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moho 21. Jan 2011 05:24 PM

free pdf stamper?
Hi guys-

I think I have a tough one here. I am looking for a free pdf stamping tool.

My goal is to be able to be able to sign pdf documents without having to do through the pain of printing them out, signing them, scanning them back in, reassembling them into a multipage pdf, and then emailing back to the sender.

I have attempted to use Photoshop Elements (v1.0, lol) and GIMP to create digital copies in various file formats (jpg, png, tif), but I'm having issues with the transparent background inserting itself into the pdf properly.

Another work around is to take a screenshot of the pdf to open in GIMP, and insert the signature in that manner. This is doable, but still pretty much a pain in the butt.

Apparently, the answer to this problem is to use a stamping tool, that allows you to upload your image, and "stamps" it into the appropriate location w/the appropriate transparency -- in other words, still being able to see the line underneath the signature. However, usually pdf applications that come with this tool are costly. Right now I use PDF X-Change Viewer to view and edit pdfs, and pdfSam to assemble/reorganize pdfs. The former does have this feature, but NOT in the free version :(

Does anyone know of a freeware version of this feature that stands alone, or can integrate into either of these programs?


torres-no-tan-magnifico 21. Jan 2011 07:16 PM

Hope this helps:

moho 21. Jan 2011 07:48 PM


Originally Posted by torresmagnifico (Post 44639)

I'll double check this one, but I don't think it's quite what I need. I need something that will actually "stamp" a physical representation of my signature onto a pdf. Not a "digital signature", so to speak.

I will download it and double check though :) If it works, I'll pop back on and let folks know.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Jojo Yee 22. Jan 2011 02:08 AM

Adding watermark probably can achieve the purpose with PDFill PDF Tools mentioned in this article.

moho 22. Jan 2011 07:03 PM

Alright, I figured it out. There seem to be 2 good options. I'll post the one I used first, and post the other option in the next few days when I get some more time.

Both options involve first scanning your signature into an editing program such as Gimp. The easiest way I've found to do this is like so:

1. Use a pen (preferably black) to write your signature on a white piece of paper. If you need lines to guide you, put a lined piece of paper underneath the one you are actually signing.

2. Scan this into your image program. I got the best results scanning it in in color rather than grayscale or black and white. I used a resolution of 300 dpi.

3. Crop the image as close to the signature as possible.

4. Adjust the transparency of the white portion of the image by using a Color > Alpha type function. In Gimp this feature is found by going to Layer > Transparency > Color to Alpha. Chances are that it will be selecting the white by default, so all you have to do at that point is hit "Apply". To be sure of your results before you hit apply, make sure the "Preview" box is checked.

5. Save the image in png format. Be sure to select the appropriate options in the dialog that pops up. Especially the Save Background Color.

Ok, from here you have 2 options.

OPTION #1 -- Use PDF X-Change Viewer
This method essentially allows you to create a "custom" stamp, since the Signature feature is disabled in the free version of this program.

1. Open the pdf you need to sign.

2. Go to Tools > Comment and Mark Up Tools > Show Stamps Palette.

3. The Stamps Palette Dialog will then pop up. Now select "Create From Image".

4. Browse to the location on your computer that your image is saved to. Click "Open".

5. The image should now be in the Stamps Palette Dialog. Make sure it is highlighted in a light orange color, verifying that it is selected.

6. Close the dialog.

7. All you have to do at this point is use the "Stamp Tool" to place the signature where you want. If you have the appropriate toolbar visible, then you'll be able to find it there. You can also reposition, resize, or delete the stamp once you have placed it.

8. You may now lock the stamp in place by right clicking on it and going to Properties > Advanced > Locked.

9. Next thing you might want to do is lock down the document a bit to make it more secure. Head to File > Document Properties > Security.

10. Use the dropdown to select "Password Security", then hit "Change Settings". Here you can set the program compatibility, encryption of document/metadata/both, type of printing allowed, types of document changes allowed, enabling/disabling copying of content, text access for screen readers, and set up a password for permissions changes.

Select the features you want to implement, hit "OK", and exit out of the dialog. If you have implemented password requirement to change the document, you will see that many features on the toolbars are now grayed out. The file name will also show "(SECURED)" after it.

Pretty cool, eh? ;)

moho 22. Jan 2011 07:12 PM


Originally Posted by Jojoyee (Post 44683)
Adding watermark probably can achieve the purpose with PDFill PDF Tools mentioned in this article.

Thanks, I looked into this one too.

It just didn't seem to work quite as well for this purpose. The 2 options that I'm posting about work really well though, and depending on your needs, and the preferences/needs of who is sending you the pdf that needs signing, I think either work really well.

Jojo Yee 23. Jan 2011 01:28 AM

Thanks for sharing the options available moho.

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