XFA to AcroForm

This application converts a static Form (Static XFA) created using Adobe LiveCycle Designer into a form that can be edited by Adobe Acrobat XI and higher. The conversion process can be lossy if your form contains calculations.

Version 0.9 (beta)

Click to upload using a file dialog or drag and drop a PDF onto this target

Convert Static XFA to an Acrobat Form

Adobe LiveCycle Designer was included with Adobe Acrobat Pro version 6 (2004) through X (2010) and was the default form authoring tool for most of that time. If you had a PDF document and wanted to turn that into an interactive form, Acrobat would launch Designer, import your PDF as a background, and overlay an XML Forms Architecture (XFA) form on top of it. Unlike the dynamic forms that could be created using Designer only, a form that used an existing PDF as it’s starting point was static. In order to provide some degree of backward compatibility and interoperability with other PDF viewers, Adobe had Designer also created all the parts necessary for the Static XFA form to behave as though it were a traditional AcroForm. In fact, a Static XFA form is also a standard AcroForm.

Unfortunately, Designer was removed from the Acrobat Pro product starting with version XI and forms created by Designer can no longer be edited in Acrobat. While Designer can be purchased separately if you are committed to using XFA. But, if you don’t need the extra capabilities of XFA and just want to be able to edit your form in the latest releases of Acrobat, you’re out of luck.

As it turns out, the only thing preventing the Prepare Form tool from editing a Static XFA form is… you guessed it… the XFA; once removed, Acrobat will recognize the form properly and allow editing. That’s what this tool does. Upload your Static XFA form and download a standard AcroForm. This is still very much a work in progress. See below for exact details of what it does and where it’s going.

Technical Details

The application makes the following changes to the PDF.

Future Features


Removing the Perms dictionary from the document catalog will remove Reader Enablement. However, the form will then be editable in Acrobat XI and higher.

Removing the XFA array from the AcroForm dictionary is lossy. Until I make more progress, you will lose...

Note: Translation of FormCalc will never be supported.