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Custom Sticky Notes Using Custom Stamps

An acrobatusers.com forum member posed the question:

I can’t figure out how to change the size of the sticky note icon. Is it possible to change the size of the icon? I can change the size the the sticky note it’s self, but not the icon.

The (correct) response from forum moderator Lori Kassuba was:

You cannot change the size of the sticky note icon only the size of the pop-up.

This got me thinking…if you would like to have a resizable sticky note, and you can’t use the built-in Sticky Note, why not create your own using Acrobat’s Custom Stamps?

Stamp annotations can be resized and rotated, and have their own pop-ups for you to enter text in to. Sound like a good idea to you? Then read on to learn how to create your own if you haven’t done that before. These instructions apply to Acrobat 8, but work similarly in previous versions.

First of all, create your customer stamp in whatever application you prefer to use, or find one online that you are legally allowed to use (in this case, I’m gratefully using one from the Simplistica Icon Set at http://dryicons.com/).

You can either convert that stamp to PDF, if it isn’t already. Or if it’s one of the file formats that Acrobat can convert directly, just keep it in that format.

Now in Acrobat, open the Manage Custom Stamps dialog box by clicking on the Review & Comment taskbar button and choosing Comment and Markup Tools > Stamps > Manage Stamps… You can also get to this command from the Stamp tool drop-down menu on the Review & Comment toolbar or from the Comments menu.


Once that is open click “Create” and browse to your PDF or image containing your customer stamp for your custom sticky note.

After clicking OK a couple of times, the Create Custom Stamp dialog will open. You can reselect the image for stamp. I assume you don’t change your mind that quickly, so we’ll skip that and go to straight to setting the Category and Name.


The Category is a good way to organize custom stamps. Although you can choose one of the existing ones in Acrobat, I suggest creating your own category. In this case I’ve created a new category called “My Stamps” by typing in to the field.

The Name is very important. Use a short but descriptive name: luckily when you go to choose your custom stamp in the future Acrobat will present a preview of it, so you don’t have to be too explicit.

If the image you chose was a large, high-resolution one, Acrobat gives you the option to downsample it so it’s smaller and easier to manage.


Once you’ve clicked OK a couple more times, you’ll be able to use your new stamp. The easiest way to do is to use the Stamps Palette. Else, just select it from the Stamp Tool drop-down list and click on the page.

To resize it, click on the stamp once, and then click and drag out (or in) one of the corner handles. To rotate it, grab the handle at the top, click and drag it to the left or the right. Finally to add a pop-up note, just like the built-in Sticky Note, double-click the custom stamp.


Having fun with reviewing PDF documents now? Oh, we’ve only just begun!


    I need for the sticky note to contain named field and fields for data entry. I want to attach a sticky note to a .pdf, enter some data, pass the .pdf on to someone else where they can add some data and send the .pdf back to me.

    The Forms route would be acceptable if it could be attached to a .pdf just like a sticky note.

    Any thoughts?

    That’s great that you are teching technology to kids! I just found your blog and it’s really good! I’m going to read more posts!

    I tried this with the stamp but it has the yellow sticky note attached as shown in your example. I don’t want that sticky note to be shown, how can I get rid of it?????

      If I understand correctly, you’ll see the little sticky note next to the stamp when there is text in a pop-up associated with that stamp. Double-click the stamp to open the pop-up, then delete any text you see. That will remove the little sticky note icon.

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