InDesign and Leopard: UPDATE

We have yet to hear about a problem with InDesign CS3 on Leopard from users who can confirm they’ve done a clean reformat and install with Leopard. I’ve had numerous reports from individuals who have done a reformat and clean install of Leopard that InDesign CS3 runs without any problems.

If you’ve done a clean install of Leopard and experience any stability problems running InDesign CS3, please report them on the Adobe website and tell us exactly how you installed Leopard.

The error message about InDesign encountering a serious error and shutting down may be due to the method used to install Leopard. There may be problems caused by using the archive and install process, in contrast to doing a completely clean installation, so detailed input from users encountering problems is important to help isolate the cause(s).

40 Responses to InDesign and Leopard: UPDATE

  1. Sandee Cohen says:


    I appreciate this post. You’re one of several people speaking common sense right now.

    However, I sincerely hope that Adobe does not adopt the position that everyone should do a clean reformat and install in order to run Leopard.

    That is too onerous a task for those users who have only one machine and need to keep working immediately after upgrading to Leopard.

    I can understand if Adobe finds that’s the best way to fix any Leopard issues for the moment. But there really needs to be a patch that could be applied if Leopard is installed any other way.

    TC: Sandee, at this moment it’s premature for us to speculate about the exact cause of the problems and whether or not it’s something Adobe can even address with a patch. If, for example, resources aren’t being restored correctly by Apple’s installer, there may or may not be anything we can do in the near term other than recommend a complete reinstall.

    We know that many (but apparently not all) people who have done clean installs are up and running just fine.

    So, stay tuned as we work with Apple to identify the problems.

  2. Kris says:

    I have done a clean install of both leopard and CS3 and have installed updates before inital program launch and it still encounters this error.

  3. xaqdesign says:

    I did a clean install of Leopard, followed by CS3 Design Premium Install… The ONLY problem that i have encountered is doing File > Print and using Adobe PDF 8.0 as the printer results in the PDF printer TRYING to print, but if you look at the print queue, it never finishes the job, and just auto-pauses the job after about 10 seconds or so of saying “Opening Distiller”

    Come on adobe… I REALLY hope I don’t have to wait till January for you to fix that.

  4. I too have done a clean install of Leopard / CS3 on three separate systems, and encounter this error at startup. Occurs on an iMac G5, MacBook Pro, and Mac Pro.

    TC: please click on the link provided to go to the Adobe website and report a bug. Please describe the exact steps you used for your installation so that we can try to reproduce your problem. Thanks.

  5. Xtopher says:

    I did a dirty install and have had no problems with IDCS3.

  6. mm says:

    Another busted CS3 Suite here at work. Upgraded Leopard – Indesign fails, Completely wiped and reinstalled Leopard – Indesign fails.

    Just out of interest this is happening on an original core duo not a core 2 duo I wonder if that may or may not be part of the problem – it might be worth finding out if the problem is limited to a specific intel chipset ?

  7. eric says:

    I installed Leopard 10.5 last night and my Adobe InDesign (version 5.0) program crashes everytime I try to open it. My other Adobe CS3 programs seem to be working fine. Adobe’s website says there are compatibility problems with some elements of Adobe CS3, but claims that InDesign is compatible with Leopard. I am on vacation in New York and don’t have access to my Adobe discs to reinstall the program. Is anyone else having this same problem? Are there any patches I could download to fix it? Help!

  8. john says:


    Original Core Duo here too… inDesign fails.

  9. Pad says:

    I’m running an original core duo macbook. Indesign CS3 crashes whilst starting up giving the “has discovered a serious error” dialogue.

  10. mm says:

    Well original core duo’s don’t seem to be resonding well to indesign cs3 and leopard but there is light at the end of the tunnel

    You could try installing the try out version as this has installed fine and is working as a 30 day trial copy here on my mac. Haven’t tried my cs3 serial with it yet as i am hopeful adobe will see the difference between the two versions and supply a patch for us all sooooooooon.

  11. HappyPig says:

    Indesign CS3 works on my MBP 2.33 C2D but not my MB 2.0 CD. Both were archive and installs of Leopard. CS3 was reinstalled on the MB and InDesign takes about 30 seconds to launch then says a serious error was detected.

  12. boguś Machnik says:

    adding to kris’ post from oct 29. when i print to pdf 8 the pause happens all the time. i get the same from other apps as well. anyone nearer to solving this mystery?

  13. wonderings says:

    Having the same InDesign Problem on my Dual 1.25 Ghz G4 with just an upgrade to Leopard. No problems on my Dual G5 though with an upgrade. I need a fix for this! This is my work machine and I use InDesign every day!

