PDFs on Macbook ... very slow scrolling

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by benesch2016, May 12, 2016.

  1. benesch2016 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    #1
    After waiting for a long time to replace my 2012 Macbook Air (i7), I got the new Retina Macbook (m7). And for the first time I am thinking of returning an Apple product.

    The screen is great and I think I can get used to the keyboard (not a big fan, though). But my main usage is to read medium sized PDFs (around 30 pages), and the scrolling performance is just horrible. I tried reducing the screen resolution and a variety of pdf readers (Preview, Acrobat, Skim), all with the same result: when scrolling, the pdf jumps. Never had this problem with the 2012 Macbook Air.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. where is it macrumors 6502

    where is it

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2012
    Location:
    England
    #2
    I'm just reading through a 42 page advertising PDF in preview (while also running Chrome, Affinity Designer, Unity, iA Writer and Hexagon) and the performance is fine.

    Maybe an ever so slight blip in smoothness when crossing pages but nothing I've seen ten times worse on Windows while scrolling.

    Is there something special about your particular PDF's?
     
  3. benesch2016 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    #3
    Nothing in particular, sometimes heavy on math, but not many pictures. It's just that I have no problems like this on my old Macbook Air. And I also notice the lagginess in my Bibliography manager (Bibdesk)
     
  4. where is it macrumors 6502

    where is it

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2012
    Location:
    England
    #4
    Maybe worth taking a video of your experience and sharing on Youtube so we can compare.

    The only thing I can think is the difference in the Retina and a standard screen(your Macbook Air) is slightly different and you are picking up on the subtle change in scrolling. Or you have a defective MB.

    Clutching at straws here as scrolling for me on my M5/512 is more or less exactly the same as my RMP 2.6i7 16gb 512.
     
  5. PeterSmith, May 12, 2016
    Last edited: May 12, 2016

    PeterSmith macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2006
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    #5
    No problem at all scrolling through e.g. the 200pp. maths-heavy PDF which I happen to reading right now (using Adobe reader on an m7). And that prompts me to try a PDF of Jech's set theory book (nearly 800 pages): same again -- zips through as I drag the scroll bar fast from one end of the document to the other with zero lag. Impressive in fact.
     
  6. SSD-GUY macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Location:
    London, UK
    #6
    Any chance you could upload your pdf so others can try?
     
  7. benesch2016 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    #7
  8. jgbr macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #8
    Sounds software related not hardware related. Have you looked at activity monitor when doing this [scrolling]
     
  9. benesch2016 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    #9
    When I save the document I linked above (the CBO report) and open it in Preview and then scroll through it fast using the trackpad, CPU usage from Preview goes to around 70-100% in the Activity Monitor (about 25% of the CPU, since there are 4 threads I guess).
     
  10. where is it macrumors 6502

    where is it

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2012
    Location:
    England
    #10

    It's because the mac is trying to process all those viruses.
     
  11. Ma2k5 macrumors 6502a

    Ma2k5

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    #11
    I think that PDFs just usually runs crap on macbooks - I had the same issue on a RMBP 15''. I am surprised your MBA didn't suffer from it.
     
  12. cdcastillo macrumors 6502a

    cdcastillo

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Location:
    The cesspit of civilization
    #12
    I also would suggest you try another PDF reader, like PDF pen. And try to upload some PDF files you are having troubles with...
     
  13. coldjeanzzz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    #13
  14. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Enjoying Better Things
    #14
    PDF rendering engine has been broken for years now in OS X, just open the same PDF with quick view and you will see a world of difference. Preview`s performance is just degrading. I mostly open and plough through heavy engineering documents and the stutter on most Mac`s.

    Previews poor performance is also a factor why I still have all my systems on 10.10.5, last I looked at 10.11 Preview would literally going the system to a halt with just few PDF documents open after scrolling through them, just one of them things that Apple has no interest in fixing.

    I believe that PDFexpert can render PDF`s smoothly on OS X, equally I have yet to try it, like many I would prefer Apple got their act together and not need to resort to third party solutions.

    Q-6
     
  15. SSD-GUY macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Location:
    London, UK
    #15
    Do you think PDFexpert is better than Skim, Queen?
     
  16. Queen6, May 13, 2016
    Last edited: May 13, 2016

    Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Enjoying Better Things
    #16
    Have not tried as yet, rather think Skim is the better solution, however I also think Skim is relying on Apple`s PDF rendering engine so same jitter applies. If I remember correctly PDFexpert renders the documents differently, possibly at a lower resolution. I may well be wrong as I am just relying on memory.

    You can DL a free demo of PDFexpert or $60 USD for the full version.

    Q-6
     
  17. Significant1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2014
    #17
    as Queen6 writes, preview pdf engine has been broken for years and quick-view (select file in finder and press space) is not. Try if quick view works better for you.
     
  18. benesch2016 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    #18
    Thanks for the help! I guess I will keep my rMB, use an alternative pdf viewer and hope for Apple to get its act together.

    As a side note, my scripts in the statistical software R run at about the same speed as on the old 2012 MBA, at least I am not losing out here.
     
  19. dyn macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    .nl
    #19
    When compared to Skim I find PDF Expert to be a bit more pleasing on the eyes but when it comes to PDF features then PDF Expert, Skim and Preview are on the same level. That means that if you really need to edit the PDF (create ToC, add links, etc.) you're still better off with Adobe Acrobat or something like PDFpen because PDF Expert can't do that (yet).

    I only find that PDF Expert seems to be more performant when scrolling through some of the more complexer and graphics heavy PDF files.
     
  20. SPCW! macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    #20
    I've suffered this issue for 6 years since switching to Mac in my office. Resolved it today by installing Adobe Reader AND going to Safari Preferences and turning on the Reader Plug-In for All websites.

    Prior to this, I had installed Acrobat DC, the browser Plug-In for which performed worse than that for Preview. Just a matter of finding what works for a given situation. Hopefully at least one available option will work.
     
  21. svendobbelaere macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Location:
    Belgium
    #21
    Are you scrolling with the arrow keys or the touchpad? Scrolling with the touch pad is smooth for me (I have an external bluetooth magic touchpad), but using the arrow keys is slow. As far as I remember, this has always been this way on any mac I've used.
     
  22. SPCW! macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    #22
    Same touchpad you're using.
     

Share This Page