Posts tagged "acrobat"

Unknown Format Error on Submitting a PDF from the Adobe Acrobat

I am working on a project that requires submitting the content of the PDF document as a stream to a Servlet. For the most part, the project works fine – the form is posted by the Acrobat/Reader, the server receives the file, creates a local copy and processes it correctly. After the post is successfully received, the last step on the server is to send a reply to the Acrobat/Reader. On not receiving a reply, the Adobe Acrobat/Reader throws anĀ unknown format error.


Reason of the problem is that the Adobe Acrobat/ Reader expect a return from the servlet and the application server was not generating a response that Acrobat/Reader understands. To remove the error message, the servlet should return a properly constructed FDF and the URL of the submit button should end with #FDF.

Note: I am using Adobe LiveCycle Designer; I believe you can use Adobe Acrobat to achieve the same result.

Here are the exact steps to remove the error:

  1. Open your XDP form in LiveCycle Designer.
  2. Select the Submit button.
  3. Either in the Design View or in the Source view, edit submit to URL to add #FDF at the end of the URL.
  4. Save the XDP.
  5. In your Java project, create a plain-text file and add the following content:
    %FDF-1.2 1 0 obj << /FDF << /Status (Your message goes here.) >> >> endobj trailer << /Root 1 0 R >> %%EOF
  1. Replace “Your message goes here.” with the text you want to display.
  2. Save the file. For this example, let us save the file as returnresponse.txt
  3. Import returnresponse.txt to your Java project.
  4. Add the following code to your servlet:
    response.setHeader("returnresponse.txt", "The file has been submitted sucessfully");

    The Java code sets the MIME type of the response in the “Content-type” HTTP header to “application/vnd.fdf“.

  5. Run the program and you should not experience the error again.