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Cobweb's own Adobe Acrobat editing and proofreading marks

A custom set of stamps: the student set is free!

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Cobweb Design's Proofreading and Editing Stamps for Acrobat

The student set of 22 red stamps is free: also available, a 96-stamp set in four colours with some bonus French editing stamps.

I created these stamps because I prefer PDF for editing and proofreading and Acrobat's built-in commenting tools are not well-suited for producing standardized editing marks (Yes, some clients still use editing symbols—they make communication between editors very efficient!).

I know of no commercial stamp sets for editing, but a few professional editors offer free ones for download: I've used and appreciated these resources, but they did not quite suit my needs. My stamp set aims to resolve the following issues I've had with other stamps:

  • the set lacks many symbols I need, so I must combine stamps from different sets. I hate how messy that looks
  • they are not fully transparent (i.e., they have a white background or jagged background pixels that obscure the text below)
  • they aren't preinstalled, so you must add each one individually (which takes forever!)
  • they are just too large or bulky and it's hard to place more than one stamp on a line

Benefits of my stamps

My stamps are custom vector graphics with clean edges and full transparency. They are quite small so they do not clutter up the page or unduly cover up type. The set is quite inclusive: it contains many versions of common stamps so editors can choose the styles they like the best. It is easy to delete the ones you do not want and create your ideal set. I will add to my set based on user feedback.

Below, you can download my free set of 22 commonly-used stamps or purchase the full set, which has just under 100 stamps and comes in multiple colours so you can choose from standard red (for use with publishers and other professional clients) and friendly purple, blue, or green versions (for a gentle touch with freelance clients). The stamps are all pre-installed for Acrobat so they can be imported in a single step: no need to add each one individually. The installation instructions should work on most systems and Acrobat versions, but I strongly suggest you try the free set first to make sure they work for you.

A few shortcomings

My stamps are not perfect, though I'm still working on it. You will need to sometimes augment them with the pen tool. Also, Acrobat does not allow users to change the order of stamps in the palette, so to rearrange them you must move them in the install file (instructions included). I've done my best to sort them logically but no two editors have the same preferences. The Acrobat stamp palette also has some quirks: some stamps with a very short height—such as a horizontal line—will appear very thick in the palette, but an appropriate size on the page. Note the triple horizontal line in the picture below for an example. It's not really that big! And no, I do not know how to get rid of all that white space on the right side of the palette. Please complain to Adobe about this. I have.

Please try the free student set first to see if you like them and if they install on your system. I am tweaking the set by using it in my work, but more feedback would help, so please send me your comments. I charge for the full set because they took many hours to get right.

Oh, and I haven't forgotten French editors! I'm not an expert on French editing marks but I've included a set of 36 French stamps that may be useful for editors who work in both languages.

Downloading the FREE student stamps

The student set contains the following 22 stamps so you can try them out:

Free student stamp set contents

The download contains the file with the stamps, a set of installation instructions, and information on how to use the stamps. Please read the Install Instructions fully because they should work for most systems.


Purchasing the FULL SET

If you have tried the student set and liked them, you can purchase the full set for $25 Canadian. This includes all 96 stamps in four colours plus 36 French stamps. I use PayPal so I do not collect any of your payment information. No contact information will be shared or sold.

Image of cobweb stamp set

Full stamp set contents

The full set includes the following:

  • 96 individual editing stamps in standard red
  • copies of the full set in green, blue, and purple (each colour is a separate stamp file)
  • a set of 36 French language editing stamps (*See note below)

For freelance editors, the license permits you to install the stamps on as many computers as you own. For companies, the license is per computer. A ten license option is also available at a discounted rate. Contact me for info or if you need to purchase by invoice.

Note about the French editing marks: The French stamps are included as a resource for editors who work in both official Canadian languages, but there may be better Adobe stamps sets available for French editors. If anyone sends me information on stamps that my set is missing, I will consider these for a future update and send a free update to the person who sent me the information.

For bulk purchases, comments, or questions, use the contact form below.

Item to buy

The cobweb team has many years experience writing and editing print and online documents, and we can create custom stamps or other grapics for our clients.

Contact us for help with content marketing, writing, editing, or anything related to documents or the web

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