How can I reduce the file size of a stamped PDF?

The flag, -optimize, can reduce the file size in most cases. Listed below are the functions of what the -optimize flag does:

  • encode any non-encoded streams using Flate compression
  • remove ASCII85 filters from all streams
  • replace LZW encoded streams with Flate encoding
  • merge identical XObjects and images
  • optimize common sequences in page content
  • merge identical font descriptors and encodings

What error codes does StampPDF Batch return?

StampPDF Batch returns the following numerical codes:

0 returns if:

  • no errors occur

-1 returns under limited circumstances:

  • If a poorly formed command was used
  • If an evaluation version of the product has expired
  • If you use only -v on your command line

1 (or greater) returns if a problem occurs with processing

The error codes are consistent with Adobe Acrobat’s standards when such errors occur. A description of the error can be found in the automatically generated error file.

Can your product add a link to the stamped text?

The LinkURL parameter specifies a URL link to be associated with a stamp. You need to include the LinkURL parameter in the stamp file for text stamps.  Example below:

LinkURL   (

Note: If you wish to apply a LinkURL to a JPEG or TIFF image, you must create two stamp items in your stamp file. The first stamp item must be the image and the second stamp item must be the LinkURL you wish to stamp on the image.

What type of certificate is accepted?

SecurSign supports any X.509 version 3 digital certificate available from almost any certificate authority; including VeriSign, Network Solutions, GoDaddy, Comodo, etc. These certificates can be purchased from the certificate authority using your standard internet browser.

Once purchased, the certificate can be exported from your browser as a standard Public Key Cryptography Standard PKCS#12 file. PKCS#12 files usually have a .p12 extension (such as my_cert.p12) or a .pfx extension (such as my_cert.pfx). PKCS #12 is the Personal Information Exchange Syntax Standard.

How do I verify a signature in Acrobat?

When you open a PDF document that has a signature, Acrobat will attempt to verify the signature based on trusted certificates.

If the signature(s) cannot be verified, you will see an indication that they need to be verified, usually a question mark symbol. To verify a signature, click on the signature and the Signature Validation Status dialog should open. Click on the Signature Properties button to open the properties dialog. Here you can verify the signature(s). For assistance on how to do this use Acrobat Help.

How do I export a certificate from my browser?

To export your Certificate from Microsoft Internet Explorer:

  • From the Tools Menu > Internet options > Select Content Tab
  • In the certificate area, click on the Certificates button
  • Select the certificate and then click Export and follow the steps
  • Select yes to export the private key > export file format – should be personal information exchange (pkcs#12 or .pfx)
  • Enter password twice, then specify the filename and click Save

To export your Certificate from Mozilla Firefox or Netscape Navigator:

  • From the Tools Menu > Internet options > Select Advanced Tab
  • Click on the View Certificates button
  • Select the certificate and then click Backup and follow the steps – do not change any options
  • Give your backup file a name and choose a location. Default file type is PKCS12
  • Enter password twice and click OK

Can I change security settings with SecurSign?

Yes. SecurSign can change security options on any PDF file with an owner password. The owner of the document can change the password and permission settings of a previously encrypted PDF document.

SecurSign 2.4 and later has the ability to completely remove security settings. By supplying the owner password, you can remove security features from a PDF file. If you are using an earlier version and would like to upgrade, please contact the Sales Department.

Why is the formatting of my data not preserved?

It is good practice to format your fields directly within the FDF file as you would like the data to appear in your output PDFs. If you are flattening formatted form fields (e.g. “currency”), you will need to include the entire data string for that value in your FDF file. For example, if the value of the field is to be $1,234.00 in the output PDF file, the value in the FDF file needs to be /V ($1,234.00). The value /V (1234) in the FDF file will appear in the flattened PDF file as 1234. FDFMerge and FDFMerge Lite have a new command line feature, -norebuild, which can be used to allow for formatting of merged fields. However, this feature will not work on stamped fields.

Can I control the size and position of image stamps in form fields?

When stamping images into a PDF, the user has only a limited ability to control the size and positioning of the image within the form field. FDFMerge scales images equally in the horizontal and vertical directions to best fit the fields. It also centers images within the fields so any blank area is evenly divided between right and left or top and bottom. Users cannot specify that they want the image to always touch the upper left corner of the field or that they always want a 50% scaling.

If using a limited number of images, the user can choose the field size and proportion of height and width to best display those images. For example, if all images are scans of 8.5″ x 11″ portrait-oriented pages, the ratio of height to width can be set to 22 x 17, meaning fields could be 66 units high and 51 units wide, or 220 units high and 170 units wide, or any other similar ratio.

However, if using something like a random selection from a clip art library, results are not likely to be consistent.

What are FDF Templates and do FDFMerge and FDFMerge Lite support them?

FDFMerge and FDFMerge Lite do not support FDF Templates. The Form Data Format (FDF) supports a construct known as ‘Templates’; where, within the Acrobat environment, the FDF file will cause additional pages to be added to the PDF file as they are needed. FDFMerge and FDFMerge Lite do not support FDF Templates and will not add additional pages to a PDF file.

