The Acrobat FDF Toolkit provides a thread-safe API for writing server-side applications for Windows, UNIX and Java, making it easier to generate or parse FDF files used with Acrobat forms. The FDF Toolkit has support for ActiveX, Perl, and C for Windows. The FDF Toolkit C and Perl libraries are also available for AIX, Linux, and Solaris. The Java FDF Toolkit supports Java for all 1.1 or higher compatible Virtual Machines (VMs).
We recommend if you are building a new system with PDF Forms that you consider building your system with XML Forms, using the Adobe LiveCycle Designer.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does the FDF Toolkit do?
The FDF Toolkit enables you to create and/or manipulate FDF (Form Data Format) data which is used by PDF forms created with the form tools in Adobe Acrobat. The form tools are available in Acrobat 5, Acrobat Professional 6, Acrobat Professional 7 and Acrobat Professional 8.
Can I use it to create PDF forms?
No. The FDF Toolkit is just for processing data that is submitted (via email or http submit) from a form. To create a form, you need Acrobat Professional or Adobe LiveCycle Designer. (Note: PDF forms created with LiveCycle Designer generate data in XML, not in FDF.)
Can I put the Toolkit on the same machine as the client, Acrobat/Reader?
No. The toolkit must be installed and run on a separate machine. The toolkit must be installed on a server. Acrobat and Reader are not allowed to be installed on a server.
Is the FDF Toolkit licensed for use on a desktop or client computer?
This is a server application. It must be run on a computer separate from the computer that has Acrobat and/or Adobe Reader. (Note: The End User License Agreement (EULA) for both Acrobat and Adobe Reader prohibit these products from being used on a server.)
Has the FDF Toolkit been updated for Acrobat 8?
No. The FDF Toolkit is identical to the toolkit introduced with Acrobat 6. Because there were no changes to FDF form capabilities in Acrobat 7 and Acrobat 8, there were no changes to the toolkit. The new form capabilities in introduced in Acrobat 7 Professional are the addition of LiveCycle Designer, which generates XML forms.
Is the FDF Toolkit supported in current versions of Acrobat?
The FDF TK is still supported. If you are building structured forms-based systems that require the automation of forms data processing, Adobe recommends you build your system with XML Forms, using Adobe LiveCycle Designer.
Does the FDF Toolkit support XML forms (forms built using Adobe LiveCycle Designer)?
No. The FDF Toolkit is for use with FDF data, the data that is produced from a form created with the Acrobat form tools. Forms created with LiveCycle Designer produce XML data. You can use any standard XML tool to process XML data.
Does the FDF Toolkit support XFDF (XML data exported/imported from Acrobat Forms)?
No. The FDF Toolkit is for use with FDF data. XFDF is an XML format. You can use any standard XML tool to process XFDF.
Download the FDF Toolkit
Note: By downloading these files, you agree to the terms as stated in the End-User License Agreement included below.
FDF Toolkit End User License Agreement (PDF, 48k)
FDF Toolkit for Windows (ZIP: 2.2MB)
FDF Toolkit for Java (ZIP: 2.2MB)
FDF Toolkit for Unix (ZIP: 2.9MB)