cannot save due to Error 109

Posted on 2005-04-19
Last Modified: 2011-08-18
I have Acrobat 6 Standard - I receive documents by e-mail save them to my HDD and then open them to annotate and make comments on them. When I try to save them with the comments I get the following error:

The Document could not be saved. There was an error reading this document (109)

This is a major drwaback and hindrance to me hence the points !

Thank you in anticipation of your assistance.

Cathal Gilmore
Question by:C_Gilmore
    LVL 44

    Expert Comment

    by:Karl Heinz Kremer
    Complain to whoever created these document: They are corrupt.

    The problem does not manifest itself when you open the file, because Acrobat (or Reader) can ignore quite a bit of problems and still display the PDF file correctly. When you save the file however, it has to process all elements in the file,a nd for whatever reason, it runs into a serious problem. You can get more information about the problem when you hold down the Control key when you click on the error message (this works with all error messages that have a number associated with them). I suspect that the error message will still not help you much (it's probably something like "Expected dict object").

    Open such a document and select File>Document Information. What application was used to generate the files? I suspect that it was not an Adobe application, or that the files were modified with a non-Adobe application (which would not be reflected in the Document Information).

    It's possible (but very unlikely) that you can open and save these files with an older version of Acrobat. Because of the new features that Adobe is adding to every new release of Acrobat, they sometimes have to interpret the PDF spec stricter than before, this can cause problems in corrupt PDF files to show up with a newer version, but not an older version of Acrobat. This still does not make the PDF files any better, they are corrupt to start with.

    Author Comment

    The documents are created usually by my office. They are scanned into pdf format via an Infotec Photocopier which has an option to scan to pdf format and then (sometimes) manipulated using Paperport software (renamed - pages discarded).

    I have checked the Document Properties - Description tab ( I cannot see Document Information under File) and it indicates that the "PDF Producer" was sspdflib and then scansoft's web address. It also indicates that the PDF version is 1.4 (Acrobat 5.x).


    Author Comment

    I forgot to add to my last comment that when I hold the Ctrl key down the error states

    Object label badly formatted.

    Thank you
    LVL 44

    Accepted Solution

    As I said, the files are corrupt. Adobe does publish the PDF spec, and anybody can create PDF files. The problem is that the spec is now about 1100 pages, and pretty complex. It's possible (and very likely) that whoever created "sspdflib" made an error in interpreting the PDF 1.4 spec. They very likely tested this with Acrobat 5, which did not complain about the error and silently ignored it (it is however possible that you would run into the same problem if you added the comments with Acrobat 5, the programmers may never have tested this specific workflow).

    See if you can get an updated version of the software you are using. Other than that, you may have to use something like PDFEnhancer ( which can repair some PDF files. You can download a 10 or 15 day eval version of this software to see if it can fix this problem.

    Author Comment

    Thank you for your help and advice.


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