Why do checkboxes created with Liquid Office Form Designer stamp solid black?

Liquid Office uses grayscale colors for white, black and shades of gray. FDFMerge and FDFMerge Lite expect RGB colors only. You can fix this in two ways:

  1. Use Liquid Office to change the checkbox backgrounds to transparent or any color but pure white, pure black, or a shade of gray.
  2. Using Acrobat, examine the properties of each checkbox field and click Ok. You don’t need to change anything, just click Ok.

What causes the error “File does not begin with %PDF”?

The PDF file’s source begins with %PDF. The application checks to see if the file is truly a PDF File. If it is not, it will return this error. Make sure that you list the PDF filename before the FDF filename on the command line. If the FDF filename is before the PDF file name, the application will return an error message.

Correct Example:

fdfmerge sample.pdf sample.fdf

Incorrect Example:

fdfmerge sample.fdf sample.pdf (Wrong!)

What causes the error “Exception: File Open Error”?

Causes of the “File Open Error” are:

  1. There are not enough permissions on the files. All files need full access permissions. (rwxrwxrwx)
  2. The file is open. Make sure files are closed in all other applications before merging.
  3. Wrong filename or directory path. (Most common and easiest mistake to make.)
  4. File is checked as Read Only (Windows). Go into your General Properties and uncheck Read Only.

How do I stamp using a barcode font?

In order to stamp using a barcode font, you will need to use a FormInfo file. A FormInfo file contains information on the attributes in a PDF form field that will be applied to the fields in the output file. Here is a sample entry for a FormInfo file:

FieldName (Field1)
FontName (Enter the font name here)
FontFile (enter the complete path to the font here)
FontSize (enter optional font size. If omitted, the font information from the original PDF form field will be used)

Make sure there is (at least) one space between the parameter and the value above. Once you have your FormInfo file created, you would use the following command line syntax:

fdfmerge -p -f forminfofilename.txt -o outfile.pdf inputfile.pdf inputfdf.fdf

How do I create forms with Acrobat?

Form fields can be added to your PDF file using the AcroForms tools.

In Acrobat 6 and 7, the the forms toolbar is under:
Tools Menu > Advanced Editing > Show Forms Toolbar.

In Acrobat 8 and 9, the forms toolbar is under:
Tools Menu > Forms > Show Forms Toolbar.

In Acrobat X and XI, the Forms Palette is located in the Tools section at the top right of the screen.

Note: We do not currently support forms created by Adobe LiveCycle Designer 7.0. You will need to create your form fields as mentioned above.

How do I “Clean Up” a PDF form that fails to merge?

You may receive a PDF form that does not merge and produces errors. This is generally due to “mal-formed” PDF files that have been created by software other than Adobe’s Distiller. We usually run problem files through Distiller as a way to “clean” them up. Listed below are instructions for running your file through Distiller:

  • Open your PDF in Acrobat and remove all the form fields
  • Go to the File Menu > Hit Save As
  • Give the file a new name
  • Under Save As Type, choose PostScript File (*.ps)
  • Open Distiller and browse for this file or go to the directory where the file exists and double click on the file – this will open and run Distiller
  • Once you have your “distilled file”, open both the original file and the distilled file in Acrobat.
  • You need to copy and paste all the form fields from the original file onto the distilled file:
  • To do this under Acrobat 6 or 7, you need to go to the Tools Menu > Advance Editing> Select Object Tool
  • Hit Ctrl+A or go to the Edit Menu>Select All (all form fields will be highlighted)
  • Hit Ctrl+C or go to the Edit Menu > Copy
  • Open the distilled file and hit Ctrl+V or go to the Edit Menu > Paste – at times when you paste fields onto a page, they are not in the exact location, so you will need to move the fields around on the page – You will need to copy and paste the form fields for each page following the steps mentioned above.

Can I run my one copy of FDFMerge or FDFMerge Lite on more than one computer?

No. The FDFMerge or FDFMerge Lite license is for one computer. The FDFMerge or FDFMerge Lite license allows you to use one copy of the software on a single server and make one backup copy of the software, provided your backup is not installed or used on any computer. To run the application on more than one server you would have to purchase additional licenses. Contact our Sales Department for additional licenses and information on multiple license discounts.

Why am I having trouble running AppendPDF Pro using files located in a different directory or drive?

Make sure all file and pathnames are correct. If you are working in one directory and AppendPDF Pro lives in another (or vice versa), you must account for that in your parameter file and command line. It is best practice to always use full paths to all files in the parameter file.

Note: Be aware, one wrong path or file name in your parameter file will cause an error.

Can I use an input PDF that displays a “There was an Error processing a page” message?

The error indicates that the PDF may be damaged.  Therefore, if you use an input PDF that displays that message prior to AppendPDF Pro use, it may not process properly. If optimizing the PDF does not eliminate the message, try redistilling it. If it no longer displays error messages when viewed, it should be fine to use with AppendPDF Pro.