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"Flash cannot parse this document."

Mar 22, 2011 4:33 PM



I am getting the message "Flash cannot parse this document" when I try to open a particular file.  I am hoping that someone has a fix for this error... I just lost 3 days of work if it can't be fixed.


If someone from adobe can look at the file maybe they can tell me what is wrong with it?



  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 10, 2013 1:35 PM   in reply to kawcs5



    Can you please email your fla to us at <removed by moderator>? Please note that our filter system cannot accept .zip file. If you are to zip your fla, please change the file extension from .zip to .zzz.



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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 22, 2011 5:29 PM   in reply to kawcs5

    Thanks Kim. Please install the Flash CS5 Updater. I believed we fixed this issue in that release.


    Here's how:

    1. Launch Flash.

    2. Go to Help menu > Updates...

    3. Make sure the box for Adobe Flash Pro CS5 is checked in the Adobe Application Manager dialog.

    4. Click Update. You will probably be asked to quit Flash while the Updater is running.


    You should be able to open the file without seeing the error.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 22, 2011 6:03 PM   in reply to kawcs5

    The most common causes of this error message are

    1. Empty frames in the main timeline and/or library symbols’ timelines.
    2. Invalid characters in TLF textfields.  The new file format handles  most invalid XML characters, but some characters (such as ETX  characters) are not parsed correctly.
    3. The FLA contains corrupt assets.



    Fix empty frames tags in main timeline:

    1. Make a back up of your FLA in another location.
    2. Change the extension of the FLA to .zip so you can unzip the FLA into its folder structure (XFL format).           
      Note: On a Mac, using the default unzip  utility sometimes only unzips the file into a .cpcg file. To workaround  this, use a utility like StuffitExpander or 7zip on the Mac.
    3. Open DOMDocument.xml and search for an empty <frames/> tag.           
      a. Replace all occurrences of <frames/> with:           
      <DOMFrame index="0" keyMode="9728">           
      b. Save DOMDocument.xml           
      c. Open the .xfl file inside the unzipped folder from step 2.           
      d. If Flash opens the file fine, you are done.  You should verify the  symbols and layers that you replaced the empty <frames/> tags in  still look correct.  You should re-save the file as a new FLA file in a  different location.           

      Fix empty frames tags in library symbols' timelines:           
      If there are no empty <frames/> tags in the DOMDocument.xml file  or the .xfl file still doesn't open in Flash, there is likely some  asset(s) causing the problem. You must narrow down the bad asset(s) with  the following steps:
    4. Repeat steps 3 with XML files within the LIBRARY folder.  Use a text  editor or any other tool that allows you to search for strings in  multiple files/directories.  Notepad++ is a free text editor that has  this feature.  Search for <frames/> within the entire folder.  On  Mac, you can also use the ‘grep’ command in a terminal window to find  the files that contain the bad <frames/> tags.           

      Fix TLF Text:           
      If there are no empty <frames/> tags in XML file(s) or the .xfl  file still doesn't open in Flash, check if any TLF objects have invalid  characters.
    5. To find all TLF objects in your FLA, search for  “<markup><tlfTextObject” in the DOMDocument.xml file and all  XML files within the LIBRARY folder and sub-folders.
    6. Check if any of these TLF objects have invalid characters like the  ETX character.  Notepad++ will show such characters.  Remove these  characters and check if your file opens.


    Unfortunately, there is no easy way to identify corrupt assets  in a  FLA file.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 4, 2012 12:42 AM   in reply to kawcs5




    I had 2 embed video in my fla. and I didn't open my *.fla next day in CS5.  I was very angry and I tried open original fla (without video). Succeeded,  then a I changed type of videos:

    "Embedded (synchronized with Timeline) >>> Video (ActionScript Controlled)", Succeeded



    This was my trouble because my 2 streamvideo symbols not supplied in CS5.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 6, 2012 4:30 AM   in reply to ZoltanHun



    Please read the following blog post for a solution to the Unexpected File Format Error:




    Suhas Yogin

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