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This article is from May 29, 2008, and is no longer current.

Leopard 10.5.3 Fixes Some Navigation Services Crashes


Some folks have reported repeated, horrible, frustrating crashes when using InDesign CS3 on Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard) when using any of the “navigation services” features: Open, Save, Place, Relink, and other dialog boxes. What’s particularly crazy-making about this is that it doesn’t happen to everyone. Some folks say it happens more on Intel Macs and others say it’s a problem with Power PC Macs. In fact, my sense is that it must be a small minority of people who have this problem, as there are lots of folks (including me) who can use it under Leopard with no problem. However, if it happens to you, being in the minority is no solace.

Even worse, some folks blame Adobe and some folks blame Apple for the troubles, and it’s rather difficult to know where the issue really lies. That said, Tim Cole of Adobe posted on his blog today that the brand new 10.5.3 appears to fix some (but not all) of the Nav Svcs crashes people have been experiencing. He also mentions a partial workaround that works for some folks that involves opening the Place dialog box each time you start InDesign, and then canceling out of it.

Craig Swanson at CreativeTechs offered a different solution, involving opening the Print dialog box each time you launch. Others have suggested that the best thing to do is rebuild your preferences each time you launch the program.

Bob Levine, one of our newest contributors, added in an email to me: “Everything runs great on Vista 64.” Ah, everyone wants to be a comedian. ;)

If you have updated to 10.5.3 and rebuilt your preferences, what’s your experience? Fewer problems? More? Same? Any different tips you’ve found helpful?

David Blatner is the co-founder of the Creative Publishing Network, InDesign Magazine, CreativePro Magazine, and the author or co-author of 15 books, including Real World InDesign. His InDesign videos at LinkedIn Learning ( are among the most watched InDesign training in the world. [addbr]You can find more about David at[addbr]Follow on LinkedIn here
  • Fritz says:

    Is the Hide problem fixed with the 10.5.3 patch?

  • Bob Levine says:

    There are some posters in the U2U forum reporting that it fixes that problem, but others report that it doesn’t.

    That seems to back up Tim’s report.

  • Tim Cole says:

    My understanding is that the Hide problems are not addressed in 10.5.3.

  • Bob Levine says:

    Interesting, Tim.

    There’s a couple of folks reporting that it’s working for them.

    See the last couple of posts here:

  • Tim Cole says:

    I have confirmed that (as far as we’ve been told) Apple hasn’t touched the Hide code for 10.5.4, so it’s probably just coincidence…unless the users are in close proximity to Lourdes.

  • Tim Cole says:

    Ooops…typo…make that 10.5.3.

  • James Wamser says:

    Only after deleting my InDesign CS3 Preferences does Hide work after updating to 10.5.3. It seems like this temp fix (deleting preferences) worked with 10.5.2 as well, but only for a short time.

  • Malik says:

    The workaround won’t work for me: since I am the minority (ID crashes on my PPC 19 times out of 20) I can test this very easily.
    The place action crashes ID so the workaround is useless.
    Only thing I know: I can open ID and crash it via OPEN FILE or so until it WON’T CRASH. Then I know: it will work for me until I reboot.

    Anyway, it is VERY frustrating not to be able to export a PDF file for a customer for 3 hours ? and workaround everything all the time.

    Adobe, how come everything works in PShop etc? It’s an IMPOSSIBLE user experience to leave us alone with this for so many months.

  • Tim Cole says:

    Malik, to answer your question, the reason that you’re experiencing this in ID and not the other CS apps is that because ID is an aggregating application it’s putting a heavier load on the Leopard code. Illustrator and Photoshop use the exact same methods in their dialogs, but they don’t exercise the OS the way a typical InDesign document does.

    If the issue was something InDesign was doing wrong, we’d have delivered a fix for the problem. But, unfortunately the problems are in the OS, and the fixes for these problems are pretty involved. Apple has been doing a lot of work and is delivering fixes as they finish them.

  • Mutz says:

    Indesign is corrupting jpg files…
    When i open op u link with ‘edit original’ save in photoshop all of the sudden indesign says it’s importing a text file… the result is a corrupt jpg…
    Quark anyone ;)

  • Mutz, well, this actually sounds more like a Photoshop issue than InDesign, though I’ve never heard of this happening. I would try rebuilding your preferences and making sure you have the “.jpg” file name extension on the file. Very strange issue. As for going back to QuarkXPress… hm… if you find it better, then be my guest!

  • Jeremiah says:

    10.5.3 seems to have fixed the navsvcs problem for me.
    Of course, I’ve only been through 2 reboots since updating, so I can’t be 100% sure, but so far, so good.

  • Eugene Tyson says:

    On the photoshop jpg problem. I regularly get jpgs that won’t import to InDesign correctly. I simply reopen them and save over them. I receive the files from a person that is working on a Mac and I’m on windows. I can’t imagine what the issue could be, but resaving the jpg works.

  • Dennis McDougall says:

    ID CS3 started crashing on me during every dialog box situation about a week ago. I updated to 10.5.3 and still the same. I then repaired my permissions via the Disk Utilities and now ID is crash free. Hope this helps some.

