Posts in Category "Commenting and Annotations and Stamps"

Adding a Circle Stamp in Acrobat or Reader

I hate filling out paper forms! Not only is my handwriting terrible, but the whole print/scan/send routine is time consuming.

Fortunately, both Adobe Acrobat and Reader have the hand Sign pane which let’s you add text, add checkmarks and sign a document:

00_sign_pane

 

While these tools are great, they don’t cover all of the use cases for typical paper forms, for example one like this:

01_use_case

On a paper form, you’d simply circle either Yes or No, but that is missing from the Sign pane in Acrobat. Fortunately, you can easily include a Circle Stamp. The procedure below works in either Adobe Reader XI or Acrobat.

Download the Stamps

Both Reader XI and Acrobat can use existing PDF files as stamps. While Acrobat can convert virtually any artwork to PDF, Reader cannot. To help out, I’ve included three Circle Stamps below (Red, Blue, Black) which you can import and use. Download these to your computer and follow the steps below.

red_circle_stamp (9k PDF)

black_circle_stamp (9k PDF)

blue_circle_stamp (9k PDF)

These small PDFs each are small circles with a diameter of 12 points.

Creating the Custom Stamp

Follow these steps to import that stamp

  1. Choose Comment Pane > Annotations > Stamps
    02_stamps_pane
  2. Click Stamps Tool and choose the flyout menu> Create Custom Stamp:

    03_stamps_flyout

  3. Click Import, and select the stamp file you downloaded from my example above.
    04_select_stamp
  4. Choose a category from the menu or type a new category name (such as My Circle Stamps), name the custom stamp (e.g. Blue Circle), and then click OK.

    05_name_stamp

Apply a stamp

Once you have created the stamp, you can apply it to your document.

  1. Click the Stamp tool. The most recently used stamp is selected.
  2. In the Stamps Palette, choose a category from the menu, and then select a stamp.
  3. Click the document page where you want to place the stamp, or drag a rectangle to define the size and placement of the stamp.

NOTE: If you haven’t provided a name in the Identity preferences, the Identity Setup dialog box prompts you to do so.

Below, I’ve applied the stamp.

05a_stamp_applied

Change a stamp’s location or appearance

I purposefully made the stamps included with this article small. When you apply the stamp, you can click and drag to scale it or do os later.

Below are the general instructions for using stamps. Using the Select tool or the Hand tool, you can do any of the following with the stamp selected:

  • To move a stamp, drag it to a new location.
  • To resize a stamp, click it, and then drag a corner handle.
  • To rotate a stamp, click it, move the pointer over the handle at the top of the stamp, and drag when the rotate stamp icon appears.
  • To delete a stamp, right-click the stamp and choose Delete.
  • To change the stamp’s opacity or the color of its pop-up note, right-click the stamp, and choose Properties. In the Appearance tab, set the opacity or color.

Creating a “Favorite” Stamp

If you regularly use a Stamp, you can add it to your favorites. It will then appear at the top of the stamp list.

  1. Using the Select tool or the Hand tool, select a stamp markup on the page.
  2. In the Annotations panel, click the Stamp tool and choose Add Current Stamp To Favorites.

 Repeatedly using the Same Stamp

Sometimes, you may want to use the circle stamp repeatedly. Use this trick to avoid having to reselect the tool

Right-click on the Stamp Tool and choose “Keep Tool Selected”:

06_keep_selected

Hosting a Shared Review: An Alternative to Acrobat.com

An Acrobat Shared Review allows multiple people, in real time, to add notes and comments on a PDF. In order to do so, you need a server or shared resources such as SharePoint or a network folder. Both of these are great solutions for behind the firewall reviews.

To see a short video of how Shared Review works, click here.

Occasionally, you may need to have an open review with multiple participants or collaborate with others across multiple domains. For these open reviews, many of our customers used our Acrobat.com service which made the process simple.

In January 2014, we announced that Workspaces on Acrobat.com will be retired in January 2015.  That means that Acrobat.com will longer be an option for hosting Shared Reviews. Fortunately, Acrobat supports the WebDav protocol, so that is a great replacement for open reviews which were the forte of Acrobat.com.

I recently purchased a yearly subscription to an inexpensive webdav service from SqueakSoft webdav service. No particular reason, but that came up first in Google and it is only $6 per year.

You can, of course, use webdav on other hosting providers and cloud services.

Here’s how to get started with the SqueakSoft service and getting it working in Acrobat.

Purchase SqueakSoft

Go to SqueakSoft webdav service, then click on the Order Now link.

000_plan

 

In the next screen, enter your desired WebDav username.

001_signup

Add the service to your cart and complete the transaction. You will be asked to create an account to manage access to the WebDav service and you will also need to create a password for your WebDav service.

It might take a few minutes or more for the service to be activated.

