PDF assignment files


We are running into an issue with some of the PDF assignment files not opening for the assessors. From what we gathered, it depends on the PDF format and the version of Adobe that the student might have (and save their assignment in). For instance, we already figured that the LiveCycle Designer PDF version gives an error message and cannot be viewed/downloaded.

Would there be a list of PDF formats that are supported and won't cause error messages when they are being downloaded from Dropbox/assessed through Inline Feedback? It would probably be something like PDF/A (one of the most common types), and maybe something else? Alternatively, it would be great to know what PDF file formats are not supported

Thank you so much!




  • Hi Kate,
    Adobe support for the LiveCycle Designer product ended in 2018, the application has been discontinued and replaced with https://helpx.adobe.com/au/support/adobe-livecycle-end-of-core-support.html .
    Adobe users should be encouraged to update their products to the latest available versions to reduce the risk posed by security vulnerabilities. LiveCycle Designer forms can be saved as static forms/pdf documents that can be opened by Adobe Acrobat.

    Some applications such as MS Word/MS PDF Printer can save/print documents to the default PDF version, and configured to save in the PDF/A format. Learners should be encouraged to save in the default pdf file version as this is the most prevalent, this should minimise any issue in Brightspace, unless the assessment task calls for a specific version. Saving documents in the other PDF subset formats pdf/x/e/vt/ua typically requires a content authoring tool such as Adobe Acrobat Pro.

    I've tested pdf documents in the major versions from 1.4-1.7, 2.0 and experienced no issues in the assignments tool either accessing or annotating them. I also tested the pdf 1.7 subset pdf/a and again didn't experience any issue.

    If your students experience ongoing issues with the pdf file submissions best to open a support case with the D2L Support team who can further investigate why the issues may be arising for your students, and suggest a way forward.

    Hope that helps!