Paizo PDFs vs. Preview on Mac Lion


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Anyone else seeing Preview crash continuously when viewing Paizo PDFs?

Lantern Lodge

We don't have Lion anywhere in the office yet to test, this is the first we've heard, we will keep our radars up for further reports of issues with lion.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Regardless of your Mac OS version, I'd strongly recommend you use Adobe Reader to view PDFs. Among other things, Preview doesn't support the interactive features we've begun to add to our maps starting with the first volume of Jade Regent.


Vic Wertz wrote:
Regardless of your Mac OS version, I'd strongly recommend you use Adobe Reader to view PDFs. Among other things, Preview doesn't support the interactive features we've begun to add to our maps starting with the first volume of Jade Regent.

Thanks Vic. As a Mac user I tend to steer clear of Adobe products, as they tend to be a bit... crashy, but for the sake of interactive goodies I'll give Reader a go. Does Reader work on iPad though?

On the plus side, Preview now displays the capital A in sub-heads...


Due to Adobe and Apple having their own disputes, there is no Adobe Reader option for iPad. However, there are PDF readers available through Apple's app store (GoodReader for example). We have so far kept interactive elements out of our PDFs (aside from the Interactive Maps PDF for Jade Regent), so that shouldn't be the root cause of the issues you're having now.

Does it throw up a particular error or have you tried other types of PDFs?

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Chris Lambertz wrote:
As a Mac user I tend to steer clear of Adobe products, as they tend to be a bit... crashy...

That's funny because the particular Apple products you're using right now sound a bit... crashy.

The Far Wanderer wrote:
...there is no Adobe Reader option for iPad. However, there are PDF readers available through Apple's app store (GoodReader for example).

So has anyone checked to see if these new interactive doo-dads crash GoodReader on iPad? If you guys will get my PDFs to me, I'll be happy to check for you.

-Skeld

Scarab Sages

Skeld wrote:
Chris Lambertz wrote:
As a Mac user I tend to steer clear of Adobe products, as they tend to be a bit... crashy...

That's funny because the particular Apple products you're using right now sound a bit... crashy.

The Far Wanderer wrote:
...there is no Adobe Reader option for iPad. However, there are PDF readers available through Apple's app store (GoodReader for example).

So has anyone checked to see if these new interactive doo-dads crash GoodReader on iPad? If you guys will get my PDFs to me, I'll be happy to check for you.

-Skeld

They are already trying to resolve the issues on the iPad for Inner Sea magic and Brinewall Legacy.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Michael Griffin-Wade wrote:
Skeld wrote:
Chris Lambertz wrote:
As a Mac user I tend to steer clear of Adobe products, as they tend to be a bit... crashy...

That's funny because the particular Apple products you're using right now sound a bit... crashy.

The Far Wanderer wrote:
...there is no Adobe Reader option for iPad. However, there are PDF readers available through Apple's app store (GoodReader for example).

So has anyone checked to see if these new interactive doo-dads crash GoodReader on iPad? If you guys will get my PDFs to me, I'll be happy to check for you.

-Skeld

They are already trying to resolve the issues on the iPad for Inner Sea magic and Brinewall Legacy.

To be clear, the only PDF that currently contains interactive elements is the separate Interactive Maps PDF that comes with Jade Regent 1.

Other issues are unrelated to interactivity.


Vic Wertz wrote:
Regardless of your Mac OS version, I'd strongly recommend you use Adobe Reader to view PDFs.

But it's slow, and the font rendering is ugly.


Malaclypse wrote:

But it's slow, and the font rendering is ugly.

Which beats "crashing continuously," no? :P

Though Adobe Reader is needlessly slow.


bugleyman wrote:
Malaclypse wrote:

But it's slow, and the font rendering is ugly.

Which beats "crashing continuously," no? :P

Though Adobe Reader is needlessly slow.

I use Lion and I didn't experience crashes. Which products trigger the crash?

Liberty's Edge

I too have been having crashing issues with preview in Lion. If it will help, I can try to get ya'll a list of PDFs which are killing preview for me. For now, I guess I'll switch to Adobe.


More info on the interactive maps? Is it described elsewhere? Or are you saving the announcement?


Interactive Maps thread

Evil Lincoln wrote:
More info on the interactive maps? Is it described elsewhere? Or are you saving the announcement?

Scarab Sages

The Far Wanderer wrote:

Anyone else seeing Preview crash continuously when viewing Paizo PDFs?

No, I can't say I am... and I'm a QA engineer for Apple. Is it a particular PDF? All in one file, or separate files for separate chapters? Etc. Basically, I need more details.