Configuring Acrobat to use the WebDav Service

  1. Open a PDF you want to review in Acrobat
  2. Open the Comments pane, then Send for Shared Review002_send_shared_review

     

  3. From the menu, choose: Automatically collect comments on my own internal server003_shared_setup_1
  4. Click the Next button
  5. In the next screen: Choose Web server folder
  6.  Type in: http://webdavhost.net/YOURWEBDAVUSERNAME/
    (replace the all caps text above with the username you created on the SqueakSoft service)004_webdave_usernameYou will be prompted for your WebDav username (name you chose in the Cart screen above) and WebDav password.
  7. Click the Next button
  8. Click the Next button TWICE
  9. Name the Server Location anything you want, e.g.: SqueakSoft Open WebDav005_name_server 
  10. Click the Next button
  11. Fill in the email address for the reviewer(s)006_reviewer_names

     

  12. Click the Send button
    This will send the Review-enabled PDF via your default email client to reviewers.

What happens on the server?

Acrobat will create a small review folder on the WebDav server which allows all clients to sync comments to it:

007_webdav_stuff

Note, in the workflow above, I am suggesting that you email the document to your recipient rather than upload it to the WebDav server. This way, the WebDav server is only used to store the comments, not the document itself. SqueakSoft offers a huge amount bandwidth for a very small amount of money. If you are only using the service to sync the comments (my recommendation), then you would have enough space to conduct many thousands and thousand of reviews.

Each comment is saved as an obfuscated XML file. Anyone who would try to view the comments in a web browser by typing in http://webdavhost.net/YOURWEBDAVUSERNAME/ would be prompted for a log-in.

What is the Shared Review experience like for the recipient?

As part of the process above, the review PDF is emailed to your recipient.

When they open the PDF, they will see a message like this:

008_connect_message

The recipient clicks the Connect button, and then is presented some information about the review such as the Review Deadline, review team, etc.:

009_review_team

The document will open and your recipient can and respond to comments made by everyone on the team.

A status bar at the top allows users to publish and retrieve comments which are synchronized to the PDF document in real time:

010_status_bar

How do I find out more about Shared Review?

Here’s two QuickStart Guides. Enjoy!

Comment in a PDF file with Adobe® Acrobat® XI
adobe-acrobat-xi-comment-in-a-pdf-file-tutorial_ue

Send a PDF file for shared review with Adobe® Acrobat® XI
adobe-acrobat-xi-send-pdf-for-shared-review-tutorial-ue

Real Time Transcripts, Collaboration and More

Adobe® Connect™ is Adobe’s web conferencing platform for web meetings, eLearning, and webinars. My guess is that most legal professionals have taken part in a web conference which allows for computer screen sharing and collaboration. Most large law firms have access to webinar services hosted by one of the major web conferencing platforms such as Adobe Connect, WebEx, Go to Meeting, etc.

One thing that distinguishes Adobe Connect from other web conferencing tools is that Adobe positions it as a development platform. This allows our partners to create some really interesting tools that run on top of the platform to meet the needs of vertical markets.

In fact, when I saw StreamText Legal’s new add-ins for Adobe Connect, I was blown away.

Continue reading…

How do I sign a PDF?

I recently received this inquiry from a customer:

I get a lot of estimates to be signed for production jobs. Currently most come to me as a PDF, but some are excel. It would be very efficient if I could somehow sign these electronically and send back to the agency and copy finance (Debbie) rather than the current process of printing, signing, faxing, and giving to Debbie. Is there a way to do this?

In the past, I’ve discussed a two-step process to stamp and flatten a PDF. See Create a Transparent Signature Stamp and Flatten the stamp with a free Action.

Although the process isn’t’ difficult, Reader XI and Acrobat XI have made the process much simpler using the new Sign panel:


Interestingly, the Sign panel can also be used to stamp a signature or add text onto just about any PDF, too.

Continue reading…

Where is the Typewriter Tool in Acrobat X?

How do I find the Typewriter tool in Acrobat X?
With the changes to the user interface in Acrobat X, a few folks haven’t been able to find the Typewriter tool.

Don’t feel bad, you’re not the only one!

Adobe renamed the tool to make it easier for new users to find.

That probably won’t make you feel better . . .

The Typewriter tool is now called Add or Edit Text Box.

To get to it, open the Tools panel, then twirl down the Content section.

Acrobat X Quick Tools Bar

One nice new feature of Acrobat X is the new Quick Tools bar.

This toolbar at the top of the application window offers fast access to frequently used tools.

If you use the Typewriter tool regularly, you might try adding it to the Quick Tools bar:

  1. Right-click on the Add or Edit Text Box tool
  2. Choose Add to Quick Tools bar

Now, it’s easy to access the Typewriter tool whenever you need it:

Using the QuickTools bar in Acrobat X

Changing the Font and Style

After you click the Typewriter tool, a toolbar will open which will allow you to change various characteristics of your text:

Continue reading…

Printing Sticky Notes on a PDF

Sticky Notes are probably the most common method used to add notes and comments to PDF documents.

To add a Sticky Note, simply right-click anywhere on the page and choose Add Sticky Note. A sticky note will appear and you can add text to it easily.

Sticky notes can be minimized so that they don’t cover up your document, or left open so you can see the text inside:

Picture of Open and Minimized Sticky Note in Acrobat

One frequent question I get is how to print pages with the contents of the sticky note showing.

