by infinite_resolution


August 28, 2009

Illustrator and Snow Leopard

As a lot of you have heard, CS4 versions of Adobe’s Creative Suite apps have been tested with Snow Leopard and the few problems we found were mostly minor. For more a whole lot more info and perspective, read John Nack’s post “Adobe Snow Leopard FAQ”

This entry on Infinite Resolution meant to give you a bit more specific information about Illustrator. We have done extensive testing of CS4 on Snow Leopard, as well as a shorter set of tests with CS3. Although we certainly have not done the exhaustive tests with CS3 that we would need to do in order to say that we officially support this configuration, I can tell you that for the most part both CS4 and CS3 versions of Illustrator work well on Snow Leopard.

So, what problems have we found that you should know about?

  • Both .ai and .eps files saved from Illustrator open with Preview instead of Illustrator, until you tell the OS to use Illustrator for the file types. See this KB article for more details.
  • Saving files to a server through SMB protocol may cause crashes. This looks like it is not specific to Adobe applications. See this KB article

If any new information surfaces, I’ll update this blog to let you know.


  • By Sigurdur Armannsson - 1:36 PM on August 30, 2009  

    Thanks for the information. Feeling much better 😀

  • By brehm - 3:25 AM on August 31, 2009  

    so, what about the broken ability to record new layers in actions?its been broken since the advent of CS4, when will Adobe be kind enough to look into this?or are we supposed to wait until CS5?

  • By Adam D. - 8:17 AM on September 3, 2009  

    There seems to be several issues online with CS4. I have had problems with illustrator. It opens but crashes when you try to open a file. AE just won’t open. A lot of people can’t get Photoshop to work right, but mine works fine. Its my Ai and AE…I wonder what the problem is. I’ve tried almost everything.

  • By tartansparkle - 7:06 AM on September 4, 2009  

    Since Leopard introduced Spaces I have split up all my applications into their respective “space”. Illustrator and all my other CS3 items are in Space 4. Flicking between Applications now will not take me onto an Illustrator Space 4, it will just keep the window in Space 1.Sadly let down by this as the ability to flick within seconds to other space was fantastic when there is lots going on. Can’t believe this ability has gone wrong. It’s fine with all the other apps (as they are tested I guess and work fine)

  • By Dan - 12:51 PM on September 8, 2009  

    Another VERY annoying issue I’ve just come across using Snow Leopard and Adobe CS3: In addition to Illustrator .eps files opening in Preview from the Finder… when an .eps file is placed into InDesign, you are able to click on the pencil icon in the Links palette, which jumps automatically to opening the selected .eps file in Illustrator. This allowed for quick, “real-time” updates to the file. Once you re-saved the changes in Illustrator, when you went back to the InDesign document, the image updated automatically (as opposed to having to manually update the link in the Links palette). Major time saver.Now, when I follow these steps, the .eps opens in Preview, which does me no good. I have to manually locate the file in the Finder, open it in Illustrator, make the changes, then manually update the link each time in InDesign. When working with a document with tens or hundreds of images, this is a MAJOR time consuming task.Please fix this!NOTE: The process above works the same way with native .psd files, and apparently has not been affected by Snow Leopard. .psd files still open in Photoshop as they should, from InDesign. It’s only the .eps/.ai files that are seemingly affected.

  • By Infinite Resolution - 8:48 PM on September 8, 2009  

    Well Dan, according to Apple, this is the way it is supposed to work and not something that Adobe (or Apple) should fix. There is a workaround that should work for you – locate the eps in the finder and do Get Info. Under Open With, choose Adobe Illustrator and click the button Change All… Now Snow Leopard knows that you want to open eps with Illustrator, and hopefully the whole workflow should happen the way you want.

  • By Dan - 5:08 AM on September 9, 2009  

    Hey, IR, that’s a great workaround, I just did it, and see that the .eps icons in the Finder are now Illustrator icons…However, I’m skeptical about the “this is way it’s supposed to work, according to Apple” thing… First of all, when I did the workaround you suggested, I got this prompt:”Are you sure you want to change all your Adobe Illustrator CS3 documents to open with the application “Adobe Illustrator CS3”?”Uh, yeah, why WOULDN’T I want a file created with a particular program to open with that program? Sure, sometimes there are exceptions, but most often, I want the file’s native app to open it. I’d think this would be the default.Secondly (and maybe this is less Apple than Adobe, but I dunno)… the ‘pencil’ button in the Links palette loses about 50% of it’s usefulness, if Illustrator files aren’t going to open in Illustrator… I just don’t get why that wouldn’t be an “automatic”, with Apple and Adobe working so closely together.But, regardless, I”m just bitching needlessly now. I MUCH appreciate your tip, IR! Very helpful. Cheers!

