Problem with PDFs in OS X Lion Preview

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by JessicaSideways, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. JessicaSideways, Sep 25, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011

    JessicaSideways macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    #1
    Since upgrading to Lion, I have been experiencing some problems with viewing text in PDFs in Apple's Preview app. I know it is a Preview problem because I am able to look at the picture in Chrome:
    [​IMG]

    And in Adobe Reader for Mac:
    [​IMG]

    But this is what I see in Preview:
    [​IMG]

    What is the problem, pray tell? Here are my system specs:

    MacBook Pro 15", mid 2010 edition
    2.4 GHz Intel Core i5
    4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M 256 MB
    Mac OS X 10.7.1
    320GB hard disk
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    It's not a Lion issue. It does the same thing in Leopard if you save as a pdf. If, instead of saving, I print to a pdf, it works. This isn't a problem with most pdfs, but in a few cases they don't display properly. It may have something to do with the format of the particular pdf, but printing to pdf resolves the issue.
     
  3. JessicaSideways thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    #3
    Hrm. But it seems like it's an issue with Preview, considering the fact that the PDF works in Adobe Reader. It does seem kinda odd printing a PDF to PDF...
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    It's an issue only with certain pdf files. Preview doesn't have a problem with most pdfs.
     
  5. AlanShutko, Sep 25, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011

    AlanShutko macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    #5
    I actually just saw this today, and agree it's a problem in the OSX PDF renderer. The same problem exists (with those PDFs) on iOS. I'll be reporting a bug tomorrow on it.

    Edit: Submitted bug 10184993 for OS X and bug 10185009 for iOS.
     
  6. El Tel macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Location:
    Malawi
    #6
    Me too. Agree it:

    1 is a Lion problem (v10.7.1)
    2 only happens with a small proportion of PDFs
    3 likely only happens with PDFs created outside Preview
    4 is resolved by 'printing' the offending PDF to a new PDF using Preview

     
  7. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #7
    Whenever you have an issue with a file on the Internet, it is OK to post a picture of the file to show the problem. However, you should also give a link to the file so that others can examine the file for themselves. This is the link to your file.

    GGJstudios is absolutely correct. This is not a Lion issue. It is not a Preview issue. This is an issue with the utility used to create the PDF. I have seen such issues with files created by non-Adobe software for the better part of the decade. The first time I saw it, the file could not even be printed normally. It had to be printed as an image. I digress.... In the case of the Wayne State PDF, the source file and the PDF were created using Microsoft Office Publisher 2007.

    Blame Microsoft, not Apple.
     
  8. AlanShutko macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    #8
    Here's another instance.

    Apple is tracking this issue and seem to agree that it's a problem with Preview. Both files load fine in Acrobat, and preflight doesn't find any problems with it. There might still be problems with the file, but I don't have any other tools to diagnose it.

    I'm guessing there's something weird with the font. It might be in spec or out of spec, but it is still a good idea for Preview to try to handle it.
     
  9. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #9
    As far as I can tell the PDF files that Office 2007 generates are standards-compliant enough that they should not cause anything more than color mismatches between different PDF readers.

    The issue is definitely with Preview.
     
  10. MarekC, Jun 8, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2013

    MarekC macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2013
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #10
    The problem with Preview is not really a problem at all. It's your expectations...

    (Late reply - just that I were looking for what people are saying about it and just stumbled on this thread)

    The problem is not really a problem at all. The Adobe Acrobat software did not stop evolving just because Apple decided to create a limited-use preview application. Consequently the newer PDF documents created with more recent versions of the Adobe Acrobat include features that Apple Preview is not capable of handling.

    The images in the first post indicate that the Preview does not know how to handle unknown to it fonts. Normally a preview software would substitute unavailable fonts with close (as far as it can ascertain) approximations. This Preview application however gave up without even trying. The print engine rendered the fonts (or substituted reasonable approximations for them) so the printed version appeared somewhat correctly, if not exactly as designed.

    Example from my own turf:
    Just yesterday the Director of my Department complained that an on-line form in a PDF document would not function properly. I tested it quickly on my Mac (which is identical in most respects to his) and everything worked fine. However when I went to see him for a demonstration of the problem indeed the form would not function. The difference is that I activated the Adobe Reader as the default software to handle PDF files and he refuses to do so. Consequently the form's image gets rendered on his screen but all the functionality is absent.

    Apple Preview is exactly that, a preview. You could just as well print out the PDF and then try clicking the paper images of buttons, expecting them to react with preprogrammed into them actions - IT CAN NOT BE DONE, get over it.
     
  11. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #11
    Welcome to the forum.

    That said, it is regrettable that you posted nonsense among your first posts. Adobe Acrobat Distiller is the gold standard of PDF creation tools. If Distiller is used to create your PDF, then you will have no issue with properly rendering the document. You can expect Preview to handle it just fine. If you have a problematic PDF, then you can bet that it was created using non-Adobe software--either from Microsoft or from some other third-party Windows software. I have received such files from Windows-using colleagues that require special handling and feeding to print from Acrobat Pro.
     

Share This Page