Liberty's Edge

I've seen the problem with the following files, as well as others:

PFS Adventure #43 "The Pallid Plague"
PFS Guide to Organized Play (most recent edition)
Ultimate Combat Download by Chapter - Chapter 1 and Chapter 2

I've personally noted that it seems to be worst up when I am viewing with Table of Contents mode and using the keypad to navigate (vice scrolling with the mouse). However, I haven't figured out whether these conditions are causative for the freeze.

I can give more examples if you need them. These are just the ones I remember having to switch systems with.

Also, if it helps, I am using a Macbook Pro, mid 2009.

Liberty's Edge

Just ran a quick test. Keypad navigation in Table of Contents mode is definitely related to the issue. No other browsing or view method combination results in a freeze (for me, at least).

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
Michael Griffin-Wade wrote:
Skeld wrote:
Chris Lambertz wrote:
As a Mac user I tend to steer clear of Adobe products, as they tend to be a bit... crashy...

That's funny because the particular Apple products you're using right now sound a bit... crashy.

The Far Wanderer wrote:
...there is no Adobe Reader option for iPad. However, there are PDF readers available through Apple's app store (GoodReader for example).

So has anyone checked to see if these new interactive doo-dads crash GoodReader on iPad? If you guys will get my PDFs to me, I'll be happy to check for you.

-Skeld

They are already trying to resolve the issues on the iPad for Inner Sea magic and Brinewall Legacy.

To be clear, the only PDF that currently contains interactive elements is the separate Interactive Maps PDF that comes with Jade Regent 1.

Other issues are unrelated to interactivity.

The Inner Sea Map Folio has been crashing GoodReader on my iPad since the map PDF came out.

Now that I think about it, I think GoodReader has updated since I checked it last so maybe I'll give that one a whirl again.

-Skeld


Unseelie wrote:
The Far Wanderer wrote:

Anyone else seeing Preview crash continuously when viewing Paizo PDFs?

No, I can't say I am... and I'm a QA engineer for Apple. Is it a particular PDF? All in one file, or separate files for separate chapters? Etc. Basically, I need more details.

I've been having issues on my computers as well (iMac 2007 and MacBook Pro 2010). On the best occurrences, Preview uses 100% of one thread (MacBook Pro), or 2 cores (iMac), which makes it very difficult to use as everything is then painfully slow. After closing the pdfs, Preview doesn't releases the CPU it's been using, and requires quitting Preview. On bad days, Preview just plain crashes. On really bad days, Preview crashes, but still continues issuing the CPUs as a ghost (i.e. the Preview application is not running anymore, but the Preview process still appears in the Activity Monitor; it's really weird and it's the first time I've seen that).

I've seen this happening for all of paizo's pdf, including some old Dungeon pdfs. I suspect the current pdf protections as it happens with all the pdfs I have bought from paizo, even third party pdfs, but can't be sure that's the real source of the problem. Pdfs not related to paizo are fine.

It makes me sad because Preview is so much better than Adobe Reader, and the new Lion Preview is even better…

Skim, which uses the system's frameworks has the exact same problem, with the same pdfs.

I hope this helps… I can provide more details on my configurations if needed.


I have some info for you, Unseelie. OS X 10.6.8 on a late 2009 iMac here. Preview always freezes (freezes with that spinning rainbow, not crash outright) on certain PDFs e.g. Master of the Fallen Fortress and Carrion Crown #6 single file per chapter version rear cover. system.log in Console says "Preview[3151]: *** Assertion failure in -[CPColumn add:], /SourceCache/CorePDF/CorePDF-56/CPObjectModel/CPObject.m:236" every time it freezes. Quick Preview freezes on the same files with exactly the same message too, except it says "Finder" instead of "Preview" before the process id.


I was looking at Ultimate Combat, with Thumbnails on the left hand side. I actually had a full system freeze last night, forcing a restart so there's definitely something weird going on.

I'm using a 2010 15 inch MacBook Pro 2.4 Ghz Intel Core i5, with 4GB 1067 Mhz DDR3.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Olwen wrote:

On really bad days, Preview crashes, but still continues issuing the CPUs as a ghost (i.e. the Preview application is not running anymore, but the Preview process still appears in the Activity Monitor; it's really weird and it's the first time I've seen that).

For fans of undead nomenclature, that's more like a zombie than a ghost. (Really!)

Paizo Employee Senior Software Developer

Unseelie wrote:
I'm a QA engineer for Apple

Not this precise issue (I think), but related: Apple Bug Reporter Problem ID 7266003 is still marked as open.


Vic Wertz wrote:
For fans of undead nomenclature, that's more like a zombie than a ghost. (Really!)

In this case, it's actually more of ghost than a zombie because it's incorporeal!