Picture of before and after with sticky notes printing

In this article, you’ll discover how to print a document with the sticky notes showing in Acrobat.

Continue reading…

Searching and Marking Multiple Words in a PDF

Legal Professionals often need to search across a large number of documents. Finding a key fact, name or term is an important part of how you will apply your knowledge to a case.

For example, recently a paralegal sent me this email:

An attorney I work with just gave me a list of about 50 words and phrases as part of a case. I need to mark these terms each time I find them in my case documents. Help! Is there a way I can list all of the search words in a PDF?

While many folks have discovered the Search functionality in Acrobat, Acrobat 9 and below do not offer the ability to save searches or report the results.

Oddly, the only tool in Acrobat that allows you to search for terms and mark them in a PDF is part of the Search and Redact feature. This will add a mark to the page around the search term.

Redaction highlights on a document

I wrote about using this technique in my previous article Highlighting Multiple Words in a PDF Document.

In Acrobat 9 Pro, it is possible to highlight multiple search terms using this same technique and you can do so “jiffy quick”.

But, Acrobat redactions permanently remove information!
That’s true, once you apply them. However, in this use case, we are only going to mark the words using the redaction tool, not apply them which actually removes the information.

So . . . no worries!

I’ve also included a link to Joel Geraci’s Redact to Highlight and Back, a free script for Acrobat that can convert redaction markups to standard Acrobat annotations.

In this article I’ll show you how to:

  1. Input a series of search terms and have Acrobat automatically mark them
  2. Create a new PDF which summarizes all of the words where found

Continue reading…

Add a Flatten Document Menu Item to Acrobat

NOTE: This older article only pertains to Acrobat 9. Use an Action to Flatten documents with Acrobat X or XI.

I recently did a Digital Signatures eSeminar (you can watch the recording here), and one of the top questions asked was:

How do I flatten a PDF document so my signature stamp cannot be easily removed?

In previous articles (1, 2) I’ve discussed how to scan in your signature and create a stamp which you can use to “sign” documents.

Molly Brown signature annotation

Once you place the signature on your document, it appears as an annotation in a layer on top of the base document.

This allows you to move or delete the stamp.

However, the recipient of your file can also move or delete your stamp, or print without your stamp showing.

That is worrisome . . .

The solution is to flatten the document before sending it out.

Flattening means to move the stamp information to the main document layer so it will always print and cannot be selected and deleted easily.

Many folks simply print the document to the AdobePDF print driver. However, that process takes several steps.

In this article I’ll show you how to download and install a free script that adds two menu items to Acrobat:

New Flatten Menu option added by the script

Works for Forms, too! The solution here also covers the ability to flatten form fields so that the content cannot be changed.

Read on to learn how to:

  • Download the free Flatten Pages script
  • Install the Script
  • Use the Flatten Pages feature
  • Issues and Caveats
  • Electronic vs Digital Signatures

Continue reading…

Try these Two-line Dynamic Exhibit Stamps

I received a lot of positive correspondence after I created and posted a set of Dynamic Exhibit Stamps in my blog article Add Dynamic Exhibit Stamps in Acrobat using a free stamp set.

If you followed the instructions in the article, a new, dynamic stamp was installed in the Comment and Markup toolbar.

When you use the stamp, Acrobat . . .

  1. Asks you for the case number:

    Ask for Exhibit Number dialog

  2. Stamps it on the document
    Stamp on the document

A number of lawyers pointed out that they need to stamp more than just the exhibit number.

David Masters, author of the book “The Lawyers Guide to Adobe Acrobat“, emailed me this:

In Colorado, our courts expect exhibit stickers to indicate Plaintiff’s or Defendant’s and have the case number on them.

The job then was to create a dynamic stamp which asked for two lines of input. More importantly, the stamp should be able to be customized.

Mission accomplished and delivered in this blog article!

Once applied, a stamp looks like this:

Example of two-line exhibit stamp

Read on for:

  • Credits
  • Download
  • Installation
  • How to use the stamp
  • Instructions on how to customize the stamps

Continue reading…

Add Dynamic Exhibit Stamps in Acrobat using a free stamp set

Exhibits are documents attached to pleadings or contracts which are referenced by the main document.

Exhibits generally are numbered (1, 2, 3) or lettered (A, B, C) consecutively in the order they are first encountered in the body of the referencing document (brief, contract, etc.).

In order to easily tell one exhibit from another, case documents are often stamped with an easy-to-see exhibit stamp:
.
Exhbit Stamp Sample

Since PDF is the defacto (or often mandated) eFiling standard, it didn’t come as a surprise that I’ve received a few emails on this exhibit stamping PDFs over the last couple of years.

I’ve written previously about creating custom stamps, but an Exhibit Stamp has both a static graphic element and a changing numeric or alphabetic element. I have proposed a workaround using watermarks and the typewriter tool to some firms, but that still was a lot of work.

Only recently have I come across an elegant solution that can accomplish both steps with a click! When you stamp the document, Acrobat will ask you for the exhibit number, then stamp it on the document:

Dynamic Exhibit Stamp

Read the full article to download a special stamp set that does the work for you.

Continue reading…