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How do I create transparent signature stamps?

Question:

How do I create transparent stamps?

Answer:

Removing the background of signatures/stamps is a useful way to save space and increase aesthetic harmony in documents. Follow the steps below to crop signatures and insert a transparency grid into the background:

PDF-XChange Editor

This process has been automated in PDF-XChange Editor since build 319

1. On the Protect tab click Manage:

The Manage Signatures and Initials dialog box will open.

2. Click Add, then click Import from File in the submenu. The Open Files dialog box will open.

3. Double-click the desired signature. It will appear in the Add Signature from File dialog box. Click OK. The Edit Signature/Initials Information dialog box will open.

4. Name the signature and password protect it as desired, then click OK.

5. Close the Manage Signatures and Initials dialog box.

6. The signature will then be available in the Signatures pane and its background will be transparent:

7. Click to select the signature, then move it to the desired document location and click again to add it to the document.

PDF-XChange Viewer

It is necessary to create and edit images manually in PDF-XChange Viewer.

Please note the following before creating stamps:

  • Images are usually in raster format and will pixellate if zoomed to a high degree. Therefore it is advisable to create stamps from pre-sized images. (Vector-based images do not experience this issue).
  • If a transparent background is desired for stamps then a suitable image format must be used. The formats *.gif and *.png support transparency but *.jpg and *.pdf do not. N.b. Microsoft Paint does not handle *.png transparency well, but most modern graphics programs do. GIMP is one such program. A free GIMP download is available here.
  • PDF files that contain transparent images/objects without backgrounds (such as scanned signatures) can also be used to create transparent stamps - empty space on the page will be ignored. Please note that content must be flattened before it can be used as a stamp. Right-click content and then click Flatten in order to flatten it. 

Follow the steps below to create and save customized stamps:

1. Follow the instructions detailed here to create a suitable image.

2. Open the image in GIMP.

3. Use the Rectangle Selection tool to select the image. Leave a small margin of white space.

4. Click Image in the Menu Toolbar and set the Mode to RGB.

5. Click Layer in the Menu Toolbar and select Add Alpha Channel. (If this is not possible then continue with the remaining steps - the image may already have an alpha channel). 

6. Click Colors in the Menu Toolbar and select Color to Alpha. Click OK in the dialog box.

7. Click OK in the main dialog box. The white background should now be removed and a checked pattern should be shown in the transparent sections of your image.

8. Click Color in the Menu Toolbar and select Brightness/Contrast to adjust the brightness of images as desired.

9. Click File in the Menu Toolbar and then click Export. Name the file and save it in *.png format. (N.b. *.png is the only image format that PDF-XChange Viewer supports for transparent stamps).

10. Follow the instructions detailed here to create a stamp from the image.

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