  • I had this problem when I first installed CS3. Then I read somewhere that installing it while running Leopard in Safe Mode could help, and (knock on wood) I haven’t had the problem since.

  • mike j says:

    10.5.3 seems to have fixed the save/save as for me, had to use the print/pdf fix before

  • Bob Levine says:

    Eugene, if you’re going to do that save them as TIF or PSD, not JPG. Everytime you resave a JPG you destroy the quality just a little bit more.

  • Eugene says:

    Bob, great point. I do know that about jpgs and I should have been more careful with the comment so not to lead people astray. Of course save as TIF or PSD.

  • Jamie McKee says:

    RE: The Hide Problem
    I too have the Hide issue, but only on my initial launch of ID after a restart. If I quit ID and relaunch it, Hide works fine. Is that now how it is with everyone, or am I just lucky?

  • Tim Cole says:

    Jamie, that’s a known workaround…but you can still think of yourself as lucky for stumbling onto it.

  • Sigh, it looks like 10.5.3 isn’t a perfect upgrade for everyone… Check out these problems reported at AppleInsider.

  • Jon Kovach says:

    STILL crashing. My InDesign just won’t stop crashing when it goes to a navigation screen. I’ve trashed all my prefs, Finder prefs, updated to 10.5.3, and it just doesn’t fix anything.

  • I just heard that at ADIM (Russell Brown’s wonderful creative event) they had a room with something like 150 Macs running Leopard and they used CS3 for three days and had zero crashes due to Nav Svcs. Virtually all the people at the show used IDcs3 at their home offices without trouble either. But three attendees said they crashed multiple times each day when they’re at work.

    That helps confirm my intuition (that it’s a minority of users), and makes the mystery of why does it happen to some and not others all the more plaguing.

    I really hope Apple can fix this problem, or Adobe can find a workaround, or some resolution can happen, so that people feel comfortable working in Leopard (which is so great in other ways).

  • Doug says:

    I have had lots of issues since upgrading to 10.5 with CS3. I would go back to 10.4 but I upgraded from 10.3! I consistently crash when I try to place a photo into a current image in the document. My workaround is to place it on the art board and then paste into the image I want to replace. I’ve noticed other minor irritations like menus disappearing (tab cycle through and they are back), changed workspace (reset it to the one I want). I sure hope all this gets resolved soon, I would like to design not trouble shoot.

    Also, no one has mentioned the 10.5.3 update and the save to server file corruption. I heard about it from the MacGeekGab #154. Excerpt regarding 10.5.3: “Adobe does not support opening from or saving a file to a server, because of potential file corruption,” according to Adobe document #333037.

  • Doug, I’m sorry to hear about all your problems. Thanks for pointing out the “Don’t save to a server” issue, too. Yes, that certainly bites a lot of people. I have argued for years that people should not open/save files from a server. Working locally is just waaaay safer.

  • Daniel Cilia says:

    I have a G5 which stills gives me this problem even after the 10.5.3 update. I never had the problem on my MacBook Pro. If I try to access the finder from InDesign (like ask to place a photo) the program crashes. One simple way around this is that IMMEDIATELY as you open InDesign CS3 open a file from InDeign’s Open Menu (or command -o) and access the hard disk of your Mac. Afterwards the problem does not arise again, until you quit ID of course.

  • Adobe posted a few fixes for the “Place file” crash bug:

    Solution 2 worked for me – Launch InD, open a new document, invoke the “Place” command, cancel, then open your file and work as normal. Weird, but it worked.

  • Twin Dots says:

    I have been reading through the comments hoping to find somebody with similar InDesign symptoms but you guys seem to be able to start InDesign ok.
    Unfortunately, after installing the latest version of Leopard 10.5.3, I am unable to fire up InDesign in any way.
    Every time I try to open it, I get the following error:

    Adobe InDesign is shutting down. A serious error was detected. Please restart InDesign to recover work in any unsaved InDesign Documents.

    I’d highly appreciate any help with this issue.

  • Twin Dots: That sounds pretty bad; perhaps something in the InDesign app got moved or destroyed somehow. (Remember that InDesign relies on hundreds, if not thousands, of tiny files in various locations on your drive.) You may need to run the installer again (or uninstall and reinstall).

  • Twin Dots says:

    Thanks David,
    I tried to install-reinstall: no Joy!

  • Wow, that’s bad. Make sure you rebuild your preferences (see Popular Posts on this site). Reinstalling the software doesn’t necessarily rebuild prefs. Other than that, I’m not sure what the solution could be.

  • Jay Kenna says:

    CS3 was working OK for me for a while and then started crashing when placing images or exporting etc, re-installed, deleted preferences and checked for font problems, but it was still crashing, moved Version Cue and Bridge folders to the trash (Version Cue never installed the first time anyway and I think Bridge is more usefull on a PC than a Mac anyway) Anyway trashing those folders seems to have it working properly again…fingers crossed.

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