Acrobat/Reader 9: HTTP submit button does not open local files


Security restrictions in Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9 restrict you from opening local files (Excel, Word, and so on) from within a PDF using Javascript (launchURL).  This action poses a security risk for the PDF file, and could allow dangerous files to be opened, and a script to be executed.

In previous versions of Acrobat or Reader (before 9.0), you can point the HTTP Submit button to a file:// URL on a network/local file system. The local file was “downloaded” using the browser’s plug-in. This behavior is not the intention of the HTTP Submit button. So, it’s been locked down in Acrobat and Reader 9 and later.

The HTTP submit button is used to send the form’s data to a server once the form has been filled. The resulting PDF can then be displayed to the user.

To reference or open local files from a PDF, run the PDF file in a privileged context (in the Javascript console or in a batch process). Or, certify the PDF file.  If you are running Acrobat or Reader in a browser context, you could put the local file on a web server and use the HTTP URL.

You can find more information to this security restriction under “app” and then the “methods” tab, and then under the launchURL method:

Extract from the JavaScript Documentation:

Note: Beginning with Acrobat 8.1, file and JavaScript URLs can be executed only when operating in a privileged context, such as during a batch event. File and JavaScript URLs begin with the scheme names javascript or file.

reference: (181917275)

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LiveCycle ES2: “The embedded font program ‘PZSWZL+CustomSymbol’ cannot be read.”


When you convert PDF files to PDF/A using LiveCycle ES2, and then validate the files with a PDF validator, you receive the following error:

The embedded font program ‘PZSWZL+CustomSymbol’ cannot be read.

The font PZSWZL+CustomSymbol must be embedded.

Validation in LiveCycle ES2 and Acrobat 8 or 9 validates the PDF/A without errors.  Validation with current validators such as Acrobat X Preflight, or 3 Heights PDF Validator produce the error above.


This issue is a problem in LiveCycle ES2 (,, and as it should also return an error that the PDF/A is invalid.  This issue is fixed in LiveCycle ES3 (LC10) and later.  There is a patch available for ES2 SP1 and SP2, so contact enterprise support if you require one of these patches.

Additional information

PDF 1.4 recognizes only the following cmaps for TrueType fonts:

  • cmap subtable with platform ID 3 and encoding ID 1 (Microsoft Unicode, also called  [3,1])
  • cmap subtable with platform ID 1 and encoding 0 (Macintosh Roman, also called [1,0])

In this case, the PDF file was using a custom font CustomSymbol that contained a (3, 0) cmap subtable, which PDF 1.4 doesn’t recognize.  Therefore, Acrobat X and other PDF/A validators correctly reported an error when checking for PDF/A-1b compliance (As PDF/A-1b is based upon PDF 1.4).

reference: (181779161/2714061)

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Acrobat/Reader 9: Error “This document enables Reader capabilities that are no longer enabled…”


When you open PDF files that are Reader-enabled using Reader Extensions server (version 5 or 6) in Reader 9 or later, you receive the following error:



Reader-enable the PDF files again using a later version of the ReaderExtensions server (that is LiveCycle 7, or ES).

Additional information

This error occurs because Adobe Reader 9 no longer supports the ubiquity technology provided by ReaderExtensions server version 5 or 6.

Extract from:

“Adobe Reader 9 drops support for Adobe Reader Extensions 5 and 6 which permit Adobe Reader client software to save changes to filled-in forms in PDFs. Adobe Reader Extensions 6.1 and newer are still supported. Legacy PDFs are still viewable, however they open with the warning “This document enables Reader capabilities that are no longer enabled in this Reader version.”

This change in discussed in the Reader Extensions upgrade information on

reference: (181907091)

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