Dynamic Stamps in Acrobat 9

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Adobe, Applications, Technology

Here is how I was able to create dynamic stamps in Acrobat 9 Pro.
STEP ONE – create your stamp image(s)
Create your stamp image. I used Illustrator but I suspect that most programs that will create PDF’s can be used. Export that document as a PDF and open it in Acrobat. Under the Forms menu invoked the “Start Forms Wizard”. This will convert your document (stamp) into a form. Save it.
At this point, there is one document open. It is an Acrobat PDF form.
STEP TWO – copy the dynamic element from a furnished stamp
On a Mac, using the Finder, navigated to the Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro applications folder and right click the object named Adobe Acrobat Pro. Select the “Show Package Contents” command from the menu and you will be able to see the component files of Acrobat. Navigate to this folder “Contents/Plug-ins/Comments.acroplugin/Stamps/ENU/” and open the file “Dynamic.pdf.
(On a PC I found the Dynamic.pdf inside an object named Data1.cab and was able to open it. Data1.cab resides inside the C:/Program Files/Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro folder. I suspect the rest of this will translate easily enough for Windows XP users.)
At this point you should have two Acrobat documents open on your desktop. The document you wish to make dynamic and Acrobat’s furnished dynamic stamps document. Both documents are Adobe Acrobat forms.
In the document Dynamic.pdf chose the Forms drop down menu and selected the “Add or Edit Fields” command. That allows you to select a form field. Once the field is selected copy it and paste it into your first document. Save your document.
STEP THREE – customize the dynamic field!
Now that the form field is in your document invoke the Add or Edit Fields command to change the content of the field to your own needs.
Once the Add or Edit command has been activated, right click the form field and chose Properties from the menu. This will open the Text Field Properties Controls box. Here you control the appearance of the text (font, size color, alignment, etc.) as well as the content of the field. Select the Calculate tab to see the script that controls the field. The fourth radio button (Custom Calculation Script) contains the script that makes your field dynamic.
I started from a field that showed time and date and rearranged it to read date and time. I don’t recognize the kind of script but I suspect it was java. I could not change the am and pm elements with java and so used a 24 hour clock instead. I am no scripter. What I ended up using actually fit better so I accepted that.
You can now save and close your newly dynamic PDF form.
STEP FOUR – add dynamic stamps
After saving that document you can add your new dynamic stamps to your stamps library. Navigate to Tools: Comment and Markup: Stamps: Create Custom Stamp to open the Select Image for Custom Stamp dialog box. Use the browse button to find your file, use the window to navigate to the first stamp image, click OK and the Create Custom Stamp dialog box opens. Select an existing Category or create a new one and name your stamp. Since my stamps were already PDF’s I didn’t need to use the Down Sample check box. I did this four times to select four different images as stamps.
Unlike instructions I found for earlier versions of Acrobat nothing was added to the directory where the original dynamic file existed. So it is a good possibility that the location and path to the file you created is important to their being available in the future. I haven’t checked that yet.
NOTES
I actually use my new Acrobat form document as a watermark as well as a stamp. All I have to do is select Document: Watermark: Add from the Document menu and select the PDF form I created. My proof stamp now appears on each page of my proof in the same position on each page with the date and time that the stamp applied. I achieve the positioning by starting with an InDesign document into which I placed the Illustrator stamp. The InDesign document is sized to match my target files. The PDF I worked from actually came from this InDesign file. It does not affect the size of the stamp image and it makes your work useful in other ways.