Jokes aside, this (three paragraphs before "the pitch") is what is happening, which I don't think qualifies as a zombie process, but I could be wrong. It's actually rather mind-boggling. Ghosts in the machine…

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Olwen wrote:
Jokes aside, this (three paragraphs before "the pitch") is what is happening, which I don't think qualifies as a zombie process, but I could be wrong. It's actually rather mind-boggling. Ghosts in the machine…
Olwen's linked article wrote:
That's right, gentle readers. In Lion, an ostensibly "running" application may have no associated process (because the operating system automatically terminated it in order to reclaim resources) and an application may have a process even when it doesn't appear to be running. Applications without processes. Processes without applications. Did Lion just blow your mind?

Uh, yes, yes it did.


Blowing my mind... causing my Mac to overheat... making me wish I hadn't paid for software this bad...


The Far Wanderer wrote:
Blowing my mind... causing my Mac to overheat... making me wish I hadn't paid for software this bad...

I'm sure in a month or two Lion will be amazing but I've learned my lesson with both Apple AND Microsoft. Never buy the first iteration of any new software produced by them.

I leave that to you lot to finish the beta testing and go through the headaches. ;-)


ShinHakkaider wrote:
The Far Wanderer wrote:
Blowing my mind... causing my Mac to overheat... making me wish I hadn't paid for software this bad...

I'm sure in a month or two Lion will be amazing but I've learned my lesson with both Apple AND Microsoft. Never buy the first iteration of any new software produced by them.

I leave that to you lot to finish the beta testing and go through the headaches. ;-)

Indeed. This is the first (and last) time I'm an early adopter (though I'm still happy to be a charter superscriber here).

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

The Far Wanderer wrote:
...causing my Mac to overheat...

Are you being literal there?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Need to report the same issue, both the Jade Regent Player's Guide and #49 (One PDF version) freeze Preview after about 10 seconds of use. They can usually be force quit but on one occasion I had to do a full restart. Haven't checked all the older files, but Kingmaker Player's Guide Advanced Players Guide both froze. Both files definitely worked fine on Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, it's only since upgrading to Lion that the problem's happened.

The affected files also freeze if you open them in Safari. As far as I can tell all my other pdfs and my own scanned documents are fine. However I don't seem to have any other products that have been produced in InDesign CS5 or CS5.5.

I'm really no expert but the PDF looks like it's freezing when it's having difficulty rendering something in the PDF. I've got a mid-2011 iMac i5 when opening Jade Regent Players Guide, the CPU usage goes up to 200% very quickly (it's a quad core so 200% is 2 cores) and a little after that freezes. If I open up a pdf that's a similar size then that runs at about 8% CPU when not scrolling and rendering and a maximum of 30% when scrolling and rendering.

It's unfair to blame Paizo for something that's clearly not your fault, the files did work fine before, but can you look into this for your subscribers please.


Vic Wertz wrote:
The Far Wanderer wrote:
...causing my Mac to overheat...
Are you being literal there?

Yes, the machine starts to run really hot. If you have a look at the Apple boards it's happening to lots of people. My laptop can no longer be run on my lap.

Preview is definitely the source of the problem, which is a shame as it's visually nicer to look at docs than in Reader.


The Far Wanderer wrote:

Anyone else seeing Preview crash continuously when viewing Paizo PDFs?

Yes, stuck with 100% CPU usage for any of the Paizo PDFs


Just tried an experiment - opened up half a dozen Green Ronin pdfs and Preview behaved normally.

Then opened the Gamemastery Guide, tried to navigate through some page selections and boom, spinning colour ball. Tried to force Preview to quit but I can't get the force quit window open. Meanwhile the computer's heat spikes - we're talking 0-60 in ten seconds here, with the fan coming on in a valiant attempt to cool it down. I had to hold down the 'power on' button to force the machine to shut down.

Maybe it's a generic problem with Preview - maybe the GMG is just a large PDF, but thus far the only pdfs that are crashing my machine like this are Paizo ones.

Sorry guys but does anyone have a clue what's going on?


Something I've noticed is that Paizo PDFs that reliably cause Preview to gobble up 200% or 400% CPU view just fine in Quickview in the Finder.

I'm guessing there's a bug in Preview but *not* in the OS X PDF renderer.

Scarab Sages

Cool, thanks guys. This is more than a sufficient sample, and I have a number of the same PDFs. I'll see what I can do about finding a solid repro case and make sure it's logged if it's not already.

Of course, once I do so, I won't be able to say much more after that... :-/

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Unseelie wrote:

Cool, thanks guys. This is more than a sufficient sample, and I have a number of the same PDFs. I'll see what I can do about finding a solid repro case and make sure it's logged if it's not already.

Of course, once I do so, I won't be able to say much more after that... :-/

I really appreciate your help!


