Snow Leopard, Adobe PDF Printer, HP Printer Support

I am quite pissed with Snow Leopard. For one thing it has lost significant PDF support. In particular Apple has suspended support for the blessedly useful Adobe PDF printers. No one knew this was coming because of an actual conspiracy between Apple and Adobe. They had a non-disclosure agreement to prevent anyone finding out before the release. While Snow Leopard does not actually remove the PDF printers, they will not work after the install. Unfortunately one of the first Acrobat 9 updates removes the CS4 Adobe PDF printer. Thankfully it leaves the Adobe PDF printer from Acrobat 8 (CS3) in place. Whatever you read, even though it does not work under Snow Leopard, do not delete this printer from your printer list. You are going to need it for the work-around.

Adobe has replaced its PDF printers with a Save as Adobe PDF option under the PDF button in the print dialogue of most applications. However, this does not work in their own products because they have specialized print dialogues. You have alternatives. In InDesign you can still use the Adobe PDF Presets to output pages to PDF. However this output and the PDF option under Save As in Illustrator and Photoshop lack most of the functionality the Adobe PDF printers allowed. For sending proofs of illustrations to clients, I rely on that functionality.

The only solution I have found so far is to return to the 90’s, to “print” (save) a .ps file then run it through Distiller to get a PDF. If you want to control your PDF output using the print dialogue in Illustrator or Photoshop set up to print as you would have under the Adobe PDF printer. Keep the PPD set to Adobe PDF 8.0 but change the Printer to Adobe Postscript® File and save. You will get a .ps file you can drag onto Distiller to get a PDF, but you must use the Adobe PDF PPD to get the results you would have under the Adobe PDF printer. This is why you must leave the Adobe PDF 8.0 printer in your Printer list under the Print & Fax preference pane.

For the life of me I cannot figure out how Apple and Adobe made this choice. What could possibly have motivated it? I am leaning toward the idea that they were stupid rather than greedy. Now HP is greedy.

HP has also conspired with Apple. In this case, they wish to boost sales of new printers by suspending support for many as of Snow Leopard. While I can still print to my DeskJet 1220C using the third-party Foomatic hpijs and usbtb drivers ( the Snow Leopard install actually removed the HP printer support, utilities and such, from my drive without telling me. I am reluctant to try reinstalling them for fear that they will mess up Snow Leopard in some way. Fortunately my G4 Laptop is still on Tiger so I can use the DeskJet printer utilities by connecting it to the USB printer. With environmental concerns as they are, surely such an obvious indulgence in corporate greed, filling landfills with perfectly good equipment to fill HP’s pockets with money from replacement sales, ought to attract a government smack down?

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I am an experienced freelance graphic artist and sometime canoeist. I feel strongly about the quality of professional work and like sitting by a remote lake on a sun-warmed rock.

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