Large PDFs slow in Preview

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Burnsey, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. Burnsey macrumors 6502a

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    Canada
    #1
    I seem to be having trouble with large PDFs in OSX. Everytime I open such a PDF file, either under Preview or Adobe Reader, ATSserver and mdworker begin taking up 60-80% of the CPU. Can someone please shed some light into what is happening? I understand that OSX is indexing the PDF file, but it indexes it everytime the PDF is launched, instead of just once.

    For example, I open Textbook.pdf (50mb) in Preview. As soon as it opens, the above two processes take up 60-80% of the cpu and seemingly dont stop. I wait, and wait, and eventually they do. So then I search for a word in the PDF file, and those processes start up again, searching becomes painfully slow as each instance of the term is searched for (I thought it indexed it). Once the searching for one term is done, and I decide to search for another, the two processes come on again, and everything slows down again. If I close Textbook.pdf and open it again either immediately or at a later date, the same things happen again.

    Isnt it supposed to index once, and then be indexed forever? Instead of indexing everytime the pdf is launched, and everytime a term is searched for? This has made large PDFs almost unusable in OSX, unlike in Windows which doesnt seem to have this problem. Is there a solution?
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #2
    Have you repaired permissions and seen if that helped?
     
  3. Burnsey thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    The machine in question is my sister's brand new unibody Macbook, I do not think permissions are at fault. Also this happens both with the iMac (sig) and my MBP (sig).

    In Windows, even with an old Pentium M Dell, you double click Textbook.pdf, it opens in Adobe Reader, you select Find, and you type in what you want, and almost instantly it finds all the instances and your free to browse the file, and everything is snappy. I'm hoping I can make it that way under OSX.
     
  4. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #4
    Would it be possible to give us a link to one or two of those taxing PDFs if it's not private or not public?

    The biggest PDF I have currently is 46MB (FCP manual) and it takes a while to load (less than 10 seconds) and when I enter something to find, it indexes, and after that the search functions quite normal, without high CPU usage.

    It has 2033 pages full of text and some drawings, so it might be not as taxing.

    Do your PDFs have many pictures or so?


    I run Mac OS 10.5.7 with a 2.53GHz MBP and 4GB RAM.
     
  5. Burnsey thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    There are some images but the file is largely text based, and it's not just this file, it happens with every large PDF file I've tried. Does OSX index your PDF file only once forever, or does it do it everytime you open it?
     
  6. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #6
    It indexes my bigger PDF documents when I search the first time, and after that it will wait some time (weeks, or even after a reinstall, I can't remember when I opened the FCP manual for the last time) for indexing it again.

    In short: it does it once when I use the search the 1st time.

    You can maybe try the PDF, and see if it behaves the same or if it differs, so that way we can eliminate possible factors.

    http://manuals.info.apple.com/en/Final_Cut_Pro_6_User_Manual.pdf
     
  7. Burnsey thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Canada
    #7
    When I load that file on my MBP, and search for a word an indexing bar comes, and the computer quickly indexes the document and then searching is snappy. This does not happen with my sister's Macbook, with that computer the computer searches for every instance of the term and shows them in the side bar, but its painfully slow. The indexing bar does not appear. This is very odd...
     
  8. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #8
    So, have you tried repairing permissions yet?

    Even though the MB is new, doesn't mean something might be not wrong.

    It won't hurt.

    Or you could try Onyx for some system maintenance.
     
  9. Burnsey thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Canada
    #9
    Nope! I found the problem! On my sister's Macbook, when searching for something in Preview, the little "group by page" option was not selected, where on my MBP it was selected. So now when I search for a term in a PDF on her computer, and select the "group by page" box before searching, the index bar appears and the document indexes and everything becomes good!

    Thanks for your help though, and good night :)
     
  10. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #10
    Ah, Occam's Razor has cut again.

    Have a good night yourself, I will still be awake 14 hours from now.
    Have to be crazy. ;)
     
  11. SpinUp macrumors newbie

    SpinUp

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    Location:
    Canada
    #11
    Thanks for the 'group by page' tip -- saved me from having to wait for re-index of a large pdf (medical dictionary) every time I open it.
     
  12. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    May 19, 2002
    #12
    Happen with all the files that size, or just ones with those fonts.
     
  13. Infrared macrumors 68000

    Infrared

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    #13
    Do you repair permissions when you catch a cold?
     
  14. mertolovich macrumors newbie

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    Oct 30, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #14
    Sorry, but repairing permissions is a waste of time and I've NEVER known it to help ANYTHING!
     

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