Preview cannot display pdf?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by philstone, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. philstone macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2008
    Jersey, Channel Isles
    I've got a PDF that Preview cannot display correctly on one particular computer..

    The pdf quick looks fine. Acrobat can open it. Another computer can open it in Preview.

    The Mac is on 10.10.5, these are pdf's created by our scanner.

    Attached is an example of what Preview displays..

    has anyone seen this before? Any suggestions?


    Attached Files:

  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    The file you have uploaded in the OP downloads as a ".png" file, NOT as a pdf file.

    I downloaded it to my desktop.

    Double-clicking produces an image similar to the small one in your post above.

    I tried changing the file extension to ".pdf" -- no go. Won't open.

    I've tried right-clicking on the .png file. PDF Pen would open it, but again, looks like the preview in your original post.

    My advice:
    a. Open the file on the other computer that can open it in Preview.
    b. Choose "Save As", and save a copy of the file (with a new name, of course)
    c. Take that copy back to the original computer, and try again.
    d. Any change?
  3. philstone thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2008
    Jersey, Channel Isles
    Thanks, however that is a screenshot. The actual PDF I am sure will open on your computer, it opens on other computers here fine. It's just that specific computer that it will not open correctly on.

    Have tried saving as, no change.

  4. dwig macrumors 6502

    Jan 4, 2015
    Key West FL
    Preview has never been all that good at displaying PDFs. It never seems to have had complete support for all possible PDF variations. The majority of the faults that I've encountered involve its limited support for various font encoding types. The screen shot appears to be an issue with a file compression type and/or a file encoding type that one of your Preview installations fails to recognize correctly. There are many versions of Preview and they generally get updated in lock step with the OS. Different versions of the OS will likely have different versions of Preview, each with their own faults.

    If these PDFs are to be used in a closed work environment then I would simply reconfigure all Macs to use Acrobat for PDFs, avoiding Preview. If the PDFs are to be circulated outside of a controlled range of computers then you should review the scanner's settings for it's PDF generation to see if there are options for selecting different file compression and file encoding (binary, ascii, ...) types to see if it can be reconfigured to create PDFs that work with a wider range of Preview versions. Alternately, you might be successful in opening the scanners PDFs in Acrobat (full version) and resaving as an "optimized" PDF.
  5. philstone thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2008
    Jersey, Channel Isles
    Thanks I'll try that. Whats particularly strange is that it is not every scan that this happens on (all use the same scanner, and use preset defaults).

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