"This form cannot be edited in Adobe Acrobat DC. Please use Adobe LiveCycle Designer to edit this form."



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Actual Question:

Many times, I receive a form from a client that can be filled out with Adobe Acrobat. Sometimes there is no field for date or some particular field was forgotten. When I try and edit the form, or add text for a date - I get the following error window: "This form cannot be edited in Adobe Acrobat DC. Please use Adobe LiveCycle Designer to edit this form." I have the Creative Cloud style Adobe suite. There is no LiveCycle Designer in that suite. Info: Designer ES4 comprehensive design tool | Adobe LiveCycle Enterprise Suite 4



What exactly is going on? Am I really not able to add a string of text to a form with Acrobat Pro? - or has this document been built with a legacy product / and that is the real problem?


Any ideas or help to make Acrobat a useful tool would be wonderful, otherwise - I'll just go back to printing these forms and sending them in the mail. Thanks.

Accepted Solutions (0)

Answers (39)

Answers (39)



Not entirely true.  I added my signature to a LiveCycle document using the "Fill and Sign" feature.  The frustrating part is that I couldn't add a date next to the signature I just inserted. 

Solution: Use the "Print" function to print document as a PDF file.  This will convert the document to a pdf format that you can edit.



Just jumping in here and am having the same problem. I have a subscription to Adobe CC and have always used Acrobat Pro to add my signature to a document along with the date. In this case, I've downloaded a W9 form from the IRS and have successfully added my previously saved signature but can't 'fill in' the date next to my signature. I have really enjoyed filling out PDF's previously using Acrobat Pro in lieu of printing and then all of a sudden I'm receive the same error message as documented above.

Previously this has been a real time saver and very convenient. This morning, I've spent too long trying to do something that used to be very simple.

Any insights into the what indeed is going on would be helpful.



I am having the EXACT issue.  I'm currently on hold... 19 minutes and counting with Adobe Support to see what the solution is... I will let you know.

On the Adobe site it said to contact support.  We'll see.


Spent 48 minutes (on hold mostly) to Adobe Support. 

The work-around for adding a date to your W-9 forms would be to Print> Printer: Select Adobe PDF;     Advanced Tab:  Select Print as Image> Ok

Then, open file, Edit PDF, Add Text. 

What a pain... There are no plans to fix, according to the CS person.  Hope this helps. 



This is quite pathetic, I've just wasted 45 minutes of my life trying to add a date next to a signature. And it wouldn't even let me print because I don't have a printer connected. This is the only reason I use Acrobat, and I'm paying for pro. Adobe -- you charge way too much for software that consistently gets worse. My primary app has been Fireworks, which now you've discontinued and now I can't open hundreds of projects that I've done over the years. Thanks for nothing Adobe -- I hope you're put out of business soon... my dog writes better software than this...



A digital signature automatically contains the date and time it was signed.

Printing the file to a PDF is a very bad idea. You're basically destroying the entire underlying structure of the file and there's no way it will be accepted when you submit it.



It's not a legacy application, it's a different application, one that also generated PDF files but of a different kind.

And yes, if you only have Acrobat then you can't edit this kind of form.



I spent an hour this morning trying to add a date to an IRS W9 form after I signed it in Acrobat. After reading this forum thread, I finally just double clicked the file and let it open in the native Apple Preview application. Within 2 minutes I was done with the form using the built-in "Markup" toolset.

I have spent so much money on Adobe software and so much time trying to figure this out within Acrobat, when I could have spent $0 and < 2 minutes to finish this using native software. Joke's on me I guess... #ThanksAdobe

How to sign pdf with Apple Preview.png



LiveCycle has been replaced by Adobe Experience Manger which can convert both the PDF and XML (LiveCycle) forms into the newer format. One of the largest creators of LiveCycle forms, http://www.irs.gov, was still creating forms in March 2018. I expect that Experience Form Manager is using HTML5 and directed at enterprise users since it is sold on a contact basis only.



I think you might be referring to a digital time stamp that is added to the doc as metadata.  Or I must be using a different version of "Fill and Sign".  The only option available was to add a "psuedo" signature which was basically an image of a signature generated by Acrobat DC.  There was no option to insert a visible date.

I'm my case I didn't need to maintain the underlying structure or meta data.  I would bet that there a many others that have found themselves in the same situation as myself.  I just needed to overlay a string of text where a field was missing. The alternative was to print the document to paper, fill out the rest with a pen and then scan it back to electronic form.



Yes, it would have been, actually. The LCD forms are completely different to the normal PDF files and you can't use the same "engine" to generate both of them. I do believe that they should not have been called PDF files, though, as they are not really that at all.



LiveCycle is not even a supported or available Adobe product anymore! So this error is absurd.

I just called Adobe and tech support gave me this solution: Open your local PDF file with a browser (we used Chrome) and go to Save As > PDF. Save it with a new name. Then, you can open it in Acrobat Pro and add the text.

