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!