Q: I created a standard stamp “Approved” in jPDFNotes. After I opened the PDF AND rotated the stamp in Adobe Reader DC, the rubber stamp changed to a black X. Note that resizing works well, this only happens when rotating.

Rotated Standard Business Stamp in Adobe Reader DC

A: Qoppa PDF engine follows the specifications for the standard business rubber stamps names.

Standard Business Stamps Names According to the Specs

Here are what the PDF specs say about the name property in the stamp dictionary:

(Optional) The name of an icon that shall be used in displaying the annotation. PDF writers should include this entry and PDF readers should provide predefined icon appearances for at least the following standard names:
Approved, Experimental,NotApproved, AsIs, Expired, NotForPublicRelease, Confidential, Final, Sold, Departmental, ForComment, TopSecret, Draft, ForPublicRelease. Additional names may be supported as well. Default value: Draft.
The annotation dictionary’s AP entry, if present, shall take precedence over the Name entry; see Table 168, “– Entries in an appearance dictionary” and 12.5.5, “Appearance streams”. If the IT key is present and its value is not Stamp, this Name key shall not be present.

Adobe and rubber stamp appearance

It seems that Adobe recreates the appearance stream when the stamp is rotated, which it does not really need to, it could just add a rotation transform to it. If there is a name entry in the name dictionary, it tries to find a matching stamp among the standard predefined stamps saved in their installation directory. If a matching stamp is found, it uses it to recreate the appearance stream, otherwise, they draw an ‘X’.

Where can I find the Standard Business Stamps used by Adobe?

For Adobe Reader DC, you can find the default business stamps under
C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat Reader DC\Reader\plug_ins\Annotations\Stamps\ENU

For Adobe Acrobat, you can find the default business stamps under
C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat\Acrobat\plug_ins\Annotations\Stamps\ENU

They are contained in a PDF file called “StandardBusiness.pdf”.

Path to Business Rubber Stamps (saved in PDF file)
Path to Business Rubber Stamps (saved in PDF file)

Adobe Acrobat comes packaged with both standard business stamps named “Approved” or “SBApproved”. Their appearance streams is slightly different. See below.

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC only comes with stamps named “SBApproved”, “SBExperimental”, etc… which is contradicting the PDF specifications.

Approved Standard Business Stamp
Approved Standard Business Stamp
SBApproved Standard Business Stamp
SBApproved Standard Business Stamp


Setting a Rubber Stamp Name through Qoppa’s PDF API

// create a standard rubber stamp annotation
RubberStamp rubberstamp = annotFactory.createRubberStamp("Approved", Color.BLUE);
rubberstamp.setRectangle(new Rectangle2D.Double(50, 50, 100, 25));
// Use "Approved" to be compliant with the specs and compatible with Adobe Acrobat only
// Use "SBApproved" to be compatible with both Adobe Reader DC and Adobe Acrobat.