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Troubleshooting & FAQs

Can I use Word/Excel 2003?

No.  We support .docx and .xlsx files only which means that Office 2003 formats (.doc and .xls) are not supported.

Note that we also do not support Word .dotx files and .xlsm (these are special Word/Excel templating files).


Can I reduce the file size of the generated PDF/Word/Excel?
Why is the file size of my generated PDF file bigger than if I used "Save As PDF" direct from Word/Excel?

Our PDF generation is done using a 3rd party component, and so we don't have any clear reason for why the file size is bigger.


The only suggestion we can make is that any static embedded images in the template should be explicitly compressed.

This can be done in Word by following the steps outlined at the link below:



Ultimately every generation component is different in terms of how it converts the Word document contents.

It’s possible that our component will generate smaller files than the other programs given a different source Word/Excel file.


My generated docx output does not open in Word, giving errors such as "unreadable content" or "file is corrupt and cannot be opened".

 The issue is likely due to the dotx template being used in your Word data template.


Usually this means that your Word doc is linked under the hood to an inaccessible dotx file (usually located on your personal PC or on a network drive).


Now this dotx file is obviously not available to the Forms on Fire platform when it generates the file and naturally is not found when you open the Word output file on another machine.


What you need to do is clear the dotx template of your Word file, which will let the Word file default to the standard "Normal" dotx template.


Follow the steps below to clear the problem dotx template:


  1. Display the Developer tabin the Word ribbon, and navigate to the Developer tab.
  2. Click the Document Template tool. Word displays the Templates and Add-Ins dialog box.
  3. Clear whatever text is found in the Document Template field (even if it says "Normal")
  4. Click the OK button to reset the Word doc to have no required/attached dotx.
  5. Close the dialog and save your Word template


When opening my generated xlsx output in Excel, I get errors such as "Excel found unreadable content. Do you want to recover the contents of this workbook?"

 The issue is likely due to the placement of static images within repeatstart and repeatend tags in your Excel data template.


In most cases the images have not been located and formatted correctly within a cell or cell range correctly.


Follow the steps below to correct the placement of static images within your repeat sections:


  1. Remove the static image from the repeatstart section (ensure you have made a backup first)


  1. Un-merge any merged cells where the image was placed


  1. Select a single cell where you would like the image to be placed and then Insert the image


  1. Once inserted, right click on the image and select Format Picture, then check Move and size with cells


  1. You can then merge and re-size the cells behind the image as required 


  1. Save and re-upload your excel template


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