Adobe Dropping iPhone App Development Technology After CS5

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Adobe, Apple Inc, Developer

Thanks to a change in Apple’s iPhone Developer Program License Agreement, Adobe has decided to abandon the iPhone app building technology included in Flash CS5.
Adobe says it’s not planning on “any additional investments in that feature” after CS5 because of section 3.3.1 of Apple’s iPhone Developer Program License Agreement:
Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).
This section indicates that tools such as that in Flash CS5 are forbidden when developing apps for the iPhone and it appears to make it pointless for Adobe to provide the feature according to Adobe’s Mike Chambers:
While it appears that Apple may selectively enforce the terms, it is our belief that Apple will enforce those terms as they apply to content created with Flash CS5. Developers should be prepared for Apple to remove existing content and applications (100+ on the store today) created with Flash CS5 from the iTunes store.
The feature will still ship with Flash CS5, but is there much of a point in using it?

Apple Bites the Hand That Feeds it with New App Rules

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Adobe, App Development, App Store, Apple Inc, Applications, Developer, iPad, iPhone, iPhone OS, iPod Touch, Technology

Apple has not been shy about publicizing its culture war with Adobe over the use of Flash on the iPhone or iPad platforms. Yesterday, Apple took the battle to a new level, though, by changing the legalese for the App Store to prohibit any apps not built solely on Apple’s proprietary Objective-C programming language.
Apple has not been shy about publicizing its culture war with Adobe over the use of Flash on the iPhone or iPad platforms. Yesterday, Apple took the battle to a new level, though, by changing the legalese for the App Store to prohibit any apps not built solely on Apple’s proprietary Objective-C programming language.
The new iPhone Developer Program License Agreement includes the following text: “3.3.1–Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).”
This is essentially checkmate in the chess match between Apple and Adobe (ADBE). However, checkmate comes at the end of a well-played match as a result of superior strategy and tactics. Apple’s move is more equivalent to throwing a tantrum, taking your chess board, and going home.
I understand this strategy. I see it on a regular basis in games between my young children and their friends. All of the kids can be playing with a ball and having fun, but if the other kids won’t play the game that the owner of the ball wants to play, or if the owner of the ball is not winning, that child will simply storm off and take the ball home with them.
It is effective, but there are no real winners. And, I am not sure how well the immature toddler tantrum translates as a business strategy. Ultimately, Apple’s decision to slam the door on alternate development platforms limits the potential capabilities of iPhone and iPad apps, and increases the effort developers need to invest in order to provide the same app across multiple platforms.
By banning Adobe, Apple may be biting the hand that feeds it, though. Apple and Adobe have had a symbiotic relationship that has been mutually beneficial. The Mac computer has always been perceived as a superior platform for graphic arts and design, and Adobe has provided the fuel to drive that engine with products like Photoshop and Illustrator.
Adobe is set to release CS5–its flagship Creative Suite product–next week. One of the key features of the new software is Adobe’s Flash-to-iPhone compiler that enables developers to create an application in Flash, then package it for use on the iPhone–circumventing Apple’s lack of Flash support.
While restricting development to the Objective-C programming language effectively blocks Adobe’s flanking maneuver, and arguably helps Apple maintain the stability and consistency of apps with a minimum of effort, it also hinders what developers can achieve.
Facebook’s Joe Hewitt stated via Twitter “I’m upset because frankly I think Objective-C is mediocre and was excited about using other languages to make iPhone development fun again.”
Setting those considerations aside, Apple’s war with Adobe puts developers in a tough spot as well. Apple has managed to establish itself as the de facto App Store–meaning that it is virtually a requirement to at least create an app for the iPhone and iPad, but it is not the only platform.
Developers want tools that allow them to develop an app once, and repackage or redistribute it across multiple platforms such as Android, Windows Mobile, WebOS, PC, etc. Flash is fairly ubiquitous, so developers could create an app in Flash that would work across most platforms, then use the Flash-to-iPhone compiler to port it to the iPhone and voila!
Unfortunately, those compiled apps won’t ever see the Apple App Store because they violate the new rules. So, developers will have to create one app for the iPhone and iPad, and then develop the same app all over again for other platforms.
The move by Apple seems petty. There may be some benefit to Apple, but Adobe, app developers, and ultimately iPhone and iPad users all suffer as a consequence.

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