What are Dynamic XFA Forms?

LiveCycle XFA forms – also called dynamic XFA forms – are not supported in PDF Studio.

XFA Forms were deprecated in PDF 2.0

These are complex and uncommon PDF forms that are designed to be rendered dynamically from the drawing and layout information present in the XFA definition. This kind of forms are not widely supported and only a couple of vendors are able to render them.

These forms are being phased out and discontinued. Adobe themselves have moved away from dynamic XFA forms and they did not add support for them on mobile (Android, IOS). In the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, the form designer does not support these type of forms and the LiveCycle Designer needs to be purchased it separately.

To create dynamic PDFs without using Dynamic XFA Forms, we suggest looking at creating Page templates. These page templates allow to add page dynamically to a form, are simpler and have a wider support among PDF readers.

Support for XFA Forms in PDF Studio

We will not be adding support for LiveCycle XFA forms in PDF Studio.

PDF Studio offers the following support for interactive forms:

  • Supported: Acroforms  (this format is supported by most PDF vendors)
  • Supported: Acroforms with static XFA (this format is supported by a lot of PDF vendors)
  • Unsupported: Dynamic XFA forms (this format is supported by a very limited number of vendors and this format is being discontinued and has been removed from the PDF 2.0 specifications).

How are Dynamic XFA Forms Handled in PDF Studio?

When opening a dynamic livecycle XFA forms,

  • PDF Studio 9 and above will prompt a dialog indicating that it will not attempt to open these types of documents:

Unable to open document as it is a LiveCycle Dynamic XFA Form.
For more information, please see our knowledge base.

  • PDF Studio 8 and earlier will display a fall-back page reading:

Please wait…

If this message is not eventually replaced by the proper contents of the document, your PDF viewer may not be able to display this type of document.

You can upgrade to the latest version of Adobe Reader for Windows®, Mac, or Linux® by visiting  http://www.adobe.com/go/reader_download.


The only workaround is to convert the Dynamic XFA form into a static XFA form. To do so, open the dynamic XFA form in Livecycle Form Designer and save it as “Static Form”.  The static form will be able to open in PDF Studio as well as most PDF viewers.