F R E Q U E N T LY
Adobe Acrobat 5.0 ® ®
and Mac OS
M AC O S X A N D A D O B E P D F F I L E C R E AT I O N
Q. Can I create Portable Document Format (PDF) files with Mac OS X?
A. Yes. Apple used the published specification of Adobe PDF to enable applications to create PDF
files within Mac OS X (excluding the Classic Environment). PDF files created with Mac OS X are
appropriate for desktop viewing and printing. However, users can also convert documents to Adobe
PDF files with Adobe Acrobat software. Acrobat provides additional benefits, such as the ability to
create Adobe PDF files that can be viewed on any hardware and in any application environment,
high-end printing, comment and mark-up capabilities, and form fill-in.
Q. How is PDF file creation in Mac OS X different from Adobe PDF file creation in Adobe Acrobat 5.0?
A. Mac OS X users can create PDF files if they are running software applications written specifically to take
advantage of Mac OS X (Carbon or Cocoa applications). PDF files created with Mac OS X are created
as part of the printing process with preset, uneditable settings based on the attributes of the included
graphics and images. They can be viewed and printed with both the Mac OS X Preview application and
Adobe Acrobat® Reader® 5.0 software.
Mac OS X users in the Classic Environment (the mode for backward compatibility with previous Mac
OS releases) create Adobe PDF files using Acrobat 5.0. Acrobat 5.0 provides multiple customizable
ways to create and use Adobe PDF files for both Web and print output. Users can create Adobe PDF
files with Acrobat 5.0 and the Distiller® functionality by simply printing to Distiller as if it were a
printer. The Distiller feature converts the Adobe PostScript® print stream to an Adobe PDF file. The
Adobe PDF file can be optimized to accommodate multiple media and output devices, and adjusted to
meet quality (for example, color fidelity and accuracy) versus output speed priorities.
Q. What is the difference between PDF files created with Mac OS X and Adobe PDF files created with
A. PDF files created with Mac OS X are intended for viewing and desktop printing. Acrobat 5.0 is the best
choice for creating Adobe PDF files for professional print and Web publishing workflows because it
offers professional controls that optimize files for output.
Q. Is Apple including Adobe Acrobat 5.0 with Mac OS X?
A. No. Apple is not using Adobe Acrobat 5.0 for the creation of PDF files within Mac OS X.
Q. Have Apple and Adobe been working together on Apple’s implementation of Adobe PDF
A. Yes. Apple and Adobe engineering teams have been working together to ensure compatibility between
PDF files created in Mac OS X and Adobe PDF files created with Adobe Acrobat 5.0.
Q. What capabilities does Acrobat 5.0 have that Mac OS X does not?
A. There are a host of Acrobat 5.0 capabilities that Mac OS X does not have that further increase
productivity for graphic designers:
• Enable multiple reviewers to comment on documents simultaneously from within their Web
browsers (requires WebDAV or a standard network folder setup).
• Repurpose Adobe PDF content by extracting text and images.
• Batch process large quantities of Adobe PDF files with predefined or custom sequences that can
• Secure Adobe PDF files with 128-bit RC4 encryption. Specify a wider array of user privileges,
including the right to print, add comments, and extract content.
• Approve Adobe PDF files by applying e-signatures from within a Web browser.
• Experience tighter integration with Adobe Photoshop® 6.0 and Illustrator® 9.0x and 10 software.
Enjoy consistent color management, transparency support, and overprint previews across all
Q. Why do print publishing professionals require Acrobat 5.0?
A. In addition to providing the previously mentioned benefits, Acrobat 5.0 enables print publishing
professionals to optimize files for specific output requirements. Mac OS X generates PDF files at
a fixed resolution that may or may not be suitable for particular printing processes. For high-end
printing, the Acrobat customization capabilities are best suited to ensuring quality output.
Q. How is the Mac OS X Preview application different from Adobe Acrobat Reader?
A. The Mac OS X Preview application provides simple page viewing and printing of Adobe PDF files.
Adobe Acrobat Reader offers additional benefits:
• View and use thumbnails.
• View comments.
• Navigate with bookmarks and links.
• Fill in forms.
• Open and print Adobe PDF files regardless of their source.
• Download Acrobat Reader for free from www.adobe.com.
• Run Acrobat Reader on either Mac OS X or Microsoft® Windows®
Q. Will PDF files created with Mac OS X be compatible with Acrobat Reader?
A. Yes. Apple and Adobe have cooperated extensively during the development of Mac OS X to ensure
compatibility with Acrobat Reader 5.0.
Q. Will Adobe PDF files created with Acrobat 5.0 be compatible with the Mac OS X Preview application?
A. The currently shipping version of the Mac OS X Preview application does not display all Adobe
PDF files. Apple implemented parts of the PDF 1.2 and PDF 1.3 specifications. The most current
PDF version, 1.4 (the version that includes transparency), was not incorporated. Consequently, some
Adobe PDF files may be only partially displayed, and others may not be displayed at all.
Q. Can I use the Mac OS X Preview application to view comments and other mark-ups and use form
fill-in functions on an Adobe PDF file created in Acrobat?
A. To view comments generated in the full version of Acrobat, use Acrobat 5.0 or Acrobat Reader 5.0.
Q. What version of the PDF specification is Apple using?
A. PDF creation in Mac OS X is based on the published specifications of PDF 1.2 and PDF 1.3. Apple
implemented the parts of these specifications that were best suited to its solution. The Apple solution
does not incorporate the most current Adobe PDF specification, version 1.4. Consequently, PDF files
created with Mac OS X will not preserve layers or preview transparency.
Q. What is Carbon?
A. The Carbon application programming interfaces (APIs) can be used to write Mac OS X applications
that also run on previous versions of Mac OS (8.1 and later). Carbon is designed to provide a gentle
migration path for developers transitioning from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X. As most Carbon APIs
are supported on Mac OS 9, developers can enhance applications for Mac OS X while continuing to
support customers who are using previous versions of Mac OS. Carbon also allows Mac developers
to use the software development tools and languages they are most familiar with to develop for
Mac OS X.
Q. When will Acrobat 5.0 be Carbonized?
A. Acrobat 5.0 will be Carbonized in Fall 2001.
Q. When will Acrobat Reader be Carbonized?
A. Acrobat Reader is currently Carbonized. Download the latest version at www.adobe.com/products/
AC R O BAT 5. 0 FU N C T I O N ALI T Y O N T H E M AC I N TO S H
Q. When will Acrobat support ODBC on the Mac?
A. ODBC is a connectivity protocol language that supports structures for programs, such as Acrobat
forms, that can send information to a database. Currently, Mac OS does not have a standard ODBC
that Acrobat can use.
Q. Is PDFWriter available to Mac users?
A. We recommend that Macintosh customers use the Distiller functionality within Acrobat 5.0 to create
Adobe PDF files. To create an Adobe PDF file from any authoring application, print to Distiller as if it
were a printer. The Distiller feature will then convert the PostScript print stream to an Adobe PDF file.