Leaping to Leopard
Leopard has arrived. The Macintosh OS X 10.5 operating system (known to its friends as Leopard) was released to the waiting public on the evening of Friday, October 26. About the same time, Adobe released its official statement on Adobe Creative Suite 3 compatibility, the “Support for Mac OS X Leopard FAQ.” (PDF, 128K)
According to the FAQ, most Adobe applications won’t require updates to run well. The FAQ claims that the CS3 versions of InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver, and other applications are ready for Leopard now. The applications which will need patches are After Effects, Premiere pro, Encore, and Soundbooth (due in early December), and Acrobat 8/Reader 8 (scheduled for January 2008).
I think most of the problems are relatively minor. Here’s a major point from the FAQ:
Does Adobe recommend running Design Premium, Design Standard, and Web Premium on Mac OS X Leopard before the update to Acrobat 8.1.1 Professional is available?
Yes, our testing shows that the overall experience on Mac OS X Leopard is stable and reliable and that customers will get more from running these leading Creative Suite 3 editions on Leopard than not. At this time, the only component of these CS3 editions that requires an update is Acrobat 8 Professional to address a few specific issues. That update is expected to be available in January 2008. For more information about issues running Acrobat 8.1.1 Professional on Leopard, please visit www.adobe.com/go/support and search the online knowledgebase.
Here’s my experience: I drove down to the Apple Store at Stonestown in San Francisco Friday evening. It was past the initial rush, but the store was bustling. I reclaimed my $100 store credit for buying my iPhone early, and, with some extra bucks for the additional cost of buying Leopard plus taxes, I was out the door in 10 minutes.
Friday night and Saturday morning, I installed it on my desktop computer, a G5 iMac, and my backup computer, a G4 PowerBook. I haven’t yet installed it on my primary computer, a MacBook Pro. I’m a geek at heart, and wanted to check it out. Installation on both computers was done within an hour. On both, I chose the Archive and Install option, and chose to Preserve Users and Network Settings. Although this is not a foolproof method, it’s more reliable than the default method because it creates a new installation of Mac OS X from scratch and doesn’t copy over certain files that could cause problems. One surprise: Under Leopard, even more files are copied over from your previous system than before, requiring only minimum setup after the process is complete.
(By the way, for learning about how to install and customize Leopard, I highly recommend the Take Control eBooks from TidBITS. They already have five of them out for Leopard. Most are only $10, but they offer a bundle of “Take Control of Upgrading to Leopard” and “Take Control of Customizing Leopard” for $15, saving 25%.)
My first impressions of Leopard are very good. It seems to run appreciably faster than Tiger, especially in the Finder. Features I particularly like are the faster Spotlight, Spaces, and Quick Look—which in some ways may give Adobe Bridge a run for its money. I’ve ordered an external Firewire drive to use the new Time Machine backup feature. (There are countless reviews of Leopard already, mostly highly laudatory. Here are links to those from MacWorld and CNET.)
From a day’s testing, and reading online reports, here are the only two (minor) problems I found with the CS3 applications I use the most:
- In InDesign CS3, the Hide InDesign command is not working, either from the menu or the keyboard command. I know David claims he never needs this command, but I use it all the time, switching between InDesign and other applications. Using the Spaces feature (which is a very slick way to set up virtual desktops) is a good workaround. Just put InDesign in its own space, and it’s a single keystroke from your other applications.
- Acrobat 8 Professional installs the Adobe PDF printer, which is a shortcut way of using Distiller to create a PDF file. However, my testing and the testing of others, indicates that Leopard has broken the Adobe PDF printer. When I used it within InDesign or other applications, it would start to print to Distiller, but then fail saying, “Printer Paused.”
In truth, I don’t think this should be much of a problem for most people. File > Export > Adobe PDF still works fine, and is, as I pointed out in several other postings the best way to create PDF files from CS3 applications. If you must use the Distiller method of creating PDF, you can still create a PostScript file from InDesign, and process it manually in Distiller. And the Apple method of creating PDFs (Save as PDF from the Print dialog of applications like Safari for a quick-and-dirty PDF) still works fine as well.
My recommendation is that if you have an extra computer for testing, or even an external hard drive you can install Leopard on, to buy it, and give it a spin. I’m not quite ready to install it on my primary production computer, but I’m expecting that I’ll run into relatively few problems when I do.