Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Repurposing Acrobat's Built-in Stamps

Did you know that Acrobat has a variety of built-in stamps? There are several stamp libraries, to serve basic office needs:

Standard Business Stamps
Sign Here Stamps
Dynamic Stamps
But recently, I needed a sign-here stamp with the arrow pointing to the right (instead of to the left). I wanted to use the same design as the original Sign Here stamp, so how to access the vector file?

I did a little digging and found where the stamps are hiding. These file paths are for the English language stamps, but the stamps for the other languages are located nearby.

Applications > Adobe Acrobat XI Pro > Contents > Built In > Comments.acroplugin > Stamps > ENU

The file path for Acrobat DC is: Applications > Adobe Acrobat > Contents > Plugin > Comments.acroplugin > Contents > Resources > Stamps > ENU

What's curious about the stamps in this folder is that there are some additional sets of stamps that Acrobat doesn't load. Take "Faces" for example. This was the very first set of stamps that I ever recall seeing. I think it was back in Acrobat 4. I remember thinking, "That's stupid! Why would anyone use stamps?"

What was Adobe thinking?

Faces Stamps
Also nearby are a few other stamp libraries.

Words Stamps

Pointer Stamps
So, how to repurpose these stamps? Simply open them in Illustrator. In this case, I have opened the SignHere.pdf stamp file in Illustrator. Because this file was made many years ago (before Illustrator had art boards), you'll be asked to choose which page you want to open.

Next, select the red arrow and reflect it.
Then, scoot the arrow into place.
Save the file with a new name and go back to Acrobat.

Now we'll make a custom stamp. Go to Comments > Stamp Tool > Custom Stamps > Create Custom Stamp. Then navigate to the PDF you just made.

In a previous post, I thought that you first had to crop the page size in order for the custom stamp to work properly. But I was wrong. Acrobat will use the artwork dimensions (as opposed to the artboard dimensions).

From the Category drop down menu, choose "Sign Here." Give your stamp a name, then click OK.

Now, your right-pointing Sign Here stamp is added to the Sign Here stamp Library!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Atlantic Triangles Waves Afghan Pattern

In addition to being a graphic designer ad technical publisher, I am also an avid knitter, and I enjoy designing afghans based on geometric shapes. I designed this afghan after a trip to the Atlantic ocean. To read about the backstory, click here.

Would you like to purchase the pattern for this afghan?


This afghan is modular, constructed entirely in garter stitch. It uses one color at a time, and is easily adapaptable to a variety of yarns and colorways. I find it is a great use for the odds and ends of yarn that I have built up in my stash.

The repeating triangles compose a rythm. Should you choose to use of a variety of yarns in the design, the triangles will add some continuity to the piece. The white row separators serve as a visual respite between the triangles of color, and add further uniformity to the overall design.

Design Notes

The afghan can be constructed simply be repeating a series of triangles, rectangles, and trapezoids. Each stripe is constructed from the bottom up, using only one color at a time.

The long divider bars that separate the stripes are completed after the entire length of the strips are knitted. Using grafting, these long divider bars join the strips together.

Because this pattern is based on triangles, you can create new designs by rearranging the triangles and trapezoids.

While most of afghan is created using knitted garter stitch, one small section is created using purled garter stitch.

Final Size: 76" x 133"


I used Plymouth Encore, worsted weight: 100 g balls (200 yards/ball).
MC (Colored) yarn: 12 balls, 2 each of six different colors
(1 ball for each strip of 7 triangles).
CC (White) yarn: 5 balls.

Big enough to fit an entire family under!

Would you like to purchase the pattern for this afghan?

Monday, August 10, 2015

Using the Links Panel to Locate the Original Raw Image

Have you ever worked on an InDesign document and needed to locate one of the original images? Take for example, this InDesign layout. It has a nice photo, but the photo is too small and I want to locate the larger version of it. I know I have the original photo somewhere, because I took the photo.

But did you know that InDesign can help you locate the original RAW file? Read the entire article at InDesign Secrets.