Preview struggles with large PDF files

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by vexorg, Nov 24, 2016.

  1. vexorg macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2009
    I find preview struggles badly with large or complex PDF files. These tend to be cad type drawings, and if there's any slight complexity, then preview is slow and clunky, and the pinwheel is active every time you zoom or scroll for a few seconds.

    Acrobat viewer on the PC has no issue wit these files.

    Is there any setting for preview to make it behave better with large cad type PDF files?
  2. Efrem macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2009
    This happened to me once, with an airline timetable. Not much by way of graphics, but details of every flight from everywhere to everywhere else, including schedule changes for the next 90 days. The Mac version of Acrobat has no issue with it either, so I used that. The next month's version of the timetable was much smaller, so the problem went away.

    Since Acrobat Reader for the Mac is free, why not just get it?
  3. dwig macrumors 6502

    Jan 4, 2015
    Key West FL
    I agree with Efrem, get the Adobe Acrobat Reader for your Mac and stop using Preview for PDFs, which has always been a poor and distinctly limited PDF viewer.
  4. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008
  5. vexorg thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2009
    Will try the acrobat reader. I assumed that preview was essentially acrobat as the apple interface has always been closely tied to pdf.
  6. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    Longtime AutoCAD/Vectorworks/Revit user here, using both Win/MacOS and regularly get SHAPE files from clients. The main issue with Preview relative to files is that the document you're having issues with likely contains non-System (macOS) font files, including SHX characters, keeping in mind that your source CAD file may contain embedded fonts from your source template and linked/XREFed files. I get around these issues using one of 3 ways:
    • Use only System fonts, while this is not my ideal solution sometimes the client demands it in our contract;
    • Create my PDF documents from a DXF file;
    • Before your export to a PDF file, check your output settings in the PC3 file of "DWG-to-PDF" - in the "Device and Settings" dialog, under "Custom Properties", in the "Font Handling" section, select "Capture All".
    Adobe's apps - I use Acrobat DC, Illustrator, and PS - each use Adobe's Font Substitution engine. Skim and PDFPro don't do a very good job of font substitution. FWIW, some of the worst offenders I've worked with are agencies and their "creative" staff that work on mapping - the last document I received from one of my clients contained 35 non-system fonts and the documents were dogs, even in Acrobat DC and Illustrator on both Windows and MacOS; I used Illustrator to replace those fonts and re-send it to everyone on the distribution list - after "fixing" the fonts, the rendering was speedy for that 73MB file, even in Preview...
  7. vexorg thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2009
    Installed acrobat DC view, it seems to have no issues. A bit disappointing that preview is so bad at it.
  8. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    It has nothing to do with ‘bad’. PDF has more capabilities than Preview supports and Adobe (the owner of the PDF specification) keeps many things for itself in order to push Adobe Reader.
  9. vexorg thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2009
    If the performance is not good, then it's bad....

Share This Page