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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 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.”

Adobe PDF Printer

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.

Steve Werner

Steve Werner

Steve Werner is a trainer, consultant, and co-author (with David Blatner and Christopher Smith) of InDesign for QuarkXPress Users and Moving to InDesign. He has worked in the graphic arts industry for more than 20 years and was the training manager for ten years at Rapid Lasergraphics. He has taught computer graphics classes since 1988.
Steve Werner

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64 Comments on “Leaping to Leopard

  1. No problem, but you will still experience some problems I suspect. I am using Font Explorer and that may be part of the problem. If you have any additional ideas, then let me know.

  2. Chris, you are correct…still having problems. I wonder why it seems to be ok after a restart once or twice? Do you think there may be some kind of cache file we can delete? By the way, do you use Suitcase X1?

  3. Oh, sorry Chris…I just read your last post. I use Suitcase X1 and they just released an update for Leopard support. I’m curious as to whether or not this will help matters.

  4. I’m glad some of my tips have helped. I recently upgraded to CS3 but still have problems with that as well! The time I spent trying to solve the CS2 issue finally took its toll, but I’ll continue to post workarounds as I find them. It seems that as soon as I think I find the solution, another problem takes it’s place. Sniffing around on the internet, I also found that if you try booting directly from the Leopard DVD and repair your disk and permissions, that this may help as well. Regarding font programs, I am not familiar with Suitcase, only FontExplorer. I tried to only use Apple’s Font Book, but I’m not sure if that actually helped or not. My guess is that there are some font conflicts occurring at the system level that may be causing CS2 applications to crash. Therefore, you might try disabling any font programs and use Apple’s Font Book.

  5. FYI – I have another workaround that I discovered for InDesign CS2 and Leopard users:

    Create a new untitled document in InDesign CS2 when you first open the program and just save it to the desktop. You must do this before you open any other document i n InDesign CS2. In a way you are creating a fresh document that can easily be saved without problems. After that you should be able to open other documents and save, etc. without problems.

  6. I was having issues with InDesign CS2 crashing every time I tried to export a file to PDF. Changing to the Adobe Dialog box did the trick. Hope either Adobe or Apple puts out a patch for this problem soon.

    Thanks for your help!

  7. InDesign CS3 would crash everytime I tried to open a document (existing or new). I had just installed Leopard… not good. No patches were available and Adobe said that “they were working on it” but! I just downloaded the new patch I found on the Adobe site – posted 1/22/08 and it seems to work… in the early stages I can actually open InDesign CS3 and can use it!
    Keep your fingers crossed…

    Adobe InDesign CS3 5.0.2 update – all languages

  8. InDesign by far has had the worst problems of any program. My gut feeling is that the way CS programs interact with the Leopard finder is at the root of the problem. But that’s just my opinion. A major update to Leopard is due out soon. I have heard of at least 120 fixes and up to 500mb to download.

    I think the latest versions for the CS3 applications are as follows:

    InDesign 5.0.2
    Illustrator 13.0.2
    Photoshop 10.0.1

  9. The print to .pdf option is a huge issue for me, I have to constantly send files to be printed in seperations w/ spot colors, & I need to test everything before I send it out. This “little” error on whoevers part has left me frustrated to the point of drowning kittens.

    As for the InDesign issues, w/ leopard, I think someone needs to be smacked across the face. When you buy a product, you expect it to function, If as a designer, I sold a web page to someone, then said “I’ll fix it later” I’d be living in a card board box. The only alternative is quark? Come on, quark is crap.

    My rant– long night of InDesign crashes has left me bitter.

    InDesign CS worked better…..

  10. I feel your pain Adam. I finally upgraded to CS3 and still had a lot of problems. Did you try my workarounds listed higher up on this page? For CS2 users there are several things you can try. One thing that helped me was opening CS2 for the the first time and creating a new document and saving it. Don’t open an old document. For some reason, when you go to print or save it crashes InDesign. Good luck and put the kittens to the side!

  11. Adam, one more question. Did you upgrade Leopard? You should use 10.5.2 The size of the update is huge and will take a few hours just to download. Evidently, there “were” problems with the Finder. Aha! I knew it! Hopefully this helps your situation.

  12. I think most people will put up with the few little incompatibilities until the updates resolve those issues, so long as nothing too glaring pops up. The issue with unexpected quits on save might be one of those issues, especially if the quit happens before the save. I would be inclined to pull my hair out over that one!

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