The document could not be saved. There was a problem reading this document (21)

Posted on 2014-12-15
Last Modified: 2015-01-27
Hi All,

I have come across a bizarre issue for a single user that downloads PDF files from SEI database. She started getting the following error when opening the file and then trying to save it:

‘The document could not be saved. There was a problem reading this document (21)’

When you click on the download link and just click save and not open, it can save fine. I disabled the standard preferences such as enable protected mode on start-up, and enable enhanced security, this made no difference. Then I disabled 'Save As optimizes for Fast WebView' which allows you to save but then produces a new issue. When you open the saved PDF you get the following error:

‘Cannot extract the embedded font 'TradeGothicLTCom'. Some charchters may not display or print correctly’

None of the text is readable. We have uninstalled and re-installed Adobe, updated and downgraded, restored system to last week’s restore point, ran scans, which has made no difference.

I have also just received word that the following error is occuring for another user now: The document could not be saved. There was a problem reading this document (21)

Any ideas? They are currently using FoxIt Reader as an alternative PDF viewer.


Question by:Matsco
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 40500851
Hi Craig

I have only ever seen behaviour like this when users open PDF documents from Windows Explorer AND the preview pane is enabled. The Explorer Preview Handler locks the document and the PDF opens in Adobe OK but fails to save due to the lock from Explorer.

I am not sure if this applies here, so you may also want to look at the download location that the user saves the file to from the database. There may be a session valid location that is only there temporarily or where permissions are not sufficient.

Can you reproduce this when using Admin credentials on that user's machine?
I would first see if it is a User Profile issue before changing any application or permission settings, especially if it only affects this user in a n otherwise functional environment...

The fact that you get font embedding issues seems a result of the way you save the document and may not be connected to the underlying issue.

I know, not a straight fix it response but this may help identifying the cause.

Author Comment

ID: 40502144
Thanks for the respone. Preview pane is disabled for both users. I have logged in with local and domain admin and the same issue occurs. The main issue really is this error rather than the font one: The document could not be saved. There was a problem reading this document (21)

LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 40502186
Hi Craig

is this stored locally or on network share? Any permission issues are probably not applicable if Domain Admin has the same symptoms.

If there is another file location you can save this to when you extract this from the db, that is worth a try.

How were the PDFs created? Mac or PC? Some plugin in the the DB Server Application or Adobe PDF Writer?


Accepted Solution

Matsco earned 0 total points
ID: 40563948
Issue has been found to be the database provider who has changed settings in the background for PDF attachments on the database. Struggled to get them to admit it though! Thanks for the suggestions.


Author Closing Comment

ID: 40572366
3rd party provider admitted the issue was with their system

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