Ok, Custom Dynamic Stamps, I hear ya!

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Sorry, but, I get asked this question almost every day! How do I create a custom stamp in Acrobat 8 Professional or Acrobat 3D Version 8?

How do I add my user name and date like in the standard stamps in Acrobat, or better put, How do I create a custom dynamic stamp.


Well, that is the million dollar question today. I was recently at one of the largest EPC firms and that question came up in every group I talked to. I feel your pain, and understand, this is a feature that we need to add to Acrobat 8 Professional and Acrobat 3d version 8 (Hopefully we can get it spec’d for Acrobat 9).


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How to create a custom stamp?



First off let me preface this with if you work for a large company, you need to comply with the internal standards for stamps used today. Stamps have legal implications. So, please check with your standards committee or IT group before going willy nilly into stamp creation.


Second note that this is NOT a supported work flow by Adobe and just a cool tip and trick, so please don’t call customer support if you mess up your stamps.


Ok, now that I have covered my backside, let’s jump in. I’ll show you how to do this, but let’s walk before we run.


Creating your Custom Stamp

First off, take a step back and think about it, when creating your new whoopee wow stamp, don’t go and scan in your stamp and have a 2 Mb file. Because when you start applying this monster you will be adding 2 Mb each time! Use a graphic program such as Photoshop or Illustrator. I personally use Illustrator because it is vector graphics, and it will save and work natively as PDF files, and the Illustrator .ai file will compress very well into a PDF and the PDF will stay a vector file! Also they scale very well when applied as stamps! Here is a view of my stamp in Illustrator, and a file size comparison:





As you can see, the PDF file is 1/3 the size of the Illustrator file and still a vector file.


Ok so let’s get to the steps for creating a custom stamp. Here, I have turned on my Comment & Markup tool bar by right mouse clicking on the tool bars and clicking on show Comment & Markup toolbar. This in not a necessary step, I just did it here for clarity.


Ok here we go:


Select the stamp tool button and go down to and select Create Custom Stamp… you will see the Select Image for Custom Stamp dialogue box shown below



Now select Browse and select your stamp





Once up see your stamp in the preview window hit OK. You will see the diagloge box shown below, if you have never created a custom stamp before create a new Category by typing a new name in the category pull down. Note that it will not say to type here for new category but just trust me on this one! Give you new stamp a name, and if you used PDF then Uncheck the Down sample stamp to reduce file size; if you use a TIFF or BMP file or a native file format then leave this checked.



Click OK



Now let’s check your new stamp by inserting it into your file. When you go to the insert stamps location you will see your new category listed and your new fancy stamp listed.




Pretty cool huh! Well we are have way there, LOL! So far it has been pretty straight forward, from here on out this is a procedure that is not supported by Adobe, so please if you don’t get what you wanted do not call customer support, but add it as a comment here on the blog site.


Adding the dynamic gizmo to your custom stamps


Ok here is the part you must take a bit slowly because it is not 100% straight forward.


Go to your LOCAL Settings and go to this directory. In my case it is the following:

C:\Documents and Settings\thuff\Application Data\Adobe\Acrobat\8.0\Stamps

You will replace thuff with your information.

In that directory there will be one or many (based on how many custom stamps you have) very strangely named files, in my case the file name is; NsZpGu5eHSwLlyVa5gRhsC.pdf if you want to change the name do it now! If you do it later this will probably fail!


Now sort by date and open the newest file in Acrobat 8 Professional.


Ok good do you have it open? It’s ok I can wait………Ok now let’s move to another directory that is equally hard to find, this will be where the stamps that ship with Acrobat 8 Professional are stored.


On a standard Acrobat installation the location will be:


C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 8.0\Acrobat\plug_ins\Annotations\Stamps\ENU


Double click on Dynamic.PDF to open in Acrobat 8



Now, make sure you go down a couple of pages in Dynamic.PDF till you see a stamp that has By:foozle at 8:50pm, Aug 25,2004, the one I choose was the REVIEWED Stamp



Now if you have never used the forms technology in Acrobat this may get tricky just go slow and follow along. In Acrobat 8 Professional and Acrobat 3D Version 8 you can go to the Tools menu pull down and then select Forms on the fly out select Edit Layout your stamp should look like this below


Select the field, when it turns red, Right Mouse Click and select Copy.


