custom stamp from an image with a transparent background

BobArnett
BobArnett used Ask the Experts™
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This is a continuation of Q_21356480 from a few years ago. I can create a transparent custom stamp using a blank pdf with text added using the Touchup Text tool. This works fine on my computer but unfortunately if the receiver of the PDF doesn't have the required custom font (a font I made with special dingbat characters), it shows up with a 'substiture' font that basically shows a standard alpha-numberic character like an upper case "D" instead of the custom dingbat. Following instructions, I've tried to make a transparent png or gif using Corel Painter 11 and import it into a pdf but the transparent option for GIFs is grayed out and so it doesn't stay transparent in the PDF.
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If you have Photoshop, you can import the GIF into Photoshop and then export the file as PDF, which you can then use as part of your stamp. If that's not working, try adding the GIF file into a Word document and then convert that to PDF for the stamp. MS Word also retains transparency in image files.

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Commented:
Well, this is a little strange and I'm probably doing something wrong. What happened is, following your suggestion, I added one of the GIF files I wanted to use for a PDF stamp to an MS Word document and printed it unsing the Acrobat PDF "printer".
I then used that PDF to make a custom stamp and, voila!, the background was transparent.
Now the weird part. Doing exactly the same thing with two more GIFs did not produce stamps with  the transparant background like the first one did. They both have solid white backgrounds that block what's underneath them.
Like I said, I must be doing something wrong but I cannot figure it out. I went back to the program I used to output the GIFs (Corel Painter 11) and looked at the save options for all three GIFs and they're all the same as far as I could tell.
Any suggestions?
Which version of Word are you using? Which version of Acrobat?
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Author

Commented:
Word 2007. Acrobat 9 Professional. And like I said the first time around it worked perfectly. This made me think that somehow the original GIFs are different so I tried again but this time, when I imported the GIF into Word, I tested to see if the image background would block text underneath and yes it did. So somehow the image background is not transparent. I did the same thing with the GIF that produced a stamp with a transparent background and, of course, the background does not block text underneath it in Word. I have no idea how the one GIF's background is transparent and the other two GIF's have white backgrounds since I produced the GIFs the same way in Painter 11. Any idea as to how to correct this?
With a GIF file, you specify which color (GIF uses indexed colors) is the transparent color. Is it possible that the file has a background that is not white, but the GIF uses white as transparent color?

Author

Commented:
Here is a capture of the Painter 11 Save Dialog box with the options allowed. All the "Transparency" options are greyed out but once (I don't know why) they were not greyed-out so I selected "Output Transparency". In that case the GIF was blank when I inserted it into a Word document.
GIF-Save-Options.JPG
This article talks about how to create translarent GIF files:
http://en.allexperts.com/q/Corel-Photo-Paint-1031/exporting-transparent-background.htm

Do you ever see the selection for the transparent color?
Here are instructions to select the transparent color in Word:
http://blogs.adobe.com/acrolaw/2007/02/creating_a_tran_1.html

Author

Commented:
Well, I'm narrowing it down. I was able to find instructions in Painter 11 Help files that supposedly tells how to produce a transparent GIF. Unfortunately, it doesn't work. I've followed the instructions but only get an "image" that is a solid background of light gray. Nothing else.
If this is just for the three files (or the two remaining files), I can offer to convert them for you with Photoshop. If you are interested, just email the files to the email address on my profile page.

Author

Commented:
Thanks for the offer but just as your email arrived, I got it. The main thing wrong you resolved with your link to selecting the transparent color in Word. That still didn't resolve it completely since the PDF stamp was still opaque. I then realized in those same instructions it said to "AdobePDF print driver" when I was using an alternate PDF "printer". Using that, all worked fine. So thank you very much for all your help.

Author

Commented:
Thank you very much for all your help.

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