Note that once you save it this way it will no longer be an editable form like my W9 downloaded from the government web site was, for example. So do your native form editing first, and then save it using the method above so you can add text or edit the document otherwise. Hope this saves someone else the hour of headache I had to go through.



That's a great workaround, dwaflord. Thanks for the idea!

I'm not sure if this was added in a recent version of Acrobat Pro, but there is an "Add Initials" option in the "Sign" tool now, and I was able to type and place a date into that.

For all of you quibbling about metadata: Please understand that not every signed document's end-us is to be saved as a digital file. Often, even in 2018, we are submitting to companies that are printing and filing the paper version of a signed file, and in those cases, a visible, printable date is necessary and the metadata is a great "progressive enhancement" useless in a practical sense.



When this happens I usually type the date in Photoshop/Illustrator and save out as transparent PNG. Then I upload it as a signature in Adobe Acrobat and paste it in. You can also hand-draw the date in the Signature popup.



If using the digitally sign feature of Acrobat/Reader, there is a special digital certificate that is attached to the PDF that includes a lot of information as when the PDF form was signed and information to tell if the form has been changed and the ability to "roll back" the form to a state prior to the signature being applied.

Fill and sign is a different product for applying a signature to the PDF.

Use of the digital certificate can be used to validate legal or business forms internationally and comply the legal signature standards that have been internationally agree upon. "Fill and sign"  has no such standing or ability, so any formed signed by the "Fill and Sign" option should not be recognized as legally binding in an U.S. court or the courts in many other countries. You might find a court that accepts the "Fill and Sign" but that ruling can easily be overturned because of its lack of conformity to international standards and the standard in the U.S. established by the UCC.



Of course, you should still be able to fill in any existing form fields, save the file, etc., but you can't actually edit the document itself or the fields in it.



This is a long and complicated discussion aslfm. Which software do you mean?

I STRONGLY recommend you print this form and sign it in ink. Anything else may run into legal trouble with the IRS as well as wasting hours or days on the computer.



You're taking a very big risk there. Preview might allow you to do that, but it will also corrupt your form in various ways. It's very likely that if you submit such a form to the IRS it will be rejected out of hand.



Thanks @Test Screen Name. However, there is literally no other way to put a date next to your signature on the form except to either print it or circumvent their input fields. I asked my CPA if I could just leave the [Date] field blank next to my signature and just rely on the saved time stamp of the document (as try67​ suggested above), and he said ABSOLUTELY NOT. When I explained that the rest of the fields could be edited digitally except for that one date field, he suggested perhaps it was an oversight on their part. He said "it must be signed and dated within those fields."

So, Apple Preview to the rescue. I'm happy I found a solution that works. #AdobeFail



Be warned that this form was designed by IRS so you couldn't edit it. The form you edited might be for your own use, printing out, signing etc, and if so that's great. If it's to send to the IRS electronically, don't do that!



That's not 100% true...

Static XFA forms also include an AcroForm version, which really is a PDF. However, you are limited to the features of "real" PDFs, which means that the only value add being provided by LiveCycle Designer is its layout capabilities.



Printing to .pdf and then editing with Acrobat worked!  Thank you!  Literally, no one filling out the form cares if it's lifecycle or adobe, they just want to fill out the form.  Why the products aren't cross compatible, though they create .pdfs is beyond me.  Yeah, I know, different software, different purpose, but would it have been so hard to use the same 'engine' for the.pdf creation?  No, it wouldn't.  Symptomatic of the siloed structure that resides at Adobe.



I used the sign feature in Acrobat and to add the date I was able to open a restricted IRS doc in Illustrator, add the date and saved. The doc pages remained intact and in order.  Worked great!



This worked for me with another federal document (no comment on whether the IRS will accept it).  I saved the PDF form as an EPS (encapsulated post script) file.  Opened it back up in Acrobat and all editing was available.  Of course, the original form fields are gone as the entire document is treated as text, but I was able to fill the form fields before converting to EPS.  After editing, then re-save as a PDF.



The IRS W-9 orignally reauired a set signature by the IRS since it could be used in coudt actions. Fill and zign could add signature type.




I'm interested in this issue as well. It sounds like the IRS is still using "outdated" Adobe technology, hence why the W9 form won't allow you to add your signature image, or even "Fill & Sign", which seems like a totally natural thing we would need to do on a form that requires a signature.

Test Screen Nametry67​ Your concerns are valid regarding the way the "Print PDF" function erases the underlying interactive components of the document. However, for must practical purposes, this creates a signed form that we can actually submit and move on.

My workaround, as others have mentioned: 1) I filled out as much as I could on the fillable version of the pdf. 2) I used PRINT, which created a static document that I was able to edit. 3) EDIT- Add Image, and uploaded the digital image file of my signature.

I now have a filled and signed W9 that I can submit to my clients.