Unable to open PDFs at all with Leopard

Discussion in 'macOS' started by banzaifly, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. banzaifly macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2008
    My apologies if this question has been answered, but I searched and couldn't find it.

    I am completely unable to open any PDF with my new MacBook Pro, which is running Leopard (OS X 10.5.1). Preview doesn't work, Safari doesn't work, QuickTime doesn't work. :mad:

    If I must uninstall and clean install, I'd really appreciate any guidance anyone could give about this process. For instance, will I lose everything that's stored in my programs (i.e., all my personal files, preferences, and emails) when I uninstall? And what's the best way to go about backing up my info, uninstalling, and installing?

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
  2. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    this is a mac here you shouldnt have to reinstall just because you cant open a pdf.

    have you tried right clicking the pdf while holding the option key and choosing "always open with -> preview"? by default preview opens saved pdf files and safari opens linked pdf files in the browser.

    did you install acrobat reader before you had this issue?

    what icon does a pdf file have?
  3. banzaifly thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2008
    Thanks for your help.

    Yes, Preview is set as the default and I've tried all the control-click options.

    The icons look just as they should, showing the Preview logo with the snapshot, magnifier, and the letters PDF. All of the file names are .pdf.

    When I try to open, I get the following error message:

    Couldn’t open the file. It may be corrupt or a file format that Preview doesn’t recognize.

    I've had this problem since day one with my computer. I don't think I have acrobat reader -- I don't see it in my applications spotlight and I haven't downloaded it. Good idea... should I try?
    Thanks again
  4. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    send us a screen shot of the pdf file and the error you get when you try to open it so i can try and diagnose the problem.
  5. jplan2008 macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2008
    Same problem with 10.5.2

    I'm having the same problem after updating to 10.5.2. But it only happens with larger pdfs. I see the progress at the bottom of XX kB out of X MB but then it stops after a few hundred kB, and I get a blank (gray) screen (Safari has also slowed down to a crawl with this update). I tried with firefox (with preview as pdf reader), Firefox was even slower than Safari, and I got the same error message the OP mentioned.

    These are pdf's on a restricted school website that requires login, so I can't send links/screenshots for you to try the same pdf's.

    I tried with some other pdf's that I opened/downloaded with no problem a week ago, and am having the same problem. Any ideas? I haven't tried with Adobe reader since I can't stand it, and love Preview (or did until this week).
  6. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    another reason/vote for adobe, if you haven't try that free adobe reader.
  7. RipIt macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2008
    You are using Leopard. Have you tried Quicklook?
  8. polythene pam macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2005
    Hi all,

    I've been having the same problem ever since I installed Adobe Acrobat. I had to install it twice and I believe that when deleting the first install, I must have messed up and deleted an important part of Safari. When I try to open a pdf online now, nothing happens.
  9. RipIt macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2008
    Both Acrobat and Reader have the ability to "repair" the installation.

    Under the Help menu. This usually takes care of plugins for browsers among other anomalies.
  10. john.draper55 macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2009
    I can't see certain PDF's using Preview

    I've been having a similar but different problem. I can open most PDF's using Preview but can't open all. The error I'm getting on those I can't open is:

    To view the full contents of this document, you need a later version of the PDF viewer. You can upgrade
    to the latest version of Adobe Reader from www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html

    For further support, go to www.adobe.com/support/products/acrreader.html

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