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This article is from October 28, 2007, and is no longer current.

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 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.
  • Colin Hartridge says:

    For those of us who haven’t yet upgraded to CS3, the question arises: does InDesign CS2 (and the other CS2 apps) work with Leopard? Or should we expect some problems?

  • Steve Werner says:

    I can tell you that I had to reactivate when I opened InDesign CS2 on one of my Leopard computers, and it opens up. But, because I don’t really use CS2 anymore, we’ll have to wait for the CS2 users to report more.

  • Anne-Marie says:

    Thanks, Steve! Do you have CS2 and CS1 installed, by any chance? I wonder how those work under Leopard. The FAQs just say, in effect, “probably not a good idea” (for CS2, they don’t even mention CS1) but I wonder if they’re really broken, and if so, to what extent.

    [By the way it irks me that when you go to Adobe’s home page, and see “Compatibility with Leopard” as the first entry under Announcements, there’s no indication that clicking the link downloads a PDF (albeit a small one) to your hard drive. None of the other links in Announcements do that. Isn’t notifying a user that clicking a link will start a download a standard practice, more or less, in user-friendly, responsible web design? Hope you don’t mind that I edited your post to indicate the link is a PDF download.]

  • Anne-Marie says:

    Looks like Colin beat me to it, while I was downloading the PDF over and over again trying to get to the non-existent web page. ;-)

    Thanks for the info on CS2 Steve. Interesting that you needed to re-activate it … guess that’s from the Archive & Install (instead of just a straight Upgrade).

  • Steve Werner says:

    I have InDesign CS2 installed, and, as I mentioned above, it opens, but I don’t have the time to test it extensively.

    I noticed the same thing about the PDF downloading automatically. Not good web design.

  • Eugene says:

    So is it worth installing Leopard or not? Any distinct advantages?

  • Steve Werner says:

    Everyone has to make an upgrade decision for themselves. Personally, the way Time Machine works is a big selling point. The faster and finder and better previews (Cover Flow and Quick Look) are selling points. The Spotlight searches are much improved. Since I’m always moving between several apps, the Spaces feature will definitely save me time.

    There are also a lot of little enhancements that I keep discovering as I explore further. Go the the Apple website and watch the guided tour. It should give you some ideas of whether to upgrade.

  • Eugene says:

    Sweet, sounds egg cell ent. but… spin it to me babes. How is it on resources, etc. What the miff is Time Machine? I fear the next 20 indesignsecrets will focus around indesign and not leopard. I’m so hammered

  • Anne-Marie says:

    To see what the fuss is about, watch the Quicktime video tour here.

  • I’ve installed InDesign CS1, CS2 and CS3. I haven’t had time to test much yet, but they all installed and updated fine. They launch and create documents. That’s the extent of my tests so far.

    My CS3’s Hide command works just fine. I don’t have the problem mentioned by Steve. This was a clean install on a freshly reformatted hard drive. It’s actually a Dual 800mhx G4 that isn’t supported. I had to hack the system to install it. But so far so good! :)

    I’ll report more once I’ve had time to test.

  • C Cole says:

    I’ve been running Leopard now for a few days, and I now am getting the “Printer Paused” on my regular printer when using Acrobat 8.0. My docs print fine with preview and everything else… Any ideas?

  • Steve Werner says:

    Daniel, did you do an Erase and Install or Archive and Install? I’m just trying to sort out why some people like me are seeing the problem with the Hide command.

    C Cole, I’ve had no problem with my Epson printer. Have you tried going to your printer website and downloading the latest printer driver?

  • Anne-Marie says:

    On Tim Cole’s* blog, he’s said that ID CS3 works great in Leopard (as far as he knows) as long as the user cleared out everything on their hard drive and installed Leopard “cleanly” from scratch, then reinstalled CS3. (What a pain, but there ya go.)

    His first post on InDesign/InCopy compatibility with Leopard is here and a follow-up that includes the install recommendation is here.

    *Tim Cole is Adobe’s evangelist for ID/IC and a good friend of/occasional commenter on InDesign Secrets.

  • Steve Werner says:

    I may have found a simple answer to the Hide InDesign problem: Restoring InDesign preferences! I just did that, and Hide InDesign now seems to be working. I’ve only tested this for a couple minutes, but I let know of the “fix” sticks!

  • When I booted into the Leopard installer, I chose to reformat the drive and install it fresh. It was an old computer, so it needed some spring cleaning.

  • Steve Werner says:

    So far so good, the Restore InDesign Preferences works to fix the problem on both of my Leopard computers. Just hold down four keys?Cmd+Shift+Option+Ctrl immediately after launching, and confirm that you want to Restore Preferences.

