Bug 18935 - Form data is not saved for PDF files using XFA forms, will show old values when opened in acroread / Adobe Reader
Summary: Form data is not saved for PDF files using XFA forms, will show old values wh...
Alias: None
Product: poppler
Classification: Unclassified
Component: cairo backend (show other bugs)
Version: unspecified
Hardware: All Linux (All)
: medium normal
Assignee: poppler-bugs
QA Contact:
: 51998 55978 (view as bug list)
Depends on:
Reported: 2008-12-07 17:07 UTC by alexl
Modified: 2018-08-20 22:06 UTC (History)
9 users (show)

See Also:
i915 platform:
i915 features:

Another PDF with XFA (217.44 KB, application/pdf)
2018-05-12 02:26 UTC, Maciej Mrozowski

Description alexl 2008-12-07 17:07:54 UTC
Forwarded from this evince bug:


"Please describe the problem:
Certain PDFs have forms that won't save with evince.  I built the latest evince
(2.25.2) from source against the latest poppler (0.10.1).  

If this is purely a poppler bug, please let me know and I will refile this bug

Steps to reproduce:
1. download http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/I-130.pdf
2. fill out the first field and move your cursor to the next field (seem to be
necessary to make sure that evince knows to save it)
3. "Save A Copy" as I-130-copy.pdf
4. close evince
5. re-open the saved file, from the command-line e.g. evince I-130-copy.pdf

Actual results:
The field's value is not restored.  On the command line you see the following

 Error: Reference to an invalid or non existant object

one per field field that you filled in the original form

Expected results:
The form data should be restored.

Does this happen every time?
Yes with this file.

Other information:
Other PDFs with forms work just fine, e.g. filling out and saving:


works fine, so it seems to be a bug specific to certain forms"
Comment 1 James Cloos 2008-12-08 14:25:05 UTC
The non-working form is an XFA form.
Comment 2 alexl 2008-12-08 16:54:09 UTC
(In reply to comment #1)
> The non-working form is an XFA form.

What's an XFA form?  Is there something special about those kinds of forms?  Is it planned that poppler support them?
Comment 3 alexl 2008-12-08 17:05:05 UTC
If full XFA support isn't possible in the short term, is it possible for poppler to ignore the scripting part (presumably verification checks etc.) and just allow raw text to be stored in those fields?  That way at least you could save the contents of the  text in the forms even if they don't trigger scripts within the PDF.
Comment 4 James Cloos 2008-12-09 01:20:30 UTC
> What's an XFA form?


has about as much info as I know.

A search for XFA on the itext-questions list at sourceforge would likely
be instructive; I recall numerous queries about them and itext's support
for them.  But not the details, and I'm writing this reply while offline...
Also, a search there for LiveCycle should yield related details.

(Just a poppler consumer, who was curious why only one of the two worked.)
Comment 5 ssameer+bugs 2013-12-31 22:37:28 UTC
*** Bug 51998 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 6 ssameer+bugs 2013-12-31 22:47:47 UTC
Is there any progress regarding support for XFA forms? Are there legal or technical issues blocking an implmentation in poppler? Thanks.
Comment 7 Jean-François Fortin Tam 2014-03-05 23:12:59 UTC
*** Bug 55978 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 8 Domas Jokubauskis 2014-04-17 12:31:01 UTC
Adobe XML Forms Architecture (XFA) Specification, version 3.3 (1584 pages) is available here:

iText provides an online demo that flattens PDF with XFA forms to an ordinary PDF:
Comment 9 Zombie Ryushu 2014-09-12 13:57:20 UTC
This is a Critical issue, Okular needs a Javascript Engine and Adobe will produce no new Adobe Readers for Linux after 9.5.5.
Comment 10 Albert Astals Cid 2014-10-19 12:25:46 UTC
Please do not change bug priority if you not a developer of poppler
Comment 11 parchd 2014-10-23 11:37:43 UTC
What is the current status of development for XFA forms in poppler and programs using poppler? I encountered an XFA form for the first time a couple of days ago, and later read that Adobe are removing the downloads for the Linux version of Adobe Reader.

What are the different components that need work in order for at least one Linux pdf reader to support this?
Comment 12 Albert Astals Cid 2014-10-26 21:57:31 UTC
poppler needs to implement XFA forms support.
Comment 13 Dmitry Shubin 2015-05-08 11:21:53 UTC
Are there any near term plans for implementing this feature?
Comment 14 Jose Aliste 2015-05-08 17:00:41 UTC
Newer versions of Xpdf do implement XFA Forms, but the implementation is very different from current poppler implemenation which grew from older version of xpdf. There is a "plan" of merging new parts of xpdf code into poppler but afaik there is no people with time to do this.
Comment 15 reynaldo 2015-09-06 11:02:11 UTC
Savvy article . BTW , you are requiring a I- 130 - USCIS form, my secretary filled out and esigned a fillable document here http://pdf.ac/3IsYYu.
Comment 16 Karl Cheng 2017-05-12 01:24:25 UTC
Is this fixed? Editing the listed file using Evince seems to work now.
Comment 17 Maciej Mrozowski 2018-05-12 02:26:54 UTC
Created attachment 139512 [details]
Another PDF with XFA

Unfortunately perhaps just for this particular kind of PDF. I'm attaching another one that doesn't open at all.
Gov agencies seem to have weird bias towards technologies that require Adobe abandonware (like Adobe AIR, Acroread).
Comment 18 GitLab Migration User 2018-08-20 22:06:51 UTC
-- GitLab Migration Automatic Message --

This bug has been migrated to freedesktop.org's GitLab instance and has been closed from further activity.

You can subscribe and participate further through the new bug through this link to our GitLab instance: https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/poppler/poppler/issues/199.

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