This doesn't have anything to do with networking, but if you're like me you do a lot of paperwork. A lot of paperwork that requires your signature. Also, if you're like me, you can't stand having to print something to sign it, only to scan it back it as a PDF and email it off. That's why I've put this up here. This will save you a TON of time, paper, and toner.
Creating a Transparent Signature Stamp
Tons of people have discovered that they can scan their scan their signature and easily turn it into an Acrobat stamp.
The resulting stamp, however, has a white background.
When stamped on top of documents, the results are not visually pleasing:
To create a transparent stamp, you must “feed” Acrobat a file with transparency capabilities such as a GIF or Photoshop PDF.
Read on to learn how . . .
Transparent Formats and Transparency
Only certain graphic file formats offer transparency as an option. One example is the GIF format.
Although some scanning software can produce a GIF, none that I know of automatically remove the white background to produce transparency.
In other words, just because you have a GIF file doesn’t mean it has transparency.
You’ll need to use a tool to remove the background to produce the transparent effect.
Using an Image Editor to Delete the Background
Most image editors—including Adobe Photoshop—offer tools to remove backgrounds. In Photoshop, the Magic Wand tool may be used to remove backgrounds. After removing the background, choose Save As and save the file as a Photoshop PDF which preserves transparency.
If you use a different image editor, use the appropriate tool and save your file as a GIF.
If you have Photoshop, you can get very good results with this method. You can add all sorts of tweaks and flourishes to your signature like a little heart above the lowercase “I”. That will make your court filings really special. Just kidding!
If you want the best possible results with a color signature, I recommend using an image editor which allows the finest possible adjustments.
An Easier Way: Good for most Customers
Not many people are Photoshop users, but almost everyone has Microsoft Word.
Using Word, you can get decent results and a transparent background with black and white scans.
- Write your signature at the size needed on thick white paper. Use a market-type pen such as a Sharpie Ultra Fine Point.
- Scan in the signature at 300 dpi, black and white. Save the file as a TIFF file.
- Start Microsoft Word and create a new document.
- Choose Insert—>Picture—>From File…
- Find the TIFF image you scanned earlier.
This will place the image on the page.
- Select the image by clicking on it once.
- Right-click and choose Show Picture Toolbar
- Click the Set Transparent Color tool
- Click once anywhere in the white area of the signature picture.
- Save the Word document.
- Choose File—>Print and print your file to the AdobePDF print driver. Give the file a name when prompted.
Adding the Stamp to Acrobat
Below are abbreviated instructions.
- Launch Acrobat and choose View—>Toolbars—>Commenting
- On the Commenting palette, click on the arrow next to the Stamp button.
- Choose Create Custom Stamp and click the browse button to find the PDF stamp you created.
- Create a new category for the stamp (or use an existing one) and give it a name. Click the OK button.
Another way of doing things:
If you have Acrobat Professional, you can paste the transparent GIF into a page. Simply go to "Tools -> Advanced Editing -> Touch-up Object Tool". Then you can right-click where you want your signature and "Place Image". Shrink to fit an voila! You have a signature!
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