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Snow Leopard and Windows 7: Will it Affect You?

Snow Leopard and Windows 7 are coming soon. For anyone unaware, Snow Leopard is next version of OSX and if history is any indicator, Apple will give buyers of new Macs no choice but to buy it. Windows 7 is Microsoft’s hope for a homerun after the less than stellar Vista and will also be preloaded on almost all new Windows machines. So, why is this important to InDesign users?

Because as of now, Adobe has made no announcements regarding which, if any, versions of its software will be compatible with either system. In some ways this is understandable since they recommended Leopard and then had to sit and wait while Apple fixed one bug after another fixing hiding and printing problems. Vista had its own share of problems but at least Adobe didn’t go out a limb and recommend it.

This fall the landscape will be changing again. Both operating systems promise to fix the problems in the current versions while introducing some new features but the emphasis from both Apple and Microsoft seems to be more on removing bloat and increasing speed. Apple claims that Snow Leopard takes up six gigs less space (it’s Intel only so the savings are likely to be in the PPC code) and having tested Windows 7 I can attest to the smaller footprint as well. This should mean that anything that runs on Leopard or Vista will be okay on Snow Leopard and Windows 7.

But the real test will come when the early adopters start reporting in. Let’s hope for a smooth transition for Windows and Mac users.

Bob Levine

Bob Levine

Bob Levine is a graphic designer and a consultant focused on providing InDesign training and guidance in developing efficient, collaborative workflows to those moving from QuarkXPress or PageMaker. An Adobe Certified Expert in both InDesign and InCopy, Bob has written articles for InDesign Magazine and is an Adobe User to User forums host. He has more than 15 years of industry experience and has been using InDesign since version 1.0. For more background, visit his website, or his blog,
Bob Levine

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21 Comments on “Snow Leopard and Windows 7: Will it Affect You?

  1. I have been running CS4 Design Premium on the Windows 7 RC (and the beta) with no issues. There were a few cosmetic issues, but these seem to have vanished with the RC. I have had no serious issues at all.

  2. I’ve been running Win7 RC myself and tested CS3 and CS4 but didn’t activate them. Everything seems okay but that doesn’t mean anything until the final release comes out.

  3. I haven’t extensively tested any of the apps with the latest Snow Leopard build, but Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Lightroom 2 worked fine when I used them.

  4. I believe Apple announced that Snow Leopard will only be for Macs with Intel processors. I can imagine that new updates of much publishing software will also require Intel processors as well. Time up upgrade those old PPCs Macs.

  5. Snow Leopard is definitely Intel only. With Apple dropping PPC support it’s just a matter of time before everyone else does, too.

    On a separate but related note, Quark has already announced that 8.1 is Win7 and Snow Leopard ready.

  6. I thought I had read that Win 7 will run programs that were written for XP. Given that that description fits me, I’m hopeful the information was accurate. (I don’t know anything about Macs, other than my daughters swear by them.)

  7. I took a bold step, and installed the Win7 RC on the main production computer at my office. So far, everything has worked perfectly. I’ve already asked the owner to upgrade every machine company-wide when Win7 hits retail shelves.

  8. I’ve got the whole CS4 Master Collection running on Windows 7 RC1 and at this stage in the game I’ve run into no trouble at all. On the contrary, compared to Vista this is a breath of fresh air…

  9. I just read on Macrumors that Photoshop CS3 doesn’t work on Snow Leopard (crashes on startup). The post didn’t mention InDesign or any of the other CS3 programs, and obviously it’s nothing official, but if it’s true that would be very upsetting.

    I’m waiting for CS5 before I upgrade, but I’m counting on being able to move to Snow Leopard in September.

  10. Win 7 RC 64-bit on a new MacBook Pro runs CS4 smooth as butter. Even Acrobat 9.x isn’t being flaky, which it definitely is under Vista and XP. No issues at all and great performance. Haven’t tried Win 7 on my main workstation as yet, but all indications are that it will have no problems.

  11. Further notes: Some of the new mouse features in Win 7 for manipulating windows don’t work in CS4 apps as they do for normal windows. Dragging an InDesign window to the edge of the screen doesn’t snap it to the edge, nor does the “shake” feature work with a CS4 window.

    The new keyboard shortcuts do work, though: Windows-Right-Arrow/Left-Arrow snaps the window to the side of the screen, Win-Up-Arrow makes the application window full screen and Win-Down-Arrow minimizes it. Since I only have the one screen with the MacBook, I haven’t tried the Win-Shift-Left/Right Arrow shortcuts to throw the window onto the other monitor.

    Photoshop users will be happy to know that 64-bit PS CS4 loads in under 5 seconds in Win 7, even from the MacBook’s relatively slow hard drive. Now that’s user friendly!

  12. I noticed that too, Alan. The Adobe UI is not a standard UI on either Windows or Mac and that does come with some trade offs. The snapping feature, unfortunately is one of them.

  13. Any other folks have experience running InDesign CS3 or CS4 on Snow Leopard yet? It’s coming this Friday!

  14. Before updating from 10.5.8 to Snow Leopard, I dutifully made sure my InDesign CS3 was fully updated with Adobe. Unfortunately for me, I have nothing but problems. Indesign now frequently hangs- especially when trying to place items.

    Because of this I may have to go back to my last full backup before 10.6

  15. I can get CS3 PS, Dreamweaver and the Flash/Flash encoder apps to run on Snow Leopard, but I can’t get InDesign or Illustrator to run. Nor does my old copy of Director.

  16. Im running indesign CS4 on the new mb pro 13″ 2.53 with Snow Leopard and it runs fast and smooth.

    No crashes yet and i have put it through some hefty workloads. 88 page magazine, full styles, all hi res tiffs, and its chomping through.

    so far so good. fingers crossed.

    sounds like cs3 could be a problem though.

  17. I have been running Windows 7 for two months and love it. It no doubt has a few glitches however is an improvement over Vista even with the glitches.

  18. Wondering if anyone has tried CS2 with Windows 7. I realize I need Professional or Ultimate version to run in XP mode.
    I am in need of buying a new laptop to work on CS2 files from school computers running XP Pro. I would need to have school put CS2 on my laptop. Wondering also if there are issues of opening and editing files from school on my home laptop with 64-bit system, then taking back to school and re-saving/editing.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  19. Just loaded OSX Snow Leopard on a Mac Pro with Adobe CS4, apart from the initial font problems between the system’s Helvetica Neue and my own set, which were solved by removing any reference to helvetica from the system folder, all seems okay so far. I even appear to be still able to use CS3 applications with no worries thus far.

  20. @Lynne,

    I just installed Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, and proceeded to install CS2 Premium without a hitch. So far everything’s working (well, I tried InDesign, Acrobat, and Illustrator). Just, when you run the installer, you need to provide the following path to install to, rather than the default:


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