular use for the stamp annotation is placing markers on a document. For example, a check mark to indicate an item has been reviewed, or a "sign here" marker. This use case is similar to marking up a document with a pen or placing a fancy piece of tape on a page. It's a little different from the traditional use of ink stamps on paper, but on a PDF it's a perfect use. Figure 2 shows some examples of marker stamps.
|Figure 2 - Document Markup Stamps|
The number and variations of document processes, and the types of markup that may be needed are endless. Acrobat comes with several built-in stamps for covering the most common uses. But obviously they can't cover everything, and even for standard uses we might want our own variation, for example a stamp including a company logo. To handle this endless variation, Acrobat provides the ability to create custom stamps. In fact, the stamp is the only markup annotation that can have a custom appearance. With all the other annotations you are stuck with the appearance provided by Acrobat. Stamps give us the ability to "stamp" any image we'd like onto a PDF, whether its a signature, today's date, a smiley face or quite literally anything.
The basic markup stamps shown in Figure 2 are static. They are simple images that cannot be changed. But, the stamps shown in Figure 1 contain data that was acquired at the time the stamp was applied, these are Dynamic Stamps. Dynamic stamps contain form fields and scripts that modify the information displayed when the stamp is applied to a PDF. Some of the information such as the date and user name can be acquired automatically. Other information is collected directly from the user through a popup dialog. These dynamic stamps show the power and flexibility of the stamp annotation, and allow stamps to be used in a very wide range of situations.
At this point, it's important to understand what it means to be an annotation. PDF annotations are graphical elements that float above the static page content. Unlike the static page content, they are somewhat interactive and can be added and removed at will. They can be moved around the page, re-sized and rotated to accommodate the desired presentation. Markup annotations like stamps have an opacity property, so they can be made to be partially, or fully transparent. Markup annotations also have a content property for adding hidden text notes. These notes pop up when the mouse is passed over the annotation. Therefore, stamps are highly modifiable and potentially temporary additions over the static page content, unlike an ink stamp on paper.All these properties and behaviors add to the flexibility and power of the stamp annotation. For example, the "Sign Here" stamp can be placed on a document page and then deleted later after the document is signed. But if it is important for the stamp to be permanent part of the document then these same highly flexible annotation behaviors are a liability. Fortunately, there are a couple of solutions. Markup annotations can be locked so that only the originator can modify them. And for a more permanent solutions they can also be flattened, using a flatten tool. Flattening makes the graphics on a markup a permanent part of the static page content.
The topics in this section cover the whole range of PDF stamp usage- everything from basic use and creation of stamps to advanced dynamic stamps and automating the placement of stamps on document pages.