In This Chapter…

…we describe how to use the different StampPDF menu options to stamp your documents.

Note: Be aware that you cannot stamp secured documents. Also, a stamp is not a temporary addition to a document: any text you stamp on a PDF document becomes a permanent part of that document unless you undo the stamp immediately (with the Undo Last Stamp menu option or close the document without saving changes).

What is a Stamp?

A stamp on a PDF document is usually text that is used to further identify a document. In addition to any text that you add, variables are available to enter local date and time at the time the stamp is made, page numbers, day of the week, etc.

There are several ways to use StampPDF.

Stamping with Single Stamp…

When you stamp a document using the Single Stamp… option the following settings are available to you:

  • Set the content of the stamp text.
  • Add any “Codes” you would like to use — codes are the variables mentioned above that add dynamic data such as time and page number to documents. See Including text variables in stamps.
  • Font — fonts that are available for use. See Fonts for more information.
  • Font size — the point size you want the stamped text to be.
  • Font mode — text mode can be solid, outline or invisible.
  • Color — the stamp may be a shade of gray (including black or white) or any RGB color that you choose with the Set Color feature of the dialog box.
  • Position — there are five options for positioning a stamp:
    — Top
    — Bottom
    — Diagonal from Top Left
    — Diagonal from Bottom Left
    — Vertical Center
  • Justification — there are three options for justifying a stamp:
    — Center
    — Left
    — Right
  • Layer — a stamp may be laid under or over the original content of the PDF document that is being stamped.
  • Pages to Stamp — this can be all pages or a page range. If you choose a page range, select the first and last page to be stamped. You may use -1 to stamp to the end of the document, instead of specifying the exact last page number.
  • Page increments — you may choose to have your stamp appear on all pages or just odd pages or just even pages.

Stamping with New Stamp File…/Edit Stamp File…

Using the stamp file dialog boxes gives you additional flexibility with stamps. When using a stamp file, you can control the margins that bound the page that is being stamped, and you can apply more than one stamp to a document at one time. The extra features available in the New Stamp File… and Edit Stamp File… dialog boxes are:

  • Multiple stamps — stamping with a stamp file means you can apply more than one stamp at a time. You can give each stamp you make a name, and that name appears in a list.
  • Word-wrapping — a check box allows you to turn on word-wrapping for stamp text.
  • Margins — set the margins for the page as you would like them to appear.

Example: Stamping a Document with Single Stamp

Now you’re ready to start stamping documents. The first task is to decide what you want the stamp to look like. Refer back to the previous section, “Stamping with Single Stamp…”, and remember that there are a lot of options to consider: font, stamp placement, pages to stamp, etc.

Note: It’s a good idea to do a test stamp with a sample document before stamping your own PDF documents to get a feel for how the product works.

Deciding what to stamp

For this example, you will stamp a three-line identification stamp in the top-left corner of the document, that includes your company name, the date and the page number. Something like this:

This document belongs to My Company, Inc.
This stamp was applied 9/26/2001 at 2:10:10 PM
This is page 1 of 1

Step-by-step applying a stamp

  1. In Adobe Acrobat, open the sample.pdf that is in your samples directory (the default location is C:\Appligent\StampPDF\samples).
  2. Go to the StampPDF Menu > Single Stamp… to bring up the StampPDF Single Stamp dialog box:

    Single stamp interface

  3. Enter the first line of the text of the stamp. This document belongs to My Company, Inc. 
  4. To make a new line use the newline variable — %n.The %n code is a variable for a new line and is listed in the Codes drop-down list. The full list of codes is shown in Including text variables in stamps. Codes can be entered either from the drop-down list or by typing. Once you get familiar with the codes it may be easier to key them in instead of selecting them from the drop-down list. Other codes that are used in this example stamp are:
    • %x — Date (format m/dd/yyyy)
    • %X — Time (format h:mm:ss AM/PM)
    • %g — Page Number
    • %G — Number of Page

    Note: To copy and paste text to/from the text box, right click on the text box and choose the appropriate option.

  5. To enter codes from the drop-down list, select the item to insert and click the Insert button when you have made your selection. See StampPDF Variables for the full list of codes along with examples of how to use selected codes.
  6. You should see the following text:


    Once the text of the stamp is entered with your text and any codes that you choose, you may move on to styling and positioning your stamp.

