I am using Mac OS 10.13.6. I have downloaded and installed the latest version of Adobe Reader. I use Safari as my browser.

I am going to a website which has Dynamic XFA PDF forms. Each time I click on the link I get the error message

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.

I searched the web and most solutions (like download the form) didn't work for me.

I don't know what more can I do. This is so infuriating that in 2019 I cannot fill forms on the internet (thanks to curse and cancer of Adobe)

  • I spend an inordinate amount of time explaining this message to people at my workplace. The message SHOULD say "please open this form in Acrobat". It doesn't. It misleadingly tells people that Acrobat is outdated. Many, MANY people don't realize that modern browsers use native PDF rendering, NOT an Adobe plug-in.
    – dr.nixon
    Jul 23, 2021 at 19:54
  • XFA is not part of the PDF standard, and has since become deprecated in PDF 2.0.
    – benwiggy
    Dec 20, 2021 at 13:22

1 Answer 1


By default, a browser will try to open any PDF file within a browser tab/window. BUT currently browsers do not support XFA-based PDF files.

Since you already have Adobe Acrobat installed, you can change the default in your browser to always open PDF files in Adobe Acrobat.

Or you can open a XFA-based PDF file manually by first downloading it then right-click (or 2-finger tap) on the file and choose "Open with..." and select Adobe Acrobat.

If you need help with any of these steps, explain at what step you have trouble and I can elaborate.

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