  14. nsg says:

    I did a clean install of leopard. I can’t print anything from photoshop (CS3). I spent two hrs on the phone today with Epson and 1 hour with Mac, and still no prints. The print window reads that I have put in the wrong size paper (no matter what paper, or where it is fed – front or back feeder). Tomorrow I’ll call Adobe. Meanwhile, I’m missing deadlines! So frustrating!

  15. David Ellis says:

    InDesign fails on my Core 2 Duo. 🙁

  16. Patrick says:

    I have the Leopard install disk right here next to me. But I have reservations about installing it. Work comes first before my curiosity. I remember something that I recently read on another post…Don’t do an install like this when you have deadlines and your work depends on the outcome. Those words ring true.

    Thanks everyone for the input.

  17. Ben Druce says:

    Hi There,

    I have a PowerBook G4 and InDesign CS3 works pretty much as it did on tiger. Not sure if I did a clean install but I did exactly what the instructions said in the box. I have experienced a couple of issues:

    – Hide InDesign doesnt’ work (worked a couple times using the file menu (CTRL + h has never worked) but now that has stopped working)

    [TC: This is a known issue with Leopard that we’re working on with Apple.]

    – Print as PDF no longer works (this sucks as I use it alot) It allows me to print as a postscript file which is then converted to a pdf (becomes a massive file size though)

    [TC: I’m hoping you have a very good reason for generating PDF this way, but I’m not sure what it would be. This is also a known issue that’s being investigated and documented. It’s an Acrobat 8/Leopard issue. I’d recommend you use InDesign’s native PDF export instead, which, among other things, won’t force you to flatten your document to get it into a PDF.]

    – I have found that the right hand menu icons sometimes disappear randomly and then reappear

    [TC: We haven’t heard of this one before, so please file a bug report on our website if you can. We’d like to get some detail from you about what you’re experiencing.]

  18. Ben says:

    I upgraded to OS X on several machines recently and the Adobe InDesign CS3 keeps crashing whenever trying to relink the picture. It says “The application InDesign has unexpectedly quit”. Please advise if any of you experienced this issue. Thanks.

    [TC: I’m checking with engineering and tech support to see if we’ve heard about this. I’ll post any information I receive from them on the subject. In the meantime, please check hour build number as per my earlier blog post. Also try deleting your InDesign preference files after updating to Leopard.]

  19. Matt says:

    I get that fatal error too…no one has heard anything from Adobe about this yet? This sucks…

    [TC: If you read my subsequent blog posts, you’ll see what Adobe has to say about fatal errors on launch for InDesign on Leopard. The legal release version doesn’t have this problem. Based on our crash logs and customer input, it appears that is fatal error comes from pre-release versions of ID CS3 that are not legally sold and distributed. If you have a legal version and are getting this error, you should contact Technical Support and report it via ID’s crash log dialog box.]

  20. eric says:

    it seems like everyone is posting problems….but no one is posting SOLUTIONS.
    I have an Intel Core Duo MBP, inDesign is encountering serious errors at startup.

    {TC: Hi Eric. If you’re crashing on startup, you should be sending Adobe the crash log, reporting the problem on the Adobe website, and then contacting Technical Support. That’s what they’re there for. I will reiterate (yet again), that the legal, release versions of InDesign are not having startup problems on Leopard. Please check your InDesign build number as described in my post on the topic. If it’s the case that you don’t have a legal release build, then there is no solution for anyone to post. If you have a legal, release build, then Technical Support is going to be your best bet.]

  21. Math gue says:

    how i install cs3 on leopard ( the trial version from adobe ) it tells me that i have not the request configuration…

    [TC: here is the Tech Support phone number specifically for Creative Suite installation issues: 800-642-3623]

  22. Brandy says:

    I also did a clean install of Leopard, followed by CS3 Design Premium Install… I’ve encountered 2 problems…
    When I do a File > Print and using Adobe PDF 8.0 as the printer results in the PDF printer TRYING to print, but if you look at the print queue, it never finishes the job, and just auto-pauses the job after about 10 seconds or so of saying “Opening Distiller”
    also, I can’t print to a network printer. I get “Printing Error: The Adobe Print Engine has failed to output your data due to an unknown problem.” HELP!!!

    [TC: Brandy, the PDF printer problem is a known issue, and it’s due to an incompatibility between Acrobat 8 and Leopard. There will be a Leopard compatibility update for Acrobat that will fix this problem. For the printing problem I ‘d suggest you contact our Tech Support group.]

  23. marcia says:

    We are having a problem with some PDF files that are generated from Indesign. Sometimes clipping paths from photoshop images are not showing on the PDF’s. These are grocery ads with lots of images on a page.

