"I am marking up a drawing and created an octagon shape. I wanted to fill it in with a pattern – where can I find patterns? I thought I used this before but can’t seem to find it.I decided to make some custom stamps for him using Adobe Illustrator, but I wanted a way for him to be able to make his own stamps to suit his particular needs.
For a short period of time many years ago, I worked at an engineering firm in the marketing department. Part of my job was to create powerpoint presentations. I actually had to recreate many of the graphics I had made in Illustrator, using the drawing tools available to me in powerpoint. The drawing experience was not as elegant as using Illustrator, but it proved valuable because I learned that, in a pinch, powerpoint has some decent drawing tools available. There are a good sized collection of basic shapes to choose from. These screenshots are from Office for Mac 2011, but I imagine all versions of powerpoint have these shapes as well.
|Powerpoint Basic Shapes|
|An Octagon as a basic Shape in a Powerpoint document|
|Powerpoint Fill Effects|
Finally, remove the drop shadow by unchecking "Shadow."
|Patterned Octagon on a Powerpoint Slide|
|Save as PDF|
|Tools > Print Production|
|Set Page Boxes|
That will bring up this screen. Now, if you happen to know the exact amount you should crop, or if you want to set your page to a particular known size, this dialog box is great for that. But for your purposes today, it's not very useful. You see, I don't know where exactly my octagon is placed on the page, and I don't know exactly how big it is. What I really what is a way to just draw a box around the octagon and crop to that. So Press Cancel.
|Set Page Boxes UI|
Next, press C. That will change your cursor from a hand into crosshairs. This is a hidden feature of Acrobat XI. Years ago, I think that the Crop tool was a separate tool, and you could use it without having to go into a dialog box first. Fortunately for me, the shortcut for the Crop tool is the same as it is in Photoshop. So zoom in close to the Octagon (Cmd/Ctrl +) and draw a marquee around your octagon.
Now press Enter/Return. That will bring up the Set Pages dialog box, but this time, the fields will be pre-populated!
|Set Page Boxes with fields Pre-populated|
Now see how the PDF page size has changed? Note: hover over the lower left corner of the gray area in Acrobat and it will temporally display the page size.
Now your patterned octagon is reay for use as a custom stamp. Go to Using Illustrator to Make Patterned Stamps for Engineering Drawings and start with Step 7: Create a Custom Stamp.