  • By Eric M. Williams - 11:15 AM on September 10, 2009  

    We’ve recently transitioned from G5s to Intel Macs, and unfortunately we’re forced to run Illustrator CS4 in Rosetta mode. Turns out that Host-Based Separations act differently between PowerPC and Intel. Here’s what I’ve found:Create an RGB document. Add a shape and fill it with a spot color (say, Pantone 123). Next, add another shape element and give it a fill of RGB 255,255,255 (pure white).Here’s where the problem comes in. On a G5 Mac, go to the Print dialog and select Host-Based Separations. Below, you’ll see that only Pantone 123 will be output.On an Intel Mac, the output will include CMYK as well, even though there are no elements that will separate out to CMYK.You can eliminate this problem by running Illustrator CS4 on an Intel Mac using Rosetta PowerPC emulation, but obviously this is not ideal. I’m hoping that there is a fix for this, because it’s a show stopper for our workflow.

  • By elspub - 5:09 PM on September 11, 2009  

    For all the talk about CS4 and SL issues, there are at least two improvements in Snow Leopard and CS4:-built in quicklook support for .ai files. which I really appreciate. In Leopard you needed to buy a plugin from a third party to get this.- Spaces works with application frames turned on. In Leopard, if you wanted to use the (infamous) CS4 application frame and assign a CS4 app to a specific Space… well, it was ugly. If you were in a different space then the one assigned to the application Spaces would switch back and forth between the space you were in and the assigned one endlessly. Now: it works.@tartansparkle: In the Spaces system preferences there’s a checkbox to “switch to a space with open windows for the application”. Have you unchecked that? Because Spaces switches for me.

  • By Derek - 12:50 PM on September 14, 2009  

    I am annoyed with Snow Leopard & Adobe in that the “Print to PDF” function was taken away in CS4. Now I have to go through many more hoops to get a multiple page PDF.Is there any chance this will be corrected?

  • By chris - 5:43 PM on September 16, 2009  

    I had never experienced CS4 crashing until I installed Snow Leopard – now it crashes all the time.

  • By Anonymous - 7:41 PM on September 20, 2009  

    My big question is for us hold outs – the impoverished ones that are still managing our work load with CS2…are the CS2 apps going to crash if we move to Snow Leopard…or is so old that no one cares…but me?

  • By Tiffany - 8:30 AM on September 23, 2009  

    I read all sorts of threads about issues with compatibility, but I rarely see anything mentioned about the problem like the person above. I too have issues with crashing, when I am just opening a small graphic file (perhaps an online banner) that I created on my 10.5.8 system the other day. I am now running 10.6 on my new Mac Pro that arrived yesterday (clean install of CS3) and Illustrator crashes all the time when opening a JPG file. It gets very frustrating, especially when Adobe says there is nothing wrong, and this same issue happened on my iMac that I upgraded to 10.6 the same day it came out. 🙁

  • By Angus - 11:32 PM on September 24, 2009  

    The following is copied directly from Adobe’s own site. Yet using “save as”, a habit I acquired back in the days of Illustrator 88 save file bloat, and the save fails in a from time to time way!!! How can the following comment be trusted if the most important function of the software, saving a file, fails. My work around is to save frequently, more frequently than under any other version of Illustrator that I have used. I have Illustrator CS4, CS2 and Illustrator 9 because my users range over all these versions. I have never liked how the CS versions have created their “legacy” versions of my ai and pdf files. (they number nearly a thousand maps) I fell that my comments will be ignored like most of the comments I have read in blogs about Apple SL and Adobe issues. I needed to rant somewhere and this is the place I ended up. AngusDo Adobe Creative Suite 3 products support Snow Leopard?Adobe has worked closely with Apple throughout the Snow Leopard development and testing process. Adobe has conducted its own additional testing of CS3 software on Snow Leopard and is confident that our CS3 applications will function as expected with Snow Leopard. Adobe did uncover some noncritical issues, which are documented in a Knowledgebase article.

  • By CD - 8:08 AM on September 25, 2009  

    We’re still on CS3—just too bloody expensive to step up for five macs at the moment—and I got Snow Leopard thinking it might clean things up a bit. Had to reinstall Xpress (7.5—trying to go to ID before forced to Xpress 8), but this problem with EPS files opening in Preview is the greatest pain. I changed it so it opens them in Illustrator, but it doesn’t appear to be able to differentiate between Illustrator EPSF and Photoshop EPSF, meaning you have to go to the finder to manually open them. It’s incredibly retrogressive and one I can’t understand why beta testing didn’t resolve.

