macOS 10.12.2 users urged to avoid using ‘work-in-progress’ Preview app to edit PDFs

“Mac users running macOS Sierra 10.12.2 are being urged to avoid using Preview to edit PDFs until Apple fixes several bugs in the app that can cause corruption issues in the document format,” Tim Hardwick reports for MacRumors.

“The recommendation comes from TidBITS publisher Adam Engst,” Hardwick reports. “Writing on the online Apple newsletter website, Engst backs up fellow developer Craig Landrup’s claim that Apple’s decision to rewrite the PDFKit framework for macOS 10.12 has broken basic functionality that PDF-related developers rely on, such as compatibility with ScanSnap and Doxie scanners.”

Hardwick reports, “As to why issues have arisen in Apple’s native Preview application, Engst quotes approvingly the DEVONthink developer Christian Grunenberg, who characterizes the rewritten version of PDFKit in Sierra as a ‘work in progress.'”

Read more in the full article here.

“t pains me to say this, speaking as the co-author of “Take Control of Preview,” but I have to recommend that Sierra users avoid using Preview to edit PDF documents until Apple fixes these bugs,” Adam C. Engst writes for TidBITS. “If editing a PDF in Preview in unavoidable, be sure to work only on a copy of the file and retain the original in case editing introduces corruption of any sort. Smile’s PDFpen is the obvious alternative for PDF manipulation of all sorts (and for documentation, we have ‘Take Control of PDFpen 8’ too), although Adobe’s Acrobat DC is also an option, albeit an expensive one.”

Engst writes, “In the meantime, we’ll be watching closely to see which of these PDF-related bugs Apple fixes in 10.12.3, which is currently in beta testing.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The Sierra-bug swatting continues.


  1. It’s not a bug, it’s a total lack of quality control and shipping software that’s still a quasi-alpha.

    PDF used to be Apple’s crown jewel- the dumbing down continues – come back Forstall all is forgiven.

    1. I’m a document Ninja. Have been for years. Preview is an app that had lots of potential, but hasn’t progressed enough. I use Preview, but it has no text editing support like Adobe Acrobat Pro, and no real Apple Pen support!

      Apple needs to reinvent its operating system because OS X and the core apps are effectively frozen in time.

  2. Oh the humanity! Get a grip people! You all act like it’s the end of the world or something. I personally have never used preview for anything related to PDFs. I grew up with Adobe Acrobat Reader and Pro and the first thing I do with a new Mac is set all my PDFs to open with Acrobat Pro using the get info command. If you think this is bad buy a cheap Windows laptop and get FoxIt for Windows PDFs and get ready for pure hell! Preview has always been like the Stickies app for me since I rarely use it and the interface is probably the worst thing since Windows 2.0. Although it could be and should be better, I never lost any sleep thinking that Apple was going down the tubes because of the Preview App! Haaaa! Their customer satisfaction rating isn’t near the top for nothing. But Whiners will whine and babies will cry. Meanwhile, I will be working in the new and improved, or much improved, Final Cut Pro 10.3.1. I also Use Adobe Creative Cloud Apps which have lots of bugs in their new versions as well, but nothing major that affected workflow or getting the job done. I suggest if you wanna hear about real problems talk to my Windows 10 buddies! Peace Out!

    1. > If you think this is bad buy a cheap Windows laptop and get FoxIt for Windows PDFs and get ready for pure hell!

      If we bought a cheap laptop, we would expect the scrappy quality. But if we bought an expensive MacBook, we would expect quality at every turn.

    2. Oh come on now. Windows 10 is leaps and bounds better than windows 7. The fact is, people use preview, they probably don’t want to pay a monthly fee for Adobe. And Apple blew it. Just face that fact and you will be OK. Stop defending stupidity and laziness at Apple.

    1. Apple should be providing the old, working version of Preview with the current version of macOS. Push the beta-ware out to beta-testers for only beta-testing. That’s how it is done properly.

      If Apple somehow think this new revision of the PDFKit framework is ready for prime time, apparently they’re wrong and should correct their error.

        1. OIC. I had to think about what you meant.

          IOW allow dragging in the old software components (messy) or provide an installer for the older components. That crosses the line into user-hostility. But for times when bugs are found post-official release, that would be a very helpful interim option.

  3. Much I enjoy playing cat and mouse with the anti-Apple trolls…

    It’s fine with me if everyone bashes on Apple for this latest macOS blunder. Apple is effectively damaging the ability of their customers to perform work while forcing them to play beta-testing. That’s not acceptable. Crap like this happened under the leadership of Steve Jobs as well, just to keep some perspective. And it was not acceptable then either.

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