Cant use Mac to proof a PDF book created by Windows inDesign
April 25, 2016 7:50 AM   Subscribe

Last year it worked fine w Mac Preview. I could highlight word or phrase with transparent color, type in correction. All corrections were magically linked to a column of comments, where highlighted phrase is repeated and then comments I type appear. Not working now: Rec a better tool, educate me re: known bug, or a better idea?

PDF created by Adobe InDesign CC 2015 (Windows); Adobe PDF Library 15.0. Uses an Adobe font I don't own.

On my Mac 10.11.4, I've tried:
  • Adobe Reader XI 11.0.15 (not Reader DC)
  • Preview 8.1 (877.7)
  • PDFpen 7.3.4

  • with Reader, intermittently can't select more than one word at a time; comments appear but highlights on page disappear; comments appear in order created not "geographically" front-to-back, lots of SPODs & feels crashy

    with Preview, Reader's notes reappear, as desired. But I can't create more of them. My highlights are opaque (comments OK) so annotate leaves note colored rectangles all over page. The highlighted text is not captured for display in every comment.

    with PDFpen, same issue: can't tie visible highlit text to particular note plus lots of SPODs & feels crashy.
    posted by Jesse the K to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
    Tweak the settings for the PDF output first – make sure they're settings for print, for example. Export a bunch of PDFs with different settings (label them by name) and test each one.
    posted by zadcat at 8:51 AM on April 25, 2016

    Quick question: were you running OSX 10.11 last year when this worked?

    Apple kind of screws around with the (not terribly well documented) PDF editing and markup tools in Preview with every major OSX version release, and occasionally removes features outright*; in some cases it's possible to run an older copy of Preview from a previous OSX release, but to my knowledge this doesn't work in 10.11... I have a laptop running 10.9 that I loan out to users occasionally for PDF-related tasks.

    * case in point, a few weeks ago I had a user who needed to fill out 30+ visa applications for Botswana, which were provided as fill-in-the-blank, one-capital-letter-per-box-style forms, ostensibly meant to be printed and filled out by hand. The Preview app in 10.9 can easily do this; click on the first empty box with the text tool and it just works, spacing and sizing your text in perfect block capitals. Preview in 10.11... just doesn't.
    posted by drumcorpse at 9:43 AM on April 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

    drumcorpse, those are super relevant questions :(

    No 10.9 Macs readably available. I could spend hours exploring the interactions, but ... baby needs those proofs.

    It's time to go paper and transcribe changes in textfile.

    Ostensibly Reader should handle this task, so any MeFite with relevant wisdom, feel free to tell me more.
    posted by Jesse the K at 10:08 AM on April 25, 2016

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