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What is an XFDL File?

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Using a computer
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Question: What is an XFDL File?

Did you find an XFDL file on your computer and wonder what program should open it? Maybe someone emailed you an XFDL file but you're not sure how to use it. Perhaps you tried to open the XFDL file but Windows told you that it could not open it.

Before you can open an XFDL file (assuming it's even a file format that's intended to be viewed or edited), you'll need to determine what kind of file the .XFDL file extension refers to.

Answer: A file with the XFDL file extension is an Extensible Forms Description Language file.

An XFDL file is a secure type of XML file. The XFDL format was developed by PureEdge Solutions (a company acquired by IBM in 2005) as a way to create secure and extendable electronic forms.

Other types of files may also use the XFDL file extension. If you know of any additional file formats that use the .XFDL extension, please let me know so I can update this information.

How To Open an XFDL File

The easiest way to open an XFDL file is to double-click on it and let your PC decide which default application should open the file. If no program opens the XFDL file then you probably don't have an application installed that can view and/or edit XFDL files.

Warning: Take great care when opening executable file formats received via email or downloaded from websites you're not familiar with. See my List of Executable File Extensions for a listing of file extensions to avoid and why.

IBM Forms Viewer will view XFDL files. You can download a fully functional, 60-day trial version of the program from IBM here.

IBM Forms Designer, which you can also download a free trial of from the link above, can open and edit XFDL files.

If you know of any other programs that can open XFDL files, please send me a quick email and let me know so I can update this page.

Tip: Since XFDL files are text-only, a text editor should be able to properly display and edit these files.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the XFDL file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open XFDL files, see my How To Change the Default Program for a Specific File Extension guide for making that change in Windows.

How To Convert an XFDL File

There are two main ways to attempt to convert an XFDL file to another file type:

The first option involving opening the XFDL file in its native program is preferable because it's both easier and will probably result in a more accurate file conversion. Of course if you don't have a program that opens XFDL files, a third-party file conversion tool (the second option) could be very useful.

Important: You cannot usually change a file extension (like the XFDL file extension) to one that your computer recognizes and expect the newly renamed file to be usable. An actual file format conversion using one of the methods described above must take place in most cases.

Still Having Problems Opening or Using an XFDL File?

See Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more. Let me know what kinds of problems you're having with opening or using the XFDL file and I'll see what I can do to help.

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