Mac OS X

Snow Leopard Font Update fixes OpenType font issues

Snow Leopard Font Update in Software Update

In Mac OS X 10.6.7, Apple introduced a bug where if you have a document containing OpenType fonts, and used the OS X PDF engine to generate a PDF, you could have trouble opening it in Adobe Acrobat or printing it to to a PostScript printer. Apple has now addressed the problem through the Snow Leopard Font Update.

This bug may seem obscure to some, but OpenType is a high-quality cross-platform font standard that professional designers rely on, so it was messing up some workflows. Also, OpenType fonts are bundled with some Adobe Creative Suite applications, so you may have those fonts on your computer even if you don’t remember installing them.

Download Snow Leopard Font Update

Read Snow Leopard Font Update release notes

Background on the Snow Leopard OpenType font problem

Photoshop CS5: Keyboard shortcut issue fixed by Mac OS X 10.6.7

Photoshop + Software Update = happy

Have you found that some keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop CS5 (Mac) haven’t been working? Or are some tools acting strangely, as if the Option or Shift keys were pressed? It turns out that Mac OS X 10.6.5 introduced a bug where modifier keys might stick; for example, you might always see the Hand tool, as if the spacebar was pressed, and you might be unable to switch away from the Hand tool. One way I experienced it was when I tried to press the Command and Spacebar keys to get the temporary Zoom tool, but nothing would happen.

The bug was also in Mac OS X 10.6.6, but Adobe reports that Apple finally fixed the problem in the Mac OS X 10.6.7 update. So while there have been various workarounds that involve tracking down software conflicts, now that Mac OS X 10.6.7 is out, the fastest and simplest solution is to download and install the Apple update. As usual, you can run Software Update to get the new version, or you can download the Combo installer from the link above.

While the problem isn’t mentioned in Apple’s release notes for 10.6.7, this issue is related to a change that Apple made to an API in Mac OS X 10.6.5, as explained in this forum post. A number of Mac applications were affected, but Photoshop was the most prominent one, and there are several threads discussing it on the Adobe User-to-User Forum for Photoshop.

Update: OpenType issues introduced with Mac OS X 10.6.7

Upgrading to 10.6.7 is no longer a no-brainer. Apple has apparently introduced a new bug related to OpenType fonts in PDF files generated by Mac OS X 10.6.7, so if you use OpenType fonts (and who wouldn’t, since they’re modern and cross-platform) you may have problems printing or rendering from them in 10.6.7. I suppose it comes down to whether it’s more important to you to have your keyboard shortcuts working in programs like Photoshop (in which case you’d upgrade to 10.6.7), or whether you need reliable handling of OpenType fonts (in which case you’d stick with 10.6.6).

(Update to this update: Apple has fixed this OpenType issue in the Snow Leopard Font Update, so make sure you run that update after updating to 10.6.7.)

Photoshop CS5: Mac font-related crashes fixed by Mac OS X 10.6.5

Mac OS X v10.6.5 Update (Combo)

For some time now, Adobe has been advising customers that some Photoshop CS5 crashes were traced to bugs in the font code in Mac OS X. It appears that Apple has now fixed many of those crashes in today’s release of the Mac OS X 10.6.5 update, according to Photoshop engineer Chris Cox in a post at the Adobe support forums.

If you’ve experienced these crashes (I haven’t), download Mac OS X 10.6.5 and you’ll hopefully see an improvement in Photoshop stability. As always, I recommend downloading the Combo updater if you’ve got the bandwidth for it.

On a side note, if you’ve got a new camera and you’ve been waiting for Mac OS X to support its raw format, check the list of camera raw formats added in 10.6.5. It contains new support for some notable recent models such as the Canon PowerShot S95, Canon EOS 60D, and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5.

Photoshop CS5: Fix crashes in Mac OS X 10.6.4

If you experienced crashes in Adobe Photoshop CS5 on the Mac after installing the Mac OS X 10.6.4 update, there were issues with the graphics drivers in that particular Apple update that may have caused your crashes. (The bugs may have also affected you if you use Apple Aperture or play certain graphics-intensive games under Mac OS X 10.6.4.)

Now the good news: Apple has released Snow Leopard Graphics Update 1.0. If you download it and then install it on Mac OS X 10.6.4, it should resolve the problem, according to Adobe.

If you had been holding at Mac OS X 10.6.3 like I’ve been, it looks like it’s finally safe for Photoshop users to move up to Mac OS X 10.6.4 as long as you also install Snow Leopard Graphics Update 1.0.

Mac OS X: The Dock or Application Switcher stops working

Today I tried to press the Command-Tab shortcut for the Application Switcher but nothing happened. Another thing that wasn’t working was moving the mouse to the edge of the display to make the hidden Dock appear. The keyboard shortcut to display the Dock wasn’t working either. If this happens to you, the way to fix all of these problems is to restart the Dock. Open the Activity Monitor (it’s in the Utilities folder), select Dock in the list, and click the Quit Process button (or choose View > Quit Process). In the confirmation dialog box that appears, click Quit. The Dock is one of those processes that restarts itself if it’s quit, so that’s all you should have to do. The Dock and Application Switcher should both work now.

Quitting the Dock

Not everyone is aware that the Dock hosts many processes in Mac OS X. For example, in addition to running the Application Switcher, the Dock also runs all of the Dashboard widgets. That’s why the way to make all Dashboard widgets quit is to quit the Dock. (When you simply exit Dashboard, its widgets don’t actually quit—they keep running invisibly in the background, taking up RAM and CPU power.) You can see how processes run within each other in Activity Monitor if you click the Show pop-up menu at the top of the window and choose All Processes, Hierarchically.

Now, of course, you can also fix this by logging out and back in, or you can restart the entire computer. But I often work with a lot of programs and documents open, and that’s why I look for ways to fix problems without having to close all my programs and windows and then set up the entire workspace again.