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Convert XFA Form to AcroForm?

New Here ,
Jul 01, 2008 Jul 01, 2008

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Greetings (I'm desperately seeking an answer to this, but I'll try to keep the rhetoric toned down!):

Is there a way for Acrobat Pro (I'm current at 8.1.2) to convert a (static) XFA Form into the old AcroForm format? I have a large static XFA form (created in LiveCycle Designer), but the Java API that I'm using to pre-populate some values currently works only with the AcroForm format.

FYI, there are two "informal workarounds" to be found on the net, but I can't get either of these to work in Acrobat Pro 8:

o From Carl Young: "Create PDF -> From Web Page"; select the XFA form instead of a web page; Acrobats web page conversion tool would turn the XML inside the Designer form to a regular PDF. Only works in Acrobat 7.

o From Ted Padova: "Document->Extract Pages" (static XFA only). This option is always grayed-out on any static XFA form I create.

So unless there are other suggestions out there, would you say that my best option for an immediate solution is to track down a copy of Acrobat 7 and use that? I've tried creating an AcroForm manually with Acrobat Pro's "Tools->Forms->Text Field Tool"/etc, but it's very, very difficult to replicate all the form field config and layout we did in LiveCycle. Having to do that might force us to abandon PDF forms altogether.

Thanks very much for any suggestions!

Regards,
-Peter Demling
Lexington, MA
TOPICS
Acrobat SDK and JavaScript

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Employee , Jun 29, 2017 Jun 29, 2017

A PDF without form fields – which is what you have when you “print to PDF” is NOT an AcroForm!! An AcroForm uses live/interactive form fields as defined in ISO 32000-1:2008.

Second, this process is EXTREMELY LOSSY! Not only to the form itself – losing all business rules, etc – but to the PDF, since Chrome’s PDF creation engine doesn’t support all the possible features of a PDF (or XFA-based PDF).

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Explorer ,
Jul 01, 2008 Jul 01, 2008

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There is nothing in the Acrobat UI that will enable this operation.

However, you can use various programming libraries (including the one that you are already using on this project) to simply remove the XFA from the PDF leaving the rest of the document intact.

Leonard

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Explorer ,
Jul 01, 2008 Jul 01, 2008

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Acrobat 9 has conversion to Acroform functionality, it might help.

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Explorer ,
Jul 02, 2008 Jul 02, 2008

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I'd be curious to know where you believe Acrobat 9 has XFA->AcroForm conversion functions built into the UI of the product...

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New Here ,
Jul 07, 2008 Jul 07, 2008

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There is another way but it's a manual process and it's a HACK. Using this process will basically kill any XFA or JS functionality that was in the form previously. So proceed at your own risk...

Use a tool that can view and edit the internals of a "static" LiveCycle PDF form (i.e. Windjack's PDFCanOpener).
Delete the XFA dictionary
Do a SaveAs to a new form name.
Close the form
Re-open the form and then you should be able to edit the form with the Acroform tools.

Note: This WILL NOT work with dynamic forms.

Sabian

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Explorer ,
Jul 07, 2008 Jul 07, 2008

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"Forms - "Start Form Wizard" - "A Paper Form"

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Community Expert ,
Jul 07, 2008 Jul 07, 2008

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That doesn't convert a XFA Form to an AcroForm.

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Explorer ,
Jul 07, 2008 Jul 07, 2008

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Sabian - that suggestion won't work on many types of XFA forms - only those classic ones that happen to have an "AcroForm mirror".

Leonard

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New Here ,
Jul 07, 2008 Jul 07, 2008

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Leonard,

Understood but I thought that it was worth mentioning the hack.

Sabian

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Explorer ,
Jul 07, 2008 Jul 07, 2008

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Print and scan may create a passable layout and the entry fields of an Acroform, it will not get all the dog hairs of the lollipop.

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New Here ,
Jul 10, 2008 Jul 10, 2008

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Print the form to Adobe PDF.

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New Here ,
Nov 11, 2008 Nov 11, 2008

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Do all pdfs that contain XFA forms also contain AcroForms?

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Enthusiast ,
Nov 11, 2008 Nov 11, 2008

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Yes and no.

XFA PDFs contain an AcroForm dictionary at the Cos level, but they are not accessible in the same way as AcroForm fields are.

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Explorer ,
Nov 11, 2008 Nov 11, 2008

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While what PDL said is true in the past, as of Acrobat 8.1, you will NOT find an AcroForm in all XFA-based PDFs - specifically, dynamic XFA will NOT have AcroForms associated with them.

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New Here ,
Nov 12, 2008 Nov 12, 2008

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Why?

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Explorer ,
Nov 12, 2008 Nov 12, 2008

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Because they were wasting space in the PDF.

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New Here ,
Jun 29, 2017 Jun 29, 2017

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Hi,

I was also looking for same and reached a easy solution u can try this out

Follow these simple steps:-

1.Drag and drop it xfa format PDF into chrome ,it will open in chrome browser.

2.You will find three options at right corner

        Rotate clockwise

        Download

        Print

3.click on print

4.Change destination "save as PDF" and save.

Saved PDF is flat PDF(Acroform) and can be edited easily

Thanks

[details removed by ussnorway]

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Community Expert ,
Jun 29, 2017 Jun 29, 2017

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With Adobe Acrobat you can print to "Adobe PDF".

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New Here ,
Feb 28, 2020 Feb 28, 2020

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LATEST

Tried that on the MacOS Reader application.  It just whines that I should do a "File - Copy".  Which *****DOESN'T***** remove the XFA functions.  Which means the file STILL can't be opened in Ocular, Evince, or the MacOS previewer.

 

Don't need it to be editable once it's filled out.  I need it viewable.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jun 29, 2017 Jun 29, 2017

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A PDF without form fields – which is what you have when you “print to PDF” is NOT an AcroForm!! An AcroForm uses live/interactive form fields as defined in ISO 32000-1:2008.

Second, this process is EXTREMELY LOSSY! Not only to the form itself – losing all business rules, etc – but to the PDF, since Chrome’s PDF creation engine doesn’t support all the possible features of a PDF (or XFA-based PDF).

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