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Extensible Forms Description Language (XFDL)

Definition - What does Extensible Forms Description Language (XFDL) mean?

Extensible Forms Description Language (XFDL) is an application or extension of the Extensible Markup Language (XML) that provides a standardized way of defining the layout and various data fields in a large and complex form such as those used by government agencies or businesses. It allows standardization as well as digital storage and display. An XFDL form can be easily stored or sent to a user as an XML page, which is easily accessed for display by an application or website.

Techopedia explains Extensible Forms Description Language (XFDL)

Extensible Forms Description Language is a high-level language that facilitates the definition of a form as a stand-alone object by using XML elements and attributes, offering precise control in form layout and facilitating easy replacement of existing government and business paper forms with human-readable electronic ones.


  • Provides precise layout control
  • Step-by-step guided user experiences
  • Digital signatures
  • Multiple page capabilities
  • In-line mathematical and conditional expressions
  • Data validation constraints
  • Custom items and options
  • External code functions

XFDL provides the above functions through open standard markup languages such as XML Schema, XML Signatures, XPath and XForms.

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