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Flatten PDF stamps

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Anonymous:
Hi,

We are currently trialing shell tools to see if we can use it to stamp electronic building permits.
The only issue we have had so far is that when we stamp a semi-transparent image, the file needs to be flattened before we can print it. Our printer won't print non-flattened PDF's for some reason, and it also causes a problem when merging documents with PDF shell tools.
Is there anyway of stamping an image onto the PDF and having the program flatten the PDF at the same time?

Also, we can't seem to stamp more than one PDF file at a time. If more than one PDF is selected, one of the created PDF's will be stamped, with the other blank pages.

Thanks,

Luke

RTT:
Hi Luke,


--- Quote from: Luke ---Our printer won't print non-flattened PDF's for some reason
--- End quote ---

Check this link http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=316508, for printing troubleshoot, at bottom of the page there are some hints regarding Postscript printers settings.
The "Print as image" option, also referenced in the article, normally fix many of these issues, but can slow the print task.


--- Quote from: Luke ---and it also causes a problem when merging documents with PDF shell tools
--- End quote ---
If you can, please email to me, or send download link to, a sample of one of these PDF's so I can check what is causing the merge problem.

Right now I can't promise the development of such a feature. I have added the suggestion to the TODO list.
Even so, I'm developing a new stamp object, the PDF page. This stamp object will use a user selectable external file pdf page, and use its page contents as the source of stamp data. User can create very complex stamps, using the normal tools he use to create a PDF, and later stamp that page as background or watermark of another PDF page.
Using source pages already flattened will fix your issue, or maybe not...  ::)

--- Quote from: Luke ---Also, we can't seem to stamp more than one PDF file at a time. If more than one PDF is selected, one of the created PDF's will be stamped, with the other blank pages.
--- End quote ---

Oops, you have found a bug. I have now fixed the code and soon a Patch will be available for registered users and a revised trial will go online also.
Thanks for mention it  ;)

LukeV:
Thanks for your quick reply.

We can print using the image setting, but it is slow, and I am worried clients won't be able to work it out  :D
I'll e-mail you a copy of the PDF's I am trying to merge.

BTW - another problem we have had with the image stamps is that when you open a saved stamp, it states "A call to the OS failed" or something like that. The stamp still opens but the details can't be changed. We are using XP SP3.

Would there be any way to get the stamp program to remember the last stamp used, so we don't have to load the same stamp up all the time?

Thanks,

LukeV

P.S - We should be registering soon as we have almost finished setting up our electronic permit system and your program seems to work well, other than these few minor issues. Well done on an easy to use program!

RTT:
With your sample files, and thank you for these file copies  ;), I have now fixed a couple of bugs in the stamp tool.
One of these bugs is responsible of the merge fail (despite the fact the merged PDF shows OK in Foxit reader and PDF-Xchange viewer, file is really partially corrupted and fail to show in Acrobat.

If you really need to merge these already stamped files you will need to use a Hex editor, or a text editor with binary edit capabilities (Notepad++ is a good one) and replace all the "/length 1" occurrences by "Length 1" (without quotes). Already stamped files will merge correctly after this substitution done.
This problem is now fixed and I'll e-mail you the download link for the next patch (beta version) so you can test it. Let me know if you find something else.


--- Quote from: LukeV ---BTW - another problem we have had with the image stamps is that when you open a saved stamp, it states "A call to the OS failed" or something like that. The stamp still opens but the details can't be changed. We are using XP SP3.
--- End quote ---
Is this problem stamp file related or show up every time you open a stamp, even different one, file?
What objects you have on these stamps?
Tested in Windows Vista and XP SP3 and is working fine here. But for sure a bug is causing this at your system, so, please try to discover what steps, stamp file objects, etc.., are need to reproduce the error.


--- Quote from: LukeV ---Would there be any way to get the stamp program to remember the last stamp used, so we don't have to load the same stamp up all the time?
--- End quote ---
No, but now that you mention it, I'm going to replace the open stamp button by one with a drop down menu to easily access last used stamp files.
Even so, and using the versatile PDF-ShellTools command line interface, the Windows Shell Send To context menu functionality and batch scripts you can easily add new entries to the Shell Send To menu and use it to specifically apply a stamp file to all the PDF's selected.

Here is how:

Let suppose you have a CompanyLogo.stp at C:\Stamps
PDF-ShellToosl is installed at C:\Program Files\PDF-ShellTools

In the C:\Stamps folder, or any other work folder, create a "Stamp.cmd" file, open it in a text editor (Notepad) and enter next lines


--- Code: ---@ECHO OFF
:NEXT
     set v=%1
     SHIFT
     IF (%1)==() GOTO STAMPIT
     set v=%v%;%1
     SHIFT
     GOTO NEXT
:STAMPIT
call rundll32 "C:\Program Files\PDF-ShellTools\PDFShellTools.dll",Stamp stamprules=1- Template=C:\Stamps\CompanyLogo.stp %v%
--- End code ---
and save it.

Now create a shorcut to the .cmd file you have just created, give it a meaningful name, and icon, and place it in the Send To folder. To do that, cut the shorcut file and in Windows Explorer address bar enter:
%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo
to open the send to folder. Paste the shortcut there.

Now you have a new item in the "Send To" Shell context menu. To apply that stamp to a file(s), just select these PDF files and next run your Shell Context menu>Send To>"YourShortcutName".

To apply this technique to other stamps, e.g. StampDraft.stp, StampConfidential.stp, etc.., better change the script file to:


--- Code: ---@ECHO OFF
     set s=%1
     SHIFT
     set v=%1
     SHIFT
:NEXT
     IF (%1)==() GOTO STAMPIT
     set v=%v%;%1
     SHIFT
GOTO NEXT
:STAMPIT
call rundll32 "C:\Program Files\PDF-ShellTools\PDFShellTools.dll",Stamp Template=%s% stamprules=1- %v%
--- End code ---

Now, as before, create a shortcut, but in the shortcut properties target field add the path to the stamp file you want to apply.

To stamp the company logo create a shortcut with target:
C:\Stamps\Stamp.cmd C:\Stamps\CompanyLogo.stp

To stamp the Draft word create a shortcut with target:
C:\Stamps\Stamp.cmd C:\Stamps\StampDraft.stp

To stamp the Draft word create a shortcut with target:
C:\Stamps\Stamp.cmd C:\Stamps\StampConfidential.stp

etc..

Obvious you need to create also these .stp files

Let me know if you don't understand something.

LukeV:

--- Quote from: RTT ---Is this problem stamp file related or show up every time you open a stamp, even different one, file?
What objects you have on these stamps?
--- End quote ---
It happens with all stamps (image and text). I have worked out now that if I deselect the stamp object and then re-click on it, all the values seem to come up again anyway.

I've got the "Send to" stamp command working. This is really helpfull!!
The only issue I have is that when it loads up a text stamp, the second text line/object isn't rotated like how it was saved. It works when I stamp manually, but using the send to link it puts it at 0 degrees rotation. I'll e-mail you my stp file and the PDF to see if you can work out why.

Cheers,

LukeV

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