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Error - Bad PDF

Community Beginner ,
Feb 04, 2024 Feb 04, 2024

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I am trying to "Prepare a Form" on a PDF workbook I have made in Canva. I have done this dozens of times, but just today, I am getting an error "Bad PDF; could not read page structure. [3]"

 

My goal is to create a workbook that is fillable. Again, I have done this many times before in the exact same way and never had an issue. I went into my previously downloaded files and tested one of those, and they worked fine. Is there a possibility this is an issue on Canva's end?

 

Does anyone have suggestions?

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Edit and convert PDFs , PDF forms

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Beginner , May 01, 2024 May 01, 2024

SOLUTION (I've found works for me): When downloading from Canva, tick the 'Flatten PDF' option before downloading

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Community Expert ,
Feb 04, 2024 Feb 04, 2024

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quote

Is there a possibility this is an issue on Canva's end?


By @Deanna26683769jhtd

Yes! Sure.  Canva is not exactly an Adobe product, so check with Canva first.

 

It may be possible to “print” it to a PDF printer, if you can get it to open in a reader of your choice. That could fix the bad structure issue.

ABAMBO | Hard- and Software Engineer | Photographer

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 04, 2024 Feb 04, 2024

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Thanks @Abambo ,

 

Interestingly, the file will open, and I can manually add text boxes; it just takes much longer than it normally does. 

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Community Expert ,
Feb 04, 2024 Feb 04, 2024

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As I do not have your file, I can't comment on that. The missing page structure may be the problem.

ABAMBO | Hard- and Software Engineer | Photographer

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Community Expert ,
Feb 04, 2024 Feb 04, 2024

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Try saving your pdf as PDX/X-1a, sometimes that fixes minor issues. File> Save as other> Press-ready PDF> Settings.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 04, 2024 Feb 04, 2024

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Thanks Luke, a good suggestion, but no luck. 

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Community Expert ,
Feb 04, 2024 Feb 04, 2024

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Are the fonts embedded? (File> Document properties> Fonts), all listed fonts should say embedded or embedded subset. If they are not, run a preflight profile to embed them. If that doesn't help, make a copy of your pdf, save as an optimized pdf, selecting all of the discard and clean up options. Lastly, if you have InDesign, place your pdf into a new InDesign file and export to a new pdf.

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New Here ,
Feb 07, 2024 Feb 07, 2024

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Hi, I am experiencing the exact same thing - I have made dozens of PDF's in canva & then made them into fillable workbooks using Adobe 'Prepare a Form,' now all of a sudden I'm getting a pop-up of 'Bad PDF; could not read page structure [1].'

Does anyone have any other suggestions or ideas on how to fix this? Thanks 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 12, 2024 Mar 12, 2024

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...I'm getting a pop-up of 'Bad PDF; could not read page structure [1].'

By @Courtney353194296nhg

 

Bad page structure is a failure of the PDF utility that makes the PDF. In what everyone is describing, that would point back to Canva, the originating source program that is exporting the PDF but probably not following the international standard well enough, ISO 32000 (https://www.iso.org/standard/51502.html)

 

One test: Try opening the PDF in another PDF viewer, such as FoxIt or ABBYY Fine Reader. If it's bad page structure, they might flag the same problem, as well.

 

|    Bevi Chagnon   |  Designer & Technologist for Accessible Documents |
|    PubCom |    Classes & Books for Accessible InDesign, PDFs & MS Office |

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New Here ,
Feb 27, 2024 Feb 27, 2024

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I am also having this exact same issue with Canva. Have used this service many times and also get the 'Bad PDF; could not read page structure. [1]' error message. Does anyone know how to fix this?

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New Here ,
Mar 08, 2024 Mar 08, 2024

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I had this exact issue (on Windows 11 computer) and found a workaround:

  • Open the pdf you would like to convert
  • Select the "Prepare a form"
  • Make sure you're on the "Select a file" option (should be the default since you have the pdf opened)
  • Notice the field above the Create Form button that says "Auto-Detect Form Field is ON" and click "Change" next to it.
  • Uncheck the box for "Automatically detect Form fields"
  • Click OK and then Create form

This should get you into the prepare a form workspace. Unfortunately, you will have to create all of the fields from scratch but it is the only way I have found to bypass the error message.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 12, 2024 Mar 12, 2024

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Hey @Nicole301688822dta ,

 

This is the best solution so far, but as you acknowledged, the previously created fields are no longer available. That is both frustrating and disappointing. I'm curious if anyone has had any experience trying to resolve this with Canva or Adobe. 

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 12, 2024 Mar 12, 2024

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Hey @Nicole301688822dta thanks for this response and advice. It helped until a final solution can be found. 🙂

 

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New Here ,
Jun 01, 2024 Jun 01, 2024

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This totally fixed the issue. Thank you for this. I had already prepared myself to manually enter everything I needed to, but kept getting this error message.

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Community Beginner ,
May 01, 2024 May 01, 2024

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SOLUTION (I've found works for me): When downloading from Canva, tick the 'Flatten PDF' option before downloading

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Community Beginner ,
May 03, 2024 May 03, 2024

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@TorBear ,

You did it! Bravo. I have no idea what it means to 'flatten' a PDF, but this seemed to correct the issue. Thank you so much, that was wildly frustrating. 

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Community Beginner ,
May 03, 2024 May 03, 2024

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Glad it worked for you too! 

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