    For example, a jug of milk (same image) will be placed on the page twice. It looks fine, but when the PDF come out, one jug of milk may have the clipping path missing or the image might be upside down.

    [TC: Hi Marcia, am I correct in assuming that you’re exporting PDF from InDesign? The images in question are in what format? You probably need to contact Tech Support to have them help you troubleshoot the problem given the number of variables involved.]

  24. Sean says:

    I upgraded to OS X on several machines recently and the Adobe InDesign CS3 keeps crashing whenever trying to relink the picture. It says “The application InDesign has unexpectedly quit”. Please advise if any of you experienced this issue. Thanks.

    [TC: I’m checking with engineering and tech support to see if we’ve heard about this. I’ll post any information I receive from them on the subject. In the meantime, please check hour build number as per my earlier blog post. Also try deleting your InDesign preference files after updating to Leopard.]

    I too, have seen this problem on several computers, all with clean installs of leopard. any word from engineering support?

    [TC: This is the Nav Svcs problem referred to in my most recent blog post. Changes were made to the Nav Svcs code in Leopard, and we’re now seeing this problem primarily in PPC machines running Leopard. It does happen occasionally on MacIntel boxes, but not nearly as often. We are waiting for Apple to tell us why this crash is happening because we don’t have the tools to debug the issue.]

  25. Leon Curling-Hope says:

    Hi i upgraded to Leopard and InDesign crashes everytime I try to open it, I have re loaded it and still. Adobe said that i must go through all my plug-ins i have done that as well no such luck. Adobe said i must down load FixVCUIFramework from the main page as there could be scripting issues… still does not work they told me to down load InDesign CS3 update. Still nothing! Now I’m a Art Director for a big International advertising agency and we have just updated all our mac’s with a great expense. Does any one know how to fix this problem?

    [TC: Hi Leon, sorry to hear you’re having a problem. Please check your build number as per later posts on this blog, and verify that you’re using the release version of the software. I’m not aware of any crash-on-launch issues with the release software. If you are using release software, then you need to contact Tech Support here and submit a crash log if the application is giving you the opportunity to do so.]

  26. Luciana Bene says:

    Hi, I got a new Mini Mac, with Boot Camp working XP Pro and Leopard. It was working perfectly, but now I try to open the International Tools at the Preference System, because I translate texts a lot, and I can’t.

    Anyone is having the same problem?


  27. Garritt says:

    I had a HD go down and I installed Leopard on a brand new clean 250GB Internal HD. in InDesign CS2 I am getting the crash when I try to save a new document and try to export one. This never happened in Tiger.

    This is a terrible problem and needs to be fixed.

    [TC: Garrit, sorry to hear you’re having a problem. InDesign CS2 does not officially support Leopard. CS2 was neither developed for, nor was it tested for Leopard. If you’re running CS2 you need to upgrade to CS3. If you’re on a PPC machine, you still may have a problem with the file navigation dialogs on Leopard. If you’re on an Intel Mac, you’ll probably be OK.]

  28. James says:

    I’m getting the same error message. I installed leopard with no issues right off the CD i got on the release day. Adobe was previously installed prior to the update. I don’t understand why it is doing this considering it worked before.

  29. Corrin says:

    I have bought a brand new Mac Pro G5 5/02/08 and downloaded the trial version for indesign. It allows me to install, however when I try to launch the program crashes “unexpectedly”. It won’t pass the starting registry services. I am going out of my mind, I need to work as I run a small business and don’t wish to purchase the upgrade CS3 suite if the trial version won’t even open? Can someone please help me, I don’t know what I should do????????????

  30. Donna says:

    I’m on a Mac running OSX 10.4.11. When printing InDesign CS2 docs to my Canon i80 printer the documents printed out gray instead of black. Today I was prompted to install InDesign April 2005 Compatibility Updater. I did so hoping this would be the fix I need, but now my documents print only in yellow ink. Other documents produced in Word, etc. print normally in black. What in the world is going on?

    [TC: Donna, I’d recommend you contact tech support or post your question up on Adobe’s User to User forums as a start. Is this updater you mention something from Canon?]

  31. Jim says:

    I also have the print to PDF problem. The only reason that I use this feature is from the print booklet menu. This is te only way (that I know of) to make a PDF simply and have all of the pages in the correct order to print a book. If there is another way to do this I would love to know!

  32. MK says:

    I seriously think you guys have to offer a better solution. These problems are a waste of time, effort and money for these people to write about glitches of failed products. It should have been tested before it ever reached the market at this level and there should be compensation – like free downloads to correct all the bugs and glitches discovered. Please get it right. Thank you for your help though.

