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Compatibility to different Reader versions when distributing Forms


Level 2
We are distributing a form to some 300 hundred potential recipients and got surprised by learning from 5-10% of recipients that they cannot open the file.

The form:

- has medium complexity with a submit button that is programmed so that it directs the filled forms according to the selection from a drop-down menu

- was created in Lifecycle Designer ES 8.2

- was saved as "static PDF"

- Reader rights extended and supposedly backwards compatible to Reader version 7

- worked fine in test runs with Acrobat 9 Pro and Reader 9.1 on our Windows Vista 64bit PCs and also on many others's

Recipients who reported that they cannot open:

- some are Mac users

- some are based in Europe, Japan, Africa, South America (no error message yet from USA users) and report using the latest version of the Reader

- the same recipients can successfully open normal PDFs

Are those who cannot open the file just committing different errors, have set-up their computers wrongly, or is there a lack of compatibility with PDF Forms when working across different language/country versions, paper sizes or whatever else might effect this? Who has found solutions to deploying forms in international and inter-organizational settings?
7 Replies


Former Community Member
Find out which version of Acrobat/Reader they are using. Are they getting any messages when they try and open the form?


Level 2
The errors seem to occur with the latest version of the Reader. (Those who had used old versions have upgraded upon my earlier advise. This solved the problem in several cases but not in others.)

The errors seem to be of different kind, or at least they manifest themselves in different ways:

- A Japan-based Mac user reported that his computer simply crashed.

- Other users got the message that it cannot open the file.


Former Community Member
I am at a lose to understand this .....if upgrading worked for most but not all then is it possible that they did not upgrade correctly?

Is the behaviour consistent - does the same thing happen every time? Can they open other PDFs?


Level 2
Thanks for asking, Paul. Let me give more detail on the two questions:


We've received a lot of complaints from all over the world that recipients where not able to open our PDF form.

A portion of these complaints were resolved after we explained recipient that they had to upgrade to at least Adobe Reader version 7 or newer.

However, other recipient complained that they were still unable to open the form even with the latest version of Adobe Reader. These are the ones that we're concerned about. We don't know why they are having problems. Apparently, our files works on a number of computers with Readers versions 7, 8, and/or 9. But not on all.

Is it that the recipient who can't open the form have not installed their Reader properly? We don't know. Or is it that the form or form-generating software has some bug that causes problems on some configurations but not on others?


The behavior is not consistent. What worries us in particular, are recipient reporting that they can open normal PDFs but not this form.

One had the computer crashing, others got simply messages that they couldn't open the file.

Any ideas about the possible causes? Anyone similar observations?


Former Community Member
I have not seen this beahaviour before. Designer forms are used all over the world so if it was a bug in designer I would have expected to hear from others having the same issue.

I guess the next step woudl be to see if the behaviour is isolated to those single machines. Can the users who are having issues try it on other machines? Do other users in the same country have similar issues? Just trying to find some commonality between the users who are having problems.


Level 4
Had a similar issue to this one just yesterday, for some reason as soon as the form was opened Reader consumed about half a gigabyte of memory, which would completely lock up some older machines.

We tried the new Designer 8.2 SP2, and when the form was open, re-saved in a new name and re-opened Reader it only consumed about 50Mb. Really don't know how or why our form design had ended up with this problem, but for us the newly released Designer 8.2 Service Pack 2 fixed it.

Your problem may not be the same as on our form but might be worth a try.


Former Community Member
I know what Robert's issue is and it might explain what is happening ...can you send your form to livecycle8@gmail.com and I will see if you have the same issue as Robert. Send it as a PDF.