No XFA Form Support?!

Community Beginner ,
Aug 02, 2014 Aug 02, 2014

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Hi,

Recently I needed to host a few PDFs made by the IRS through EchoSign. They were in XFA format and imported. However, I couldn't get EchoSign text tags to work (XFA forms don't support field names that have colons). Additionally, the rendering of the form boxes was way off: http://i.imgur.com/Im8vB49.png. (It looks perfectly fine in 3 different PDF readers, just not the EchoSign one.)

The problem seems to be that EchoSign doesn't support XFA forms. Surely, this must be wrong, I thought at the time. The standard for XFA forms goes back to 2007 and Adobe has been pushing them for a while. Adobe obviously owns both LiveCycle Designer and EchoSign, so they must be able to work together.

Five hours and five Adobe programs later, I had no solution. I googled for a competitor's PDF Editor and was able to convert the XFA forms back into AcroForm compatible PDFs within 10 minutes and add text tags. I wasted a large amount of time purely to learn that Adobe products (Acrobat, LiveCycle Designer) can't work with other Adobe products (EchoSign).

As an outsider to these issues, it looks really, really bad. I mean it's 2014, getting close to 2015, and this standard is so old that even the IRS is using these forms, but Adobe's EchoSign can't even support one of their own native Adobe formats? That's completely baffling.

Maybe this isn't the right place for this type of feedback; I don't know. I just didn't see any active discussions on this via Google since 2011.

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Employee , Aug 04, 2014 Aug 04, 2014

EchoSign supports static XFA forms, but dynamic XFA forms will not be processed at all unless flattened first. Regular PDF forms can be processed by Echosign and most Acroform fields will be converted to EchoSign form fields, especially if using Acrobat 11, convert to EchoSign feature.

Also Echosign is not a PDF Reader, when you get to the signing stage you see a high quality raster of the uploaded file with EchoSign fields overlaid on top.

For static XFA you cannot use the new text tag format as

...

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Adobe Employee ,
Aug 04, 2014 Aug 04, 2014

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EchoSign supports static XFA forms, but dynamic XFA forms will not be processed at all unless flattened first. Regular PDF forms can be processed by Echosign and most Acroform fields will be converted to EchoSign form fields, especially if using Acrobat 11, convert to EchoSign feature.

Also Echosign is not a PDF Reader, when you get to the signing stage you see a high quality raster of the uploaded file with EchoSign fields overlaid on top.

For static XFA you cannot use the new text tag format as indee this syntax included ':'. You can use the old style text tag instead for naming your fields, though the old style does not allow for recent feature additions. I've attached an old tagging guide.

A better way of using text tags in LC designer is to use text areas and use current text tags with the {{ }} and colons instead.

Or if you lucky enough to have access to a complete LC server suite, you can build a workflow which ends by flattening a dynamic XFA/XDP and send the completed but flattened PDF to the Echosign API to get a final signature.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 04, 2014 Aug 04, 2014

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Thanks a lot for the old style tagging guide! That is basically the information I was desperately searching for but couldn't find before.

It may be useful to include that in the PDF guide for the new tagging styles - a mention that old style text tags work for static XFA forms (and a link to the PDF). Could be also good to update the 'EchoSign does not work with forms made in LifeCycle Designer." sayings that are on a few different EchoSign pages to say something like "EchoSign does not work with dynamic XFA forms."

The rendering issue still exists... I don't suppose you have any advice for that? Maybe a certain field property isn't supported by EchoSign? Here's a PDF on which the issue occurs: http://www.mediafire.com/download/njblly11o721nfd/fw8ben+for+EchoSign.pdf

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Adobe Employee ,
Aug 08, 2014 Aug 08, 2014

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Going by my own experience during my time at echosign, you're on the the second person to ask about xfa. Myself being the first.

The rendering of the fields seem to be as expected to me. Echosign does have to convert these fields and the document is a rasterized (high quality) version of the pdf. so the fields won't be one to one scale. however the final signed pdf should show the entered content as if you filled out the pdf rather than use Echosign.

In summary though while you can make EchoSign aware forms using the LC designer tool, it's not the best tool. if you'd like to use the newer field features, you better off using Adobe Acrobat (or any other tool which can create regular Acrobat form fields)

if a PDF is the starting document.

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New Here ,
Jan 26, 2015 Jan 26, 2015

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MMOSimca,  What was the software you Used to convert the XFA to Acroform? I have been seaqrching high and low with no success

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 30, 2015 Jan 30, 2015

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I don't remember specifics, but I remember being able to do the conversion I wanted (from XFA to Acroform) using Foxit's PhantomPDF.

I think it was slightly messy and since I had several forms to set up that were XFA, I ended up just using the old style tagging guide that SimonATS linked for the long term. Following that, I was able to make my static XFA form work correctly. Just make everything a text field and set their names up like it says in the guide.

You can check out the PDF I linked for an example of a static XFA form that works in Echosign.

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