Then switch to your custom stamp and paste, you can move it to the correct location and then scale it up or down by dragging the corner areas.



Close and save your new custom stamp, do not use Save As, just hit Save.


Now let’s insert our new Dynamic Custom Stamp!


And there you go a Dynamic Custom stamp!


Whew, that one was a bit tricky and a little more technical, but something I get asked about this at least 3 times a week!


Ok all, I hope that helps, if you have any other burning questions please add them to the comments below!


Remember to put some life in your life!


Tim Huff

Acrobat for AEC

Acrobat for the AEC / EPC

13 Responses to Ok, Custom Dynamic Stamps, I hear ya!

  1. Dimitri says:

    Hi Tim,Nice writeup on Dynamic Stamps- we get asked about them a lot too. Have you seen “Dynamic Stamp Secrets” at AcrobatUsers.com?http://www.acrobatusers.com/tutorials/2007/dynamic_stamp_secrets/It may be a good additional resource for your readers.Regards,Dimitri MunkirsWindJack Solutionswww.windjack.com————————————————————-Tim response:Thanks Dimitiri, Yes AcrobatUsers.com is a wealth of Information, I do some ghost writing there, and monitor the forums, thanks for hanging out here, plese put a link to us on your site if you can! thanks Again.

  2. Andrea says:

    Hi Tim,I have a problem with thsi procedure:my Adobe Acrobat 8.0 doesn’t have the “fonts” menu under “tools”. How can I make it appear?Tnx, Andrea—————————————————————Whoops, that should be FORMS menu under TOOLS.ThanksTim

  3. Andrea says:

    Sorry,I made confusion and I miss spelled it (late evening after over time trying to tame the Acrobat beast…).I’m missing the “form” menu, I have got only the other four. Therefore I cannot copy-paste the dynamic fature on the stamp (I have got Adobe Acrobat Standard 8.0.0). Any idea on how to do that?Tnx again, Andr_____________________________________________Tim Response:Ah yes this can only be done with Acrobat 8 Professional and Acrobat 3D Version 8, sorry for the confusion.

  4. Richard says:

    Hi Tim,I am an accountant and have the need of a number-er stamp, one that will increment with each press.(Of course be able to reset to any number in case of error). This to put a unique page number on disparate documents such as working papers.Ideally, the stamp would show my initials, the client name, the date and time, and the page number which would increment with each press. I dont see ANYTHING other than “daters”, no concept of “numberers”. Any thoughts?

  5. Phil says:

    When I insert the field, it shows all of the information until I try and resize the box, then it will only display the time and date. Any thoughts?

  6. Leon Snell says:

    We want to use the Dynamic, Approved stamp in Adobe Acrobat 6.0 Standard but the date is US format – month, date, year.Can it be changed to the European format – date, month, year?For example, if we see 4/12/07 we think its 4th December when its actually 12th April – that’s the problem!!Many thanksLeon Snell (England)

  7. David Netzley says:

    I need to be able to add a dynamic date stamp to a document when it is printed. Is there a way to do this?

  8. David Netzley says:

    I need to be able to add a dynamic date stamp to a document when it is printed. Is there a way to do this?

  9. John Dugat says:

    Is there a way for the created stamps to be available for all users?

  10. John Dugat says:

    Is there a way for the created stamps to be available for all users?

  11. John Dugat says:

    Great Tutorial, Tim!I created a few stamps and your method worked great! I logged in as another user and all the stamps were gone, but they were available to the original user that created the stamps. Is there anyway to create stamps so that they will be available to all users?Thanks again for all your efforts!

  12. Brian says:

    We need to use a time/date stamp function for online order placing. How can that be done in Acrobat 8?

  13. Gute Arbeit hier! Gute Inhalte.