  • Jimbo says:

    What seems to be the issue with Acrobat Pro 8?

  • Steve Werner says:

    The only issue I’ve personally found yet with Acrobat is the Adobe PDF printer (as mentioned in the blog). Someone on the Adobe User to User Forums mentioned they couldn’t get scanning to work, but I don’t scan into Acrobat so I can’t test that. (They may just need a newer scanner driver.) I’d go to the User to User Forums > Acrobat Mac forum and check in there.

  • Mike says:

    Ran across this link this morning. Someone else’s experience with Leopard and InDesign…

  • Wa Veghel says:

    You do not have to rebuild all prefrences! Just go to Edt/Shortcuts and change to another set – then back to the set you want/need. This ‘resets’ InDesign’s Command-H.

  • Steve Werner says:

    Thanks, Wa, that’s even easier.

  • Eugene says:

    It’s quite funny, Leopard is released. There’s real concern over whether InDesign will run on it smoothly without hassle. But what I can’t figure out why everyone is spending so much time trying to HIDE InDesign, when that’s what you want to run in Leopard… why would you hide it? :-D

  • Wa Veghel says:

    >There?s real concern over whether InDesign will run on it smoothly without hassle.

    Yeah, and that silence about Brand X running on Leopard! ;-)

  • Regarding Brand X on Leopard:

    Dear all,

    the next version of Mac OS X, version 10.5 (codenamed Leopard), is almost shipping.

    Although our early tests show QuarkXPress 7.3 will run on Leopard we plan on releasing a QuarkXPress 7 update fully tested Leopard support within the next few weeks. This will be a free update for existing users and will be available to download from the Quark Web site.

    Best regards
    Matthias Günther
    Senior Product Manager
    Quark Hamburg

  • Wa Veghel says:

    >we plan on releasing a QuarkXPress 7 update fully tested Leopard support within the next few weeks.

    Well, at least they are quick…

  • Steve Werner says:

    I only want to HIDE InDesign because typically I’m flipping between it and Photoshop, Illustrator, Word, Mail, Safari, etc. and I need to get its windows out of the way. Glad that problem is sorted out.

  • Laura Anderson says:

    I’d love to install Leopard, but need to use InDesign CS2 a lot…I have clients that have just switched to CS2 and we need to swap files. (and constantly resaving as .inx is precarious and time-wasting). Anyone done any testing with CS2? I’ve read that Adobe won’t be doing anything to make CS2 compatible with Leopard and I think that’s a shame, I’m sure I’m not the only one who needs to work in both programs.

  • Steve Werner says:


    We’ll just have to wait a little longer to watch reports from InDesign CS2 users. I’ve been watching the Adobe User to User forum, and have seen no problems reported so far, but it’s still early. Given there are now supposed to be 2 million copies of Leopard out there, we should hear of problems soon if they exist.

  • jeremy says:

    I’ve just installe leopard on my 17 MBP and ID CS2 runs nice. I did a clean install then migrated from a backup drive. So far so good :) Haven’t found an app that doesn’t work yet. I have to log in the with user name from my tiger setup otherwise no apps run

  • Laura Anderson says:


    That sounds promising and I look forward to hearing if things are still going smoothly after a little while. Thanks for passing along your experience!

  • Laura Anderson says:

    Steve, I had been looking for reports on CS2 in the Adobe forums, too. I was starting to think I was the only person still using CS2. I’m not as adventurous as I used to be, in the “old days” I would have been the first to install Leopard, now I just wait and see…. ;-)

  • Steve Werner says:


    I’m adventurous enough to try Leopard on my secondary computers, but even though things are looking good, I’ll wait a little longer on my primary computer!

  • Shawn Graham says:

    After sending out a few jobs and working in day to day design operations I can attest to the fact that CS is running smooth in Leo and the calendar and notes features alone are worth the OS upgrade. Studiometry and my other “bread and butter apps” all seem to be getting out upgrades but I know it will be awhile for Suitcase. I have seen a couple of font activation issues pop up, but nothing major. So far so good!

    Now if I can only get that transparent menu bar to go away…yuck!

  • Naive? says:

    No major problems on my end. Everything seems to be working OK (CS2, CS3). The only broken thing I have at the moment is my Cisco VPN and from what I’ve read, an update to my client will likely solve the problem. I have to wait for my MIS guys to hook me up with the new client so I’ll keep you posted.

  • Steve Werner says:

    Tim Cole has added a new entry on his Adobe blog:

    “If you’re having problems running InDesign on Leopard, please submit crash logs to Adobe. They are being examined as they arrive.

    “We’re also interested to get the build numbers of your InDesign if you’re experiencing crashes or shutdowns on Leopard.