Vic Wertz wrote:
Unseelie wrote:

Cool, thanks guys. This is more than a sufficient sample, and I have a number of the same PDFs. I'll see what I can do about finding a solid repro case and make sure it's logged if it's not already.

Of course, once I do so, I won't be able to say much more after that... :-/

I really appreciate your help!

As do I. Thanks.

Scarab Sages

Bug is filed internally. I was able to get a 100% repro with Ultimate Combat using Preview 5.5 (Lion). Does not occur with Preview 5.0.3 (Snow Leopard), and also does not occur using Quicklook (thanks Ansel).

Interesting thing is that I have other PDFs that this does not occur with, so it feels like there's some Acrobat feature(s) that Lion Preview doesn't deal well with.

Vic, if anyone at Paizo has an Apple Developer account, you should file this as a third party as well. <http://bugreport.apple.com/>

Paizo Employee Senior Software Developer

While I've had mixed results filing bugs with Apple, we'll file this one.

Spoiler:
Now that I look I guess the results are better than I thought. I have two bugs still marked as open from 2001 and 2003, but 20 others have been marked as closed, 2 marked as duplicates, and 2 marked as behaves correctly.

Oooh, I forgot, one got my name in the release notes for a security update.

Scarab Sages

Gary Teter wrote:

While I've had mixed results filing bugs with Apple, we'll file this one.

** spoiler omitted **

Drop me a line when you file it (with the bug number) and I'll make sure that it's related to the bug I logged.

Also, I'll make the same offer I made the Lone Wolf guys... things like this, or if you have Mac (heck, or PC, I work on Boot Camp)things that need testing, just drop me a line and I'll help if I can.


Glad to see this has at least been filed as a bug, was disappointed when I found my Pathfinder pdf's (Core, APG, Bestiary 1 & 2) cause preview to go crazy under Lion.

Had to install Adobe reader, it's ok, but not as slick or pretty as preview was.


Echoing what others have said, the Core Rulebook (all-in-one) pdf causes Preview in Lion to soak up CPU until it stops responding. As a workaround, I'm using Chrome to read pdfs, which works reasonably well.


Apple just released the 10.7.1 update. Does that fix the preview PDF issue?
I'm holding off installing LION until these first few jitters are ironed out.


Iron-Dice wrote:

Apple just released the 10.7.1 update. Does that fix the preview PDF issue?

I'm holding off installing LION until these first few jitters are ironed out.

No, it doesn't. I installed it last night to no avail. My local Apple Store were sympathetic when I took my MacBook Pro in this morning but could do nothing - it's definitely a Lion issue.

I'd suggest avoiding Lion for the foreseeable (don't worry, there's nothing amazing about it really. Snow Leopard was a better upgrade than Lion is).

Looks like Apple is having its Windows Vista moment after all...


I have found Lion a very good upgrade, just the Preview issue has let it down. Doesn't affect all PDF's though.

Using Spaces and Mission Control makes running a game much easier to switch between sets of documents, pdf's and maps.

Scarab Sages

The Far Wanderer wrote:
Iron-Dice wrote:

Apple just released the 10.7.1 update. Does that fix the preview PDF issue?

I'm holding off installing LION until these first few jitters are ironed out.

No, it doesn't. I installed it last night to no avail. My local Apple Store were sympathetic when I took my MacBook Pro in this morning but could do nothing - it's definitely a Lion issue.

I'd suggest avoiding Lion for the foreseeable (don't worry, there's nothing amazing about it really. Snow Leopard was a better upgrade than Lion is).

Looks like Apple is having its Windows Vista moment after all...

The other alternative, as distasteful as it is, is to use the current version of Adobe Reader for Mac OS. It does not exhibit the same behavior.


Does anyone know if there has been any progress on this issue?
I have an open support case with Apple over it.
I installed acrobat, but it really sucks: it doesn't remember view settings, it doesn't support full screen (which I need on my tiny 13" Air), the UI is not intuitive.


kwiqsilver wrote:

Does anyone know if there has been any progress on this issue?

I have an open support case with Apple over it.
I installed acrobat, but it really sucks: it doesn't remember view settings, it doesn't support full screen (which I need on my tiny 13" Air), the UI is not intuitive.

I found a work around which seems to solve the problem:

Right click on Preview in the Applications folder then click on Get Info.

Click in the tick box for 'Open in 32-bit mode'.

And that's it. Solved the problem for me...

Liberty's Edge

The Far Wanderer, you are amazing! Thanks for the info. It still isn't perfect for me, but it is a heckuvalot better than acrobat. =)

The Exchange

The Far Wanderer wrote:

Anyone else seeing Preview crash continuously when viewing Paizo PDFs?

I noticed preview was causing my MacBook to run extremely hot when I had a PDF open. I just installed Adobe Acrobat and my laptop runs cooler when viewing them.

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