Opening XFA compliant PDF documents does not work with built-in PDF player of Microsoft Edge

Occasional Visitor

Hello,

 

The built-in PDF player of Edge does not support opening of XFA compliant PDF documents. Is there any chance this functionality will be added in the near future to the browser?

If not, how the users are supposed to open this type of PDF documents using Edge, other than downloading the file to the local drive and use Acrobat Reader Dc after that.

 

Thank you,

 

Eduard Constantin

9 Replies
This is by design. XFA is not part of the PDF standard, and so our initial implementation does not support it. We're looking into what it would take for minimal support in the future though.

@josh_bodner Your roadmap (Microsoft 365 Roadmap | Microsoft 365) still lists XFA support as being in GA as of last month. Is there any update to that status, then?

@josh_bodner 

Thanks - I've tried the flag however it still has some issues (same as chrome)

Try this link 

t132-eng.pdf (publishing.service.gov.uk)

 

There is a link to the chrome bug here as well.

https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=1335882#c3

 

 

Ah yes, if you look at the roadmap linked above, you'll see that the feature is still in development (the date is unfortunately out of date since that was when we hoped to have it done by). That's why it's still turned off by default, and when you turn it on, it's not fully functional.

@josh_bodner 

Yes, that's fine, I understand that your still in the development stage - same as chrome is. I just really wanted to point to a pdf using xfa forms - created by the uk justice department (so a credabile source) that you might use as part of the development / testing.

 

This might be a 'shot in the dark' and TBH I don't expect an answer. However if you don't ask you'll never know. When do you think development will be complete? Even just a ball part figure - 6months, 1 year etc? 

At this point we don't know, which is part of the reason why the old date is still there.
Hi Josh... this is also highly impactful to the DoD when leveraging the Microsoft 365 SharePoint sites. We cannot access the XFA documents or any documents developed within the Adobe LiveCycle software via any the web browsers. This has caused work stoppage issues after moving over to DoD365 environment. Do you happen to know if this is going to be resolved in the near future (given that your post was from May 26th)? Just curious. This will determine if we have to re-haul a majority of our forms and readjust workload.... what a nightmare. Any assistance would be appreciated!
Hi CPittman - I would say that your looking at a long time. The Adobe pdf plugin relied on 'NPAPI' style plugins. All browsers have removed that. So even adobe plugin for chrome/edge/whatever browser can't open these files.

Adobe seem to have stopped any development of the pdf plugin so it would work in modern browsers - probably because there is no money in it.

So basically it's down to Edge/Microsoft/3rd paty to rework the XFA capability and come up with a viewer that will do the same job as Adobe Reader. I've seen a few ... good attempts but nothing is 100%. It's kinda like OpenOffice and the old doc files. Sure it could open them - but they weren't going to be 100% the same as word.

As it stands XFA isn't in the pdf iso standard https://www.iso.org/standard/75839.html
So basically I would say your waiting for something that will probably not happen - or if it does won't be as good as the adobe reader.

As for the (uk) dept of justice form, we have started to make our own word doc and hopefully the dept of justice will accept our formatting.

You say that your working for the DOD - so US I surpose. Uk government has a standpoint on using opensource / open standards. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/open-standards-principles/open-standards-principles
Basically XFA isn't an open standard it's specialised to adobe pdf. I say adobe pdf because there are others e.g google and edge have their own built in.

So best of luck, I would strongly think about redoing the forms.
Your alertnative is tweeking the settings to get the user to download the pdf and open in adobe.
https://helpx.adobe.com/livecycle/kb/xfa-forms-firefox-chrome.html
Or perhaps another option if you fancey throwing some cash at the issue....
https://www.idrsolutions.com/formvu/pricing

Best of Luck!



@rhousham thank you, my friend. Well… I guess we will look at revamping! Definitely a bit frustrating as there appears to be limitations to the features in Adobe Acrobat Pro. We will figure it out I guess! Thanks for the insight.