I'm a bit concerned as my outputted PDF from InDesign CS5 looks different on Mac. This has happened a few times. It seems as though sometimes the Mac does not draw the new version of the PDF, which I have always assumed is because of a Solid State Drive (SSD). I'm not 100% sure this is correct, but I guess I can rename a document to find out.

Does anyone know of any other reason as to why this may happen? Sometimes it seems as though parts of the PDF update but other parts don't. Sometimes when I export from Illustrator CS5 it shows all of the layers even the turned off layers.

I'm really concerned that one day a printer will print it in an odd condition.

  • Have you checked your export settings if they are the same? Have you checked if the linked files are all up to date? In what program are you looking at the output pdf? Are you overwriting older files? Have you tried saving them as new ones and comparing them again?
    – KMSTR
    Commented Nov 28, 2013 at 17:21
  • 3
    What are you using to view the PDF? Preview on the Mac is a horrible PDF renderer.
    – Scott
    Commented Nov 28, 2013 at 17:23
  • @Scott how so? I've always preferred to acrobat. But I don't do a lot of print work anymore...perhaps it's not so great for print?
    – DA01
    Commented Nov 28, 2013 at 17:41
  • 3
    @DA01 Preview fails to render overprinting and spot colors, just to name a couple.
    – Scott
    Commented Nov 28, 2013 at 18:20
  • Thanks for the info @Scott. And you KMSTR I'll try your suggestions. Scott is there a way around this?
    – Eoin
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 15:42

1 Answer 1


If you want to make sure your PDF is "clean", you can always use the "/Save as/Optimized PDF" option in the Acrobat Pro "File" menu.

Then you can look at the options, and check every boxes in the sections "discard objects", "discard user data" and "clean up"; this will flatten your layers, remove the extra data that might be invisible and as it says, clean the PDF.

While you're there you can also see if the fonts are embedded.

Usually, by using this option, a user on PC, or Preview or on Apple will see the same exact PDF.

Be careful to not use any compression if it's not necessary! The compression for the images is found in the "images" section of the "save as/optmized PDF" option.

If you need to keep hyperlinks and some other data, simply explore the 3 sections I mentioned above, there is a way to selectively remove only some elements and keep others. One thing for sure, there is an option to flatten your layers and this way it will remove the layers you don't want your printer to see!


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.