    “You can find the build number by using cmd + About InDesign. The build number is the three digit number after the version number.”

    Here’s the link to report them:

  • One problem with CS that I have noticed is that the updater for CS2 compatibility doesn’t seem to work. It says it does, but the splash screen still says 3.0 and it can’t open CS2 inx files.

  • Steve Werner says:

    A new update today from Tim Cole’s blog about reports of InDesign crashes in Leopard:

    “More interesting news regarding failure to launch and unexpect shut down problems with InDesign on Leopard: the crash logs continue to indicate that it is pre-release versions of the software (which are not made legally available to the public, I should hasten to add) that are having these compatibility problems on Leopard, not the release versions of InDesign CS3 (versions 5.0 and 5.0.1).”

    For more information, see Tim’s blog:

  • Eugene Tyson says:

    Ever since I updated to 5.0.1 InDesign keeps crashing… and I’m on Windows Xp. Furthermore, the scroll of the mouse function sometimes doesn’t work. And even furthermore, it keeps resetting my shortcuts back to default. And even further furthermore today I opened my bi-monthly magazine to work on it and the units were changed to picas, I don’t work with picas as other people aren’t familar, so why was this setting changed from millimeters. I’m hearing confounded reports of similar things happening to other uses in 5.0.1 from all over the globe.

  • Angela Snyder says:

    Just an update to let everyone know that the Cisco VPN 4.9.01 (0080) client does work with Leopard. My VPN is alive again. : )

  • jeannie says:

    I created a document in indesign cs3 … how can i open it in cs2?

  • Shawn (#33): Just noticed this app called OpaqueMenuBar. Haven’t tried it yet.

  • Jeannie: You need to use File > Export and choose InDesign Interchange format.

  • heavyboots says:

    I have only been able to get Opaque Menubar work a single time out of about 20 tries unfortunately…

  • I have found a very simple and easy fix to InDesign CS2 crashing after you have installed Leopard. InDesign CS2 crashed everytime I tried to save a document after I had installed Leopard. All you have to do is reset the preferences. The easiest way to do this is go to Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts. Then change the Set to something else. It can be anything other than what you had before. Then go back to Set again and change it back to what you had before. Click on the OK button and your preferences will be reset. You should now be able to use InDesign without problems.

  • Janne says:

    Thank you Chris! You just saved my day!

  • Anne-Marie says:

    On Nov. 16, Apple released the first update to Leopard, 10.5.1. It fixed a bunch of issues that the early adopters helped document, bless their hearts.

    If you have 10.5.0 installed, Software Update should notify you and download it, or you can download it manually here.

    For a list of what 10.5.1 fixes, read Apple’s About the Mac OS X 10.5.1 Update.

  • Be careful not to upgrade to Leopard 10.5.1 if you have InDesign CS2. I have run into more frequent crashing issues as a result when running InDesign CS2. All other CS2 applications appear to be running fine. I have not found a workaround as of yet.

  • I may have found another way to prevent InDesign CS2 from crashing in Leopard and the new update. Try enabling Version Cue in the File Handling section of Preferences. A second step that may be required is to set the dialog to Adobe Dialog. This can be done when saving, opening or placing a file. The dialog box will appear and you are given the option to use the Adobe Dialog box instead of the OS X Dialog. It handles the locating of files differently than OS X and is an Adobe alternative that might work better.

  • I’m still encountering frequent crashes with InDesign CS2 and Leopard even after performing the above fixes. In addition, I have found that you should deactivate Helvetica Neue if it is installed. Leopard now has its own system font that will cause conflicts. If I find additional fixes, I will post them here.

  • For the most part, what I have discovered now is that using the Adobe Dialog instead of the Mac OS Dialog prevents Indesign CS2 from crashing. Other issues that may prevent InDesign CS2 from crashing that I have mentioned earlier are:

    1. Reset the preferences
    2. Enable Version Cue
    3. Set the dialog to Adobe Dialog
    4. Deactivate Helvetica Neue as this will conflict with Apple’s system font version.

    Or just tell Adobe to go to h*ll.

  • John Stanfield says:

    Chris, thank you! Changing to Adobe dialog seems to have eliminated my CS2 crashes while saving.

  • Chris,

    Many thanks you have also saved my life and now CS2 InDesign is working!

    Thanks – I owe you one.

  • 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.

  • John Stanfield says:

    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?

  • John Stanfield says:

    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.

  • Chris Kinsman says:

    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.

  • Chris Kinsman says:

    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.

  • Erwin Grigorian says:

    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!

  • sarah says:

    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

  • Chris Kinsman says:

    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

  • Adam says:

    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…..

  • Chris Kinsman says:

    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!

  • Chris Kinsman says:

    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.

  • Jason says:

    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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