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I have been scanning some documents lately in order to have them with me on my android tablet or smartphone. I share them on DropBox and open them with Adobe reader.

The problem is that most of the PDF's are not opening in the Adobe Reader on Android. I get the following error:

The document cannot be opened because it is corrupted or damaged.

I tried opening it in Moon+ Reader Pro and it does open.

My assumption (based on one scanned document that does open) is that it is a date-related issue. The document that opens is dated correctly (the date it was scanned on) while the others that do not open are dated as in the 1970.

For example the document that opens has the following metadata:

Producer itext-paulo-155 (

Creator pdftk 1.44 -

Created Fri 14 Feb 2014 07:02:56 PM EET

Format PDF-1.4

While the documents that do not open:

Producer None

Creator Simple Scan 3.4.3

Created Thu 01 Jan 1970 01:59:59 AM EET

Format PDF-1.3

Is my assumption correct? And how can I fix that so that I can open them on Android and not face this problem again?

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Sidenote: January 1, 1970 00:00:00 was the Unix epoch, so chances are the dates on the files were somehow reset. – Nathan Osman Aug 11 '15 at 6:12
Oh wow pdftk is using an ANCIENT version of iText. Paulo's commit 155 must have been around release 1.3.2, that's July 2005. – Amedee Van Gasse Dec 8 '15 at 9:36

I found out that there was a related thread on the Adobe forums which does not solve the problem. It is not a download issue since I just tried transferring the files over wifi with AirDroid and the problem persisted.

Temporary solution (question is still open though): Use pdftk to fix the files:

pdftk broken.pdf output fixed.pdf

This made the files open on Android with Adobe Reader but I am still wondering what the problem is and how not to face it with future scans.

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