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PDF files created with LiveCycle Designer ES4 won't open in Chrome, Firefox or Mac

Level 1
Level 1

I spent days working on a detailed Employment Application form inside LiveCycle Designer ES4 version  I opened the file in Adobe Acrobat Pro and converted the PDF file to one that a user can fill in and save.

This file can be found on the following web page at the bottom (Employment Application Form) >> Sacramento Suburban Water District : Employment Opportunities

There is an additional form at the very bottom just below this form which was created by placing form fields into a PDF using Adobe Acrobat Pro (Employment Application EEO Form). This PDF was originally created in MS Word.  This file opens just fine in any browser with no problems.

When the PDF file created with Adobe LiveCycle Designer ES4 is opened in Chrome, Firefox or on a Mac, the visitor receives this error message in the browser:


When this same file is opened in Internet Explorer it opens just fine.

Although I can still download the file to my hard drive from Chrome and open it, many of the visitors to our website cannot download the file to fill in, print and sign.

I can't seem to figure out what is wrong with this fill-in form and why it won't open properly like the Adobe Acrobat Pro form does.

Any help that you can provide would be so very much appreciated since we have one job posting right now, which is not going very well because of this form issue, and we have two more just around the corner.

Thanks ahead of time for any clarity you can bring to this issue,

1 Reply
Level 3
Level 3

There is noting wrong with your form, this is just the way XFA forms (the kind produced by LiveCycle Designer) behave when you try to open them in a PDF viewer that does not support this "flavor" of PDF document. Chrome and FireFox now come with their own PDF viewers, and the only way to turn them off is to have the browser open the PDF file in an external application. See here for more information:

Take a look at these pages, they contain Adobe's troubleshooting tips for problems with PDFs in the browser:

Display PDF in browser Adobe Acrobat DC, Acrobat Reader DC

You need to inform your users that they either need to download the PDF file and then open it in Acrobat or the free Adobe Reader, or that they need to configure their browser so that the browser will hand the file off to Acrobat/Reader.

In general, if you can avoid using LiveCycle Designer and create AcroForms (the ones created within Adobe Acrobat), you have a better chance of them opening in 3rd party PDF viewers. However, forms support is also very limited in some of these 3rd party viewers - especially when it comes to support for JavaScript. This is also true for all PDF viewers on mobile devices.