  7. Choose your font — choose the point size and font type that you want to use. The default font size for applying a single stamp is 12 points. See Fonts for the list of available fonts.Stamps can be applied in Solid, Outline, or Invisible text.
    • Solid text is normal printed text.
    • Outline text looks like this:   Outline text example
    • Invisible text is useful for adding hidden but searchable text to a document.
  8. Choose your color — stamps that you create can be grayscale (black, white, or somewhere in between) or a color. The default color is black.To make gray stamps, make sure the Gray radio button is selected and use the slider or enter an integer in the text box for the degree of gray that you would like. Black is 0 and white is 100, so a high value will give a light gray and a low value will give a dark gray.

    To make color stamps, select the Color radio button and click the Set Color button. Clicking Set Color brings up the Color window:

    Color dialog

  9. You may choose one of the “Basic Colors” or click on Define Custom Colors.This option expands the Color window to include an area to design your own colors either by setting values for Red, Green and Blue, or by adjusting the cursor in the color panel.

    You may save colors that you like by adding them to Custom Colors. In the illustration, three colors have been added to custom colors. The crosshairs in the color panel show where in the panel the most recent color added is located.


    You may already have a specific color that you need to use. In this case, setting Red, Green and Blue separately is probably the most accurate method.

    A useful website including color tables is Visibone Webmaster’s Color Lab.

    In the sample stamp that you are creating, keep the default as black.

  10. Choose the stamp position — There are five choices for position available from a drop-down list. They are: Top, Bottom, Diagonal from Top Left, Diagonal from Bottom Left, and Vertical Center. The Top and Bottom positions are generally used for headers and footers, respectively, and the diagonal positions are good for watermarks. This sample stamp is a header, so choose Top for the position.
  11. Choose justification — There are three choices for justifying your stamp: Left, Right, and Center. If you are using a diagonal stamp, you will probably want to have it also centered on the page, so be sure that Center is selected. For your sample stamp, set the justification to Left.
  12. Options for the Layer parameter, Underlay and OverlayChoose your layer — For Layer there are two choices: Underlay and Overlay.
    places the stamp underneath the current PDF content. This is useful for watermarks or other stamps that should not obstruct the body of the document. Underlaid stamps are not visible under images or otherwise opaque pages.

    is best for stamping on documents that have images and/or the text page has been scanned in so that it is effectively an image.

    Since your sample stamp is not a watermark, choose to overlay the stamp. The stamp will appear on an area of the page where there is no need to worry about it obstructing other text. Overlaying the stamp also ensures that it is not covered up by any hidden text or images. See other considerations for using layers below.

  13. Choose which pages to stamp — The default for StampPDF is for a stamp to be placed on every page (note that the All radio button is selected).Click on the Range radio button and choose a start page and an end page. A page number of -1 can be used to specify the last page of the file. Options are provided for stamping odd or even pages of your page range.

    For your sample stamp, choose to place the stamp on every page. In some cases, if you have a cover, for example, that you would not like stamped, you can choose to stamp from pages 2 to -1. Or if you would like the stamp to be left-justified on even pages and right-justified on odd pages you can apply the stamp twice, making changes only to the Position and Pages settings.

    When you are done with your sample stamp set up and have clicked the Stamp button, the first page of the document will have a stamp like this:

    Multiline stamp example

Considerations for using layers

  • Setting Layer to underlay is useful for preventing obstruction of the original PDF content. However, also consider using outline text with overlaid text which will also significantly reduce obscuring effects.
  • Text you stamp under PDF text will obscure PDF text if it is the same color as the stamp text. Choose a color to make the stamp stand out from the overlaid text.
  • Underlaid text stamped on PDF documents that are scanned as image files (rather than OCR text files) will not be visible. For these types of documents use an overlaid stamp.
  • Some PDF files contain hidden text and images. Underlaid text will not be visible under hidden images. Overlay stamped text to avoid this problem.
  • Under some circumstances, the combination of the printer driver and the application used to create the PDF document will create a white rectangle behind the PDF text. An underlaid stamp will be hidden by the body of the PDF text and images. If you encounter this situation, create an overlay stamp at the top or bottom of the document, or use overlaid outlined text.