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Product Description

Going Paperless? Already using PDF and need more? Need a better way to do things? PDF stamps are not just helpful; they are a necessary component of almost any paperless document process. This book reveals all the techniques and secrets for creating and using custom PDF stamps in Acrobat so you can use less paper, produce better-looking documents, reduce data entry errors, and increase efficiency for many basic business processes.

A PDF stamp is a bit like an old style rubber stamp, in that it is one of the primary ways to add extra (custom) information to a document as it moves through a process (i.e., a document workflow). Like a rubber stamp, a PDF stamp is a custom graphic, but a PDF stamp is much more than a rubber ink stamp could ever be. A PDF stamp is like an old-style rubber ink stamp on super steroids. Not regular steroids, but super steroids. Because, a PDF is an electronic document, so a PDF stamp is about as close to a rubber ink stamp as the map Columbus used to cross the Atlantic is to a GPS. Your rubber ink stamp doesn’t automatically acquire data from the document and then send it to a database. A PDF stamp assisted workflow can do that because a PDF stamp can contain active code that dynamically modifies the stamp graphic, accesses the document being stamped, and communicates with other scripts. Of course, a PDF stamp can also be just like a rubber ink stamp if it needs to be. Hence, anytime there is a need to “stamp” something onto a PDF document, it is the PDF stamp that comes to the rescue.

Stamps have been a part of Acrobat and PDF for a long time. As you might imagine, they are a popular feature of PDF, so stamp creation and workflows have developed into their own specialties. To explain what they are and how they are used the book is divided into three parts, where each part delves progressively deeper into the details of PDF stamps and how they are used in paperless workflows in the Acrobat environment.

Part I provides a general “how and why” discussion on PDF stamps. The first chapter explains everything there is to know about PDF stamps qualitatively. It is an outline of all the material in the book. Chapter 2 explains the role of PDF stamps within a paperless workflow and presents several examples (in a variety of industries) where PDF stamps solve real world document processing issues. Part I is not just an introduction to stamps. It also provides important information to managers and others who will be developing and/or overseeing document processes.

Part II eases into the technical details of PDF stamps. It begins with material appropriate for the novice and non-technical user, such as the menus and tools in Acrobat for working with stamps. It then progresses into increasingly advanced topics: creating custom stamps, the internal details of the stamp file, and protecting stamps from unauthorized usage. This part of the book is for anyone who needs to know how you actually use and manage custom stamps. It includes some expert tidbits and JavaScript examples for more advanced readers, but you do not need to know anything about programming to understand the topics.

Part III is for programmers. It covers the two areas of the Acrobat scripting model that involve stamps: dynamic stamp scripts and workflow automation. The ability to alter the stamp appearance dynamically and use stamps within an Acrobat automation script provides two very powerful tools for processing documents. Nevertheless, even non-programmers will find a great deal of valuable and usable information in this portion of the book. While Part III contains some deep and complex material, all the concepts are accessible to the novice, and there are scripting examples that anyone can use.

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