Acrobat/Reader: “There was a problem reading this document (131)”


When you try to view a document in Adobe Reader or Acrobat, you receive the error, “There was a problem reading this document (131).“.  This error will occur when you used LiveCycle ReaderExtensions to apply usage rights to PDF documents with the Full Save option activated.

Sometimes, the following message precedes the error above:

An error exists on this page. Acrobat may not display the page correctly. Please contact the person who created the PDF document to correct the problem.


Disable the Full Save option in the ReaderExtensions tool, and apply the rights again. Disabling this option enables the incremental save feature in the PDF. The incremental save feature will increase the file size and allows Acrobat or Reader perform the save operation faster, without the file becoming corrupted. If you aren’t using the web interface, but use the API to apply rights, you can activate the incremental save using the PDFUtilitySaveMode object. For more information, see

Additional information

Adobe plans to resolve the problem with the Full Save in ReaderExtensions in a future release.  There is a patch available for LiveCycle ES2 SP2, so if you require this patch, contact Enterprise Support.

reference: (181996532/2785898)

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6 Responses to Acrobat/Reader: “There was a problem reading this document (131)”

  1. YR says:

    I’m having exactly this issue. I created the pdf in InDesign, by choosing export to high quality print. I’ve done this many times before and never had this problem. I have no errors when I view the document but when I sent it to someone else, they are having problems viewing this file and they get this error message. I am using Adobe CS5, and they are using Adobe Reader 10.1. Firstly, is the problem with on my end, or on theirs? Secondly, I don’t know anything about LiveCycle or rights… Can you give me a step by step instructions on how to solve this issue.

    • dmcmahon says:

      If you are not using LiveCycle then the issue you are experiencing is not exactly the same. I would suggest you report the issue to the creative support team. You could also try the forums:

      • YR says:

        Thanks for replying, is the problem from my end or from my clients end? I can view the pdf on my computer and I get no error messages. I tried exporting the pdf a few times and still they got an error. The only time they did not get an error was when I exported just one page from the file and it was a one page pdf.

  2. dmcmahon says:

    To be honest I can only guess. The problem sounds like it is in the PDF and provokes this error in certain Adobe Reader versions, or on certain platforms… It is not clear if you are using exactly the same Reader version on exactly the same platform. If this is the case, and you do not see the error, then you could rule out any general problems in the Reader installation.
    You could try using different PDF export options in InDesign. Maybe it has something to do with the actual content of the PDF file. Does it only happen when exporting this particular content, or does it happen for any content you export from InDesign? This would indicate a problem in the InDesign export options.

  3. Stefano says:

    Same message error. Never happened before.

    I’ve sent the file to the customer, he fills it with the requested data.

    Once I’ve received back, I cannot opened.

    I’ve reader v 10.1.3, the doucment is 1.7 Adobe Extension Level 3 (Acrobat 9x).

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