1/4/2018: The checkbox bug appears to be fixed. If you’ve had trouble with the checkboxes working, please download and reinstall the custom command and recreate your stamps. Also, to reduce confusion, I’ve removed the commend that reference the bug. If you continue to experience the bug, please leave a new comment.
When a user places your stamp, it will automatically create an input dialog based on the properties you set when adding the fields. Fields that were set to be required will also be required by the stamp dialog; the user won’t be able to dismiss the dialog with the OK button until those fields have a valid value. Speaking of… the stamp dialog will also honor any validation parameters in your field so if you want the dialog to accept only numbers in a certain range or only dates that occur in the past, just set that up in your field.
If the user decides they don’t need that stamp after all or don’t have enough information to complete it, they can just hit Cancel. Some special code in the dialog will delete the stamp immediately after it’s placed.
You can get started by downloading the Custom Command then import it into Acrobat Pro DC. If you aren’t familiar with importing Custom Commands, follow the instructions after clicking on the button below.Importing a Custom Command
After importing, a new Custom Command labeled “pPDF: Create Dynamic Stamp” should appear in your list of Custom Commands.
How to Create Your Stamp
As I mentioned above, after running the custom command, your stamp will be able to create its own input dialog as long as you follow a few simple rules. These instructions assume a working knowledge of how to create a PDF form. If you don’t know how to do that, read Convert existing forms to fillable PDFs.
- Create your stamp artwork. I prefer using Adobe Illustrator but any tool capable of creating a PDF will work. It’s best to create the stamp at the size you intend to use it. Stamps can be resized in Acrobat and Reader but if you make it the right size to start with, you’ll get more consistent results across the drawings you place it on.
Note: The stamp must be a single page PDF.
- Use Adobe Acrobat DC to add fields to your stamp. Once a dynamic stamp is placed on the page, the fields are no longer interactive so the tool only supports form fields that make sense when they are “flattened”. The tool will interpret the properties of text fields, checkboxes, radio buttons, and dropdown lists. You can add other kinds of fields, but the dialog creation code will ignore them. Follow the field rules below when creating your stamp. Following the rules will help the tool create a dialog that accurately reflects the input your stamp requires.
- Once your stamp is ready, be sure to save your file then select the Action Wizard from the Tools pane in Acrobat DC.
- Click the pPDF: Create Dynamic Stamp command from the list of Custom Commands in the right-hand panel.
- Enter a stamp category.
- The stamp will automatically get saved to your user stamp folder and the new document will close. Your original PDF file will not be modified.
- Restart Acrobat to see your stamp in the list of stamps.
|Field Type||Description and Rules|
|Text||Text fields are converted to input fields in the dialog based on the following rules.
Text fields are expressed in the dialog as a set of two elements, a label on the left and an editable input field on the right. The field tooltip will be used as the label. If the field does not contain a tooltip, the field name will be used.
Default Values: The default value of the text field will be loaded into the dialog when it first opens. Users may edit this value or leave it as is.
|Checkbox||Checkbox fields are converted to checkbox fields in the dialog based on the following rules.
Checkbox fields are expressed in the dialog as a single element, a check box on the left with a label on the right. The field tooltip will be used as the label. If the field does not contain a tooltip, the field name will be used.
Default Values: The default checked value of the check field will determine if the checkbox in the dialog is checked when the dialog first opens. Users may edit this value or leave it as is.
|Radio Button||Radio Button fields are converted to a collection of radio buttons in the dialog based on the following rules.
Default Values: The default selected value of the radio button field will determine if the radio button in the dialog is selected when the dialog first opens. Users may edit this value or leave it as is.
|Dropdown list||Dropdown fields on a stamp wouldn’t seem to make sense at first but they make perfect sense in a dialog box where there may be too many options to present for the value to be expressed as a set of radio buttons. Fortunately, if you set the field on the PDF to be read-only with no border, Acrobat won’t add the little down arrow at the end of the appearance and it looks like a regular text field. Even though the field isn’t editable in the PDF, you can still use its properties to create a dropdown in the dialog and the field value can be set programmatically via the dialog.
Dropdown list fields are converted to dropdowns in the dialog based on the following rules.
Dropdown list fields (comboboxes) are expressed in the dialog as a set of two elements, a label on the left and a dropdown field on the right. If the dropdown field allows user input, the dropdown in the dialog will be presented as a text field with a dropdown list. If the dropdown field does not allow user input, a simple dropdown is shown. The field tool tip will be used as the label. If the field does not contain a tooltip, the field name will be used.
Default Values: The default selected value of the dropdown field will be selected in the dropdown element when the dialog first opens. Users may edit this value or leave it as is.
The script that creates the dialog will use the geometry of the fields to determine the dialog layout. The dialog elements will populate based on the upper-left coordinate of the field in order from top to bottom then left to right. So in the example form, The radio group is at the top followed by the check boxes and then the date field will appear above the name (the “by” field). Download the sample form using the icon to the left.
- Please use the comments section to request new features or report any problems.
- If you are interested in using this tool but don’t want my logo popping up every time a stamp gets used, I’m happy to provide a version without a logo or add your own for a small fee.
- If you find the tool useful as-is, please consider supporting further development by tossing something into my tip jar using my PayPal.Me link.