The PDFpen Library is like a drawer filled with useful items.

PDFpen Library: Curating Shapes, Signatures, and Stamps

The PDFpen Library stores scribbles, text, and images for quick access and reuse. In this post, we’ll explore how to add items from the Library to your PDFs.

PDFpen Library: A Container Filled With Treats

The PDFpen Library is like that nice little shop that has everything you need. Photo by Jiemei Lin on Unsplash.

If you haven’t started using PDFpen’s Library yet, you’re in for a treat. Discovering the Library is like discovering a section of your freezer that’s filled with tasty meals your mom cooked especially for you. Or a cabinet in your office that’s packed with yummy treats you didn’t know existed. Or a drawer in your desk with all sorts of colorful pens, post-it notes, paper clips, and fancy erasers you bought long ago and forgot all about.

You get the picture: the Library is a little container of items you could live without but will probably love. It’s a tidy container: the items in there are divided into categories so they’re easy to find. They don’t take up all of the space of the container, either; there’s a little corner in there that’s reserved just for things that you might want to keep.

To open the Library, choose Window > Library or click the Library icon in the toolbar. It’s on the far right, right next to the Inspector.

A Tour of the PDFpen Library

Now that we’ve piqued your curiosity, let’s give you a tour of the Library. Here’s what it looks like:

Screenshot of the PDFpen Library.

Don’t be fooled by its humble appearance: the Library may not look like much at first sight, but it contains entire collections of visual items you may find useful while editing PDFs. You can access the different collections by clicking their tabs at the top of the Library window.

To see the window and its contents in a larger size, click the button with vertical arrows on the bottom right. To reduce the size, simply click it again.

Now let’s look at these collections in more detail.

Image of a tool shed.
The PDFpen Library has all sorts of useful tools. Photo by Lachlan Donald on Unsplash.

Tab #1 of the PDFpen Library: Built-ins

When you click the first tab of the Library, you access a collection of built-in drawing shapes. You can see the shapes in this collection on the screenshot above.

Tab #2 of the PDFpen Library: Custom

The tab with the person icon holds space for storing the visual marks you create. These can be objects made with the scribble and drawing tools, text boxes, or even images, including your signature.

Tab #3 of the PDFpen Library: Proofreading Marks

In this tab, you’ll find an extensive collection of standard proofreading marks.

PDFpen Library, Proofreading Marks tab.

Tip: Different languages or publishers may use other proofreading marks, such as the British Standards Institution’s (BSI). You can add this and other marks to the Custom library. BS 5261 (2005), in particular, is available online as a downloadable document via Louise Harnby’s blog. Adding the marks from this document to the library will require customization. You can also directly drag marks from your browser onto an open page in PDFpen. See Adding Items to the Library below.

Tab #4 of the PDFpen Library: Stamps

Here, you’ll find a collection of stamps that you can use in business documents. Stamps are divided into categories that can be found in a drop-down menu at the bottom of the window. The categories are: Standard Business, Dynamic, Sign Here, and User Defined.

Screenshot of PDFpen Library, Stamps tab.
  • Standard Business stamps are the types of stamps you use in business documents. They include stamps labeled “Confidential” and “Draft.”
  • Dynamic stamps are Standard Business Stamps that also include a name, a date, and a time.
  • Sign Here stamps are placed in a document to indicate where the person is supposed to sign.
  • User Defined are custom stamps you create.

How to Use the PDFpen Library

Adding a Library Item to a PDF

To add a Library item to a PDF, simply drag it from the Library to the document.

To see this in action, watch the video below. Adding proofreading marks starts at 1:26.

Tip: If you select a stroke color in the Object Properties tool first, any proofreading mark you drag into your document will adopt that color. For help adjusting color in PDFpen, check out this article.

Adding Custom Items to the Library

Is there a unique scribble, shape, text, or image you always use that isn’t included in the Library? Perhaps your signature? No problem. Just add it to your Custom collection. Here’s how to curate your own, unique Library collection.

Before you start, make sure your Library palette is open. If it isn’t, choose Window > Library. Then follow these steps:

  1. Using the Edit tool, select the item you want to add.
  2. Click the plus (+) button at the bottom of the Library palette.
  3. Choose Add Selected Imprint. Your selection will be added to the Custom tab. Next time you want to use it, all you’ll have to do is drag it from the Library onto your document.

Added a custom item by mistake? To remove it from the Library, find it, select it, and click Remove. For detailed instructions on how to add a signature to the Library, check out this post. Or see it in action in the video below. Adding a signature to the Library starts at 0:55.

Tip: Need icons? The Noun Project has over 2 million icons. Just drag the icons directly from your browser onto your open PDF document in PDFpen.

Adding Multiple Items as a Unit (available with PDFpen 11 and later)

Is your signature formed by more than one scribble? Do you always use it alongside an image such as a logo or a seal? If so, you’ll find this feature useful. Here are the steps to adding multiple items to the Library as one:

  1. Select the items you want to store as a unit by Shift-clicking on them. Alternatively, drag your mouse over the items you want to select.
  2. Click on the plus (+) button at the bottom of the Library palette.
  3. Choose Add Selected Imprint to add the selected objects as a single item.

See it in action below:

Library Location

PDFpen and PDFpenPro versions 8.2 and later sync the Library with iCloud. Seamlessly sync your PDFpen Library between Macs and mobile devices. For more information, check out this article.

For PDFpen and PDFpenPro versions 8.2 and earlier, items in your library are stored in the Library file located here:

[HOME]/Library/Containers/com.smileonmymac.PDFpenPro/Data/Library/ApplicationSupport/PDFpenPro/Library

How are you using the PDFpen Library? Let us know @PDFpen and on Facebook.