  • By Michelle Khazaeepoul - 10:46 PM on July 23, 2010  

    does Snow Leopard work with illustrator CS? (not 2,3 or 4… just plain CS)

  • By Cynthia - 10:02 AM on August 20, 2010  

    NONE of my CS4 programs work on my new IMac running OS 10.6.4. Tried to do a clean install on the new Imac first with my CS4 program disks (just purchased in March BTW). Wouldn’t install. After spending 3 hours with support on the phone … even giving them remote access to my computer, they couldn’t figure out why it wouldn’t load. Said they would call me back with help. Several hours later, no call back, I call San Jose and ask to speak to someone in charge. They hook me back up with someone in India. They said they would take it to a “higher level” and work on it and get back to me. Called back. Another hour on the phone with the “higher power” and still no fix. Then they say “must be a disk problem we will get back in touch with you and send you a new disk or give you a download code”. 48 hours now … no phone call.

    So, I decide to do a migration instead from the old computer. Think that will work? Nope. I keep getting the “licensing for this product has stopped working” error. It is now 3 a.m. I have spent the last 6 hours trying every solution given on the support page for this error. Nothing works. I guess I will have to call India … uh I mean Adobe … again tomorrow and spend another 3 hours on the phone NOT resolving this problem.

    And I have a 5 pm deadline on the work I was doing … so I guess I’ll have to forget working on this $2K new Imac I bought and the $1.5K I spent on Adobe CS4 and try to make up for lost time.

    Dontcha just hate spending $3.5K and getting absolutely nothing but headaches and lost time for it.

    Thanks Adobe!!! If only there were another choice, so many of us would dump your products.

    • By Carol - 10:11 PM on December 3, 2010  

      Cynthia – I have the exact problem. I re-downloaded CS4 to my new iMac with Snow Leopard. But get the licensing message when I try to open Illustrator. I’ve been communicating with Adobe. They seem very responsive but no solution has been found. Let me know if you come up with something. I sure would like to use the application.

  • By Angela - 10:15 AM on August 31, 2010  

    I can’t even open Illustrator CS3 on Os 10.6 – keeps crashing. Worst thing I ever did to upgrade from 10.4.11 – and costly.

  • By headsign - 2:06 PM on December 15, 2010  

    Couldn’t open 2 of my most important files in AI CS4 on a newer iMac running 10.6.5. Spinnig beachball all the time. Lost 2 hours figuring out what was wrong. Had to unplug my external drive (Time Machine volume). Is that normal? (Owe us they living?)

  • By Shaun - 7:46 AM on January 9, 2011  

    Cynthia, it sounds as though you didn’t deactivate your Adobe software registrations before you did your clean install. Is that correct?

    Within Adobe CS4 Software: Help>Deactivate

    After installing Snow Leopard and getting it up to date, then reregister your Adobe software. The clean install caused the problem, I suspect.

    For the record, I sincerely believe that both Adobe and Apple make EXCELLENT software. Unfortunately their individual activities (changes, updates, etc.) do not smoothly coincide.

    All the best,

  • By Monica - 1:55 PM on January 19, 2011  

    I can’t open my Adobe Illustrator CS4, it keep crashing though it has been working well on Os 10.6.6. please help

  • By Nigel - 5:04 PM on February 1, 2011  

    I am using Illustrator CS4 on Snow Leopard 10.6.5 and every time I save a file a dialogue box pops up with the message:

    Some of the specified files already exist in the target location. The file marked below will be replaced. Driving me crazy with duplicates. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  • By Labels - 11:19 PM on February 22, 2011  

    I love Adobe…though since I upgraded to CS4, my Illustrator has a mind of it’s own.

  • By Stickers - 3:19 PM on January 30, 2012  

    I am wondering if cs5 has solved the problem that Nigel posted, “Some of the specified files already exist in the target location. The file marked below will be replaced. “?

  • By James R. | Asset Tags - 12:39 AM on January 31, 2012  

    We had been facing multiple integration issues too earlier with CS4. Thankfully landed on this forum and found “Infinite Resolution’s” solution working for us. Now the issues have receded mostly. Thank you IR. Btw, cs4 is a great product, if one gets past these issues – you’d simply be awestruck by it! We love it here.

  • By sprale - 12:57 PM on February 16, 2012  

    I get the same error in CS5;

    “Some of the specified files already exist in the target location. The files marked below will be replaced:”

    Anyone have any insight as to what the notification is, or how to resolve it?

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