    [TC: MK, as I’ve explained up here on this blog, we’d love to provide the solution, but we can’t. The issue is in Leopard’s updated Nav Svcs code. Not only can we not re-write it for Apple, we can’t debug it because we don’t have the tools (from Apple) that are necessary to do that. As has also been previously stated, there’s no guarantee that the pre-release builds Apple gives us are what they will release. They release when they’re ready, and if it’s a build that hasn’t been distributed to third parties, that’s the way it goes. The fixes for these OS-related problems will be part of a free update(s) from Apple.]

  33. Ben Weeks says:

    I’m a PPC user with leopard and a bought copy of adobe CS3 master suite. And I’m struggling with the Indesign CS3 crash on save bug.

    I realize this bug may be apple’s fault. But is it responsible for adobe to sell a product it knows doesn’t work under certain conditions?

    None of their marketing stuff made this clear. Nor the fact that several of the other apps only run on intel.

  34. lucas says:

    It’s great that adobe dodges the issue and pan’s it off on apple. Even if apple has code that was not the same as their dev. Release… Adobe could still code a fix or a work around… Now I own a $300 chunk of registered software that i cant save with… utterly useless to creative professionals.

    [TC: Lucas, sorry you’re having a problem with InDesign on Leopard. The problem is in the OS code, not InDesign’s (or the the other Creative Suite apps). Apple knows this and is going to deliver a fix. It is not something that Adobe can address.

    As stated previously and repeatedly on this blog, the problem doesn’t occur on all Leopard installations. It’s more common on PPC machines than on Mactel boxes. Only Apple is able to isolate and fix the problem, because the problem in in the OS code. There is nothing for Adobe to fix. If you’re having problems on Leopard, the best thing to do to fix them is to install Tiger and use that until Apple delivers a fix that solves the different NavSvcs crashes that some Leopard users are experiencing.]

  35. Greg Caulton says:

    I’ve just inherited 2 MacPros — one running 10.5.2, the other 10.4.11.
    Distiller (CS2, latest update) quits unexpectedly on launch. All other CS2 apps work fine.
    Will a Distiller re-install help? Will CS3 fix Distiller (or break the others)?

    [TC: Greg, a reinstall of Acrobat wouldn’t hurt. You might also try posting your question on the Acrobat User to User forum on the Adobe web site to see if any other users have experienced this problem.]

  36. Wack says:

    “Only Apple is able to isolate and fix the problem, because the problem in in the OS code. There is nothing for Adobe to fix.”

    Now that’s a good one… Wouldn’t ALL OS X apps exhibit the same problems if there was “nothing for Adobe to fix.” How about Photoshop and Illustrator that work just fine?

    Obviously it’s something specific to ID, that’s the only variable that changes in the equation… basic trouble shooting 101. I’m not saying that Apple has nothing to do with it, but what an extremely arrogant, disrespectful, and just plain stupid thing to say…

    [TC: Dear anonymous, I’d be ashamed of being stupid, arrogant and disrespectful if Apple didn’t agree that it was their problem, and if Apple hadn’t actually fixed the crashing problem in 10.5.4.]

  37. Donna says:

    I had to wipe my imac as it had serious errors so the tech that fixed it installed leopard on it, i then installed indesign cs3 on it and the only problem i am getting which is very annoying is that my preferences reset everytime i startup indesign or move between programs (i.e. use illustratoe for a few mins then move back to indesign) its only happening with two parts units and increments resets from millimetres to picas and in display performance it switches from high quality to typical, i tried the adobe tech and he told me to wipe my indesign preferences from the cache but now that i have started up this morning its back to square one! anyone have any ideas on how to fix this???

  38. Deb says:

    I’ve got a new Mac OSX 10.5.5 intel cored 2 duo and cannot open Indesign. It crashes at launch every time.

    [TC: Deb, that obviously shouldn’t be happening. Call Tech Support and have them trouble-shoot it with you. If you’re crashing on launch, then it’s an installation issue, and those are handled free of charge.]

  39. Deb says:

    It will actually open for about 2 seconds and then crash. Here is the error I get. Exception Type: EXC_BAD_ACCESS (SIGBUS)
    Exception Codes: KERN_PROTECTION_FAILURE at 0x0000000000000000

    Just thought I’d ask if this tells you anything because I can’t get through to tech support. I did run a repair disk permissions and also deleted the pref. folder. All my other CS3 apps work.

    [TC: Hi Deb, sorry you’re having a problem. You need to get in touch with Tech Support. They’re in the best position to help you sort out the problem.]

  40. Stuart. N says:

    Adobe Photoshop 2.0- will not run with OS 10.5.5- Lepoard

    Any fixes?

    [TC: Stuart, do mean 2.0 or CS2?]