Category Archives: Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard 10.6.2 fixes problems with Photoshop

Good news: Apple has released a Snow Leopard update that fixes a number of problems customers have reported. The Photoshop team has been helping Apple test these fixes and can confirm the following improvements:

Affecting multiple versions of Photoshop:

  • 50654: When opening and saving, applications–including Adobe applications–may sporadically crash
  • 51230: Images don’t open when dragged onto the Adobe program icon in the Dock
  • 51220: Crash or program error occurs when using Menlo font in Photoshop and Premiere CS3 and CS4


  • 51764: Only one image opens when many are dragged onto Photoshop’s icon
  • 51278: Cursors don’t display correctly in Photoshop CS4
  • 51339: Editing in Photoshop CS4 fails from 64-bit Lightroom in Mac OS X 10.6
  • Cannot drag from Safari onto Photoshop icon (and other application icons) in Dock to open file

If you experience any problems, please let us know.

AppleScript compatibility with Photoshop on Snow Leopard

Photoshop scripting expert Jeff Tranberry has passed along some useful info:

If you’re using AppleScript to automate Photoshop on Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), you’ll want to update the Adobe Unit Types.osax scripting addition.

The Adobe Unit Types.osax file that ships with Photoshop CS4 and CS3 is a 32-bit component. Snow Leopard requires some scripting environments to be 64-bit.

Please see the following Knowledge Base article for additional details: Error about unit type conversion occurs when you run an AppleScript in Photoshop (Mac OS X 10.6)

Snow Leopard 10.6.1 update released

As you may have seen by now, Apple has released the 10.6.1 update to Mac OS X Snow Leopard. We are working with Apple to address some of the application stability problems customers have reported when using Snow Leopard. We believe many of the problems have been addressed with 10.6.1, and we continue to work with Apple to resolve outstanding issues. If you continue to experience problems, please let us know.

Why your Web content will look darker on Snow Leopard

If you’re a Web designer, expect your CSS colors & your untagged/unmanaged images to look darker on Snow Leopard than on previous versions of the Mac OS. You’ll also see less of a visible color shift when going from Photoshop to Flash or other unmanaged environments (e.g. Internet Explorer).

Why is that? Apple has switched to a default gamma of 2.2, which is what Windows has used for years. Colors that aren’t color-managed are going to look darker on the whole. Your whole display will now be closer to what Windows users see*.

Apple’s marketing materials (and reviews of Snow Leopard) say only that the change is “to better serve the needs of consumers and digital content producers.” Not really knowing what that means, and wondering why Apple would change the Mac to match Windows after 25 years of using gamma 1.8, I sought out more info.

Adobe Principal Scientist Lars Borg provided some perspective. Lars has spent the past 20 years at Adobe defining & driving color management solutions, and lately he’s been focused on digital cinema standards. Here’s what he said:

In the distant past, the computer world was colorless, bleak, stark black and white. No one cared about their display gamma, as gamma is irrelevant for displaying only black and white.

Macintosh, in 1984, introduced us to desktop publishing and to displays with shades of grays. Publishing at that time meant printing presses, and the dot gain of a typical press (then and now) corresponds to a gamma of 1.8. As color management was non-existent at the time (the first color management solutions did not appear until early 1990s, when color displays became more available), Apple’s pick of a 1.8 display gamma enabled the Macintosh displays to match the press.

In early 1990s, the TV industry developed the High-Definition TV capture standard known as ITU Recommendation 709, using a net gamma of around 2. Later, in 1996, IEC put forth a CRT-based display standard (sRGB) for the Web that would match the HDTV capture standard, having a net gamma of around 2.2. sRGB was slowly adopted first in the PC display market, next in the burgeoning digital camera market, and 2.2 became the dominant display gamma.

Is 2.2 the ultimate gamma? No. In 2005, leveraging color science research, the movie studios’ Digital Cinema Initiative selected a gamma of 2.6 as providing the best perceptual quality for 12-bit cinema projection. Today, few can afford a true Digital Cinema display at home, but as always prices are falling. Yes, that’s what I’ll have in my next home theater.

But, recall VHS versus BetaMax. The VHS format finally died with the last video tape. Gamma 2.2 will not be unseated easily. However, calibrated displays and functional color management will make gamma a moot point. Gamma will be for the Luddites.</blockquote

>Interesting stuff. Despite the Flash Player now supporting color management, I’m not holding out hope for Web developers suddenly starting to give a damn about the subject. At least now we’ll be less likely to hear complaints about colors “getting screwed up” when going from Photoshop to the Web.

* For what it’s worth, when I was a Web designer I’d always set my Mac monitor to gamma 2.2, the better to match the darker Windows environments on which my designs were most often viewed.

Adobe revises Snow Leopard FAQ re: CS3, Flash

Adobe has posted a revised FAQ (PDF) concerning application testing & compatibility with Snow Leopard. Notably:

Q. Do Adobe Creative Suite 3 products support Mac OS X Snow Leopard (v10.6)?

A. Adobe has worked closely with Apple throughout the Snow Leopard development and testing process. Adobe has conducted its own additional testing of our Adobe CS3 software on Mac OS X Snow Leopard, and is confident that our CS3 applications will function as expected with Mac OS X Snow Leopard. Adobe did uncover some non‐critical issues, which are documented for our customers to review*.


The initial release of Mac OS X Snow Leopard (v10.6) includes an earlier version of Adobe Flash Player than what is currently available from Adobe. Adobe recommends all users update to the latest version of Flash Player ( which supports Snow Leopard and is available for download from

* Same technote as referenced in my previous entry

A few problems found with Photoshop & Snow Leopard

We’re continuing to work with Apple to diagnose & troubleshoot issues that customers report when running Photoshop CS3 and CS4 on Snow Leopard. At the moment we’re aware of a couple of problems:

  • Switching to the Menlo font (new in Snow Leopard) in Photoshop can cause Photoshop to crash. The simplest option is to avoid selecting and using Menlo in Photoshop.

  • A bug can cause Photoshop & other applications to crash, particularly during Open and Save operations. We think this problem is the root of the instability David Pogue mentioned the other day.

  • Dragging an image from another application (e.g. Safari) window to the Photoshop application icon in the OS X Dock doesn’t open the image.

Note that the last two problems are not unique to Photoshop or to Adobe applications. We’re working with Apple to get these problems fixed as quickly as possible. Photoshop QE team members Dave Howe & Jeff Tranberry are tweeting info as it becomes available.

Notes on CS/Snow Leopard compatibility

Some additional info is available regarding Adobe applications & Snow Leopard:

  • The FAQ I posted earlier in the week has been updated to mention that Acrobat users should apply the Acrobat 9.1 update, and that a couple of third-party After Effects plug-ins don’t work correctly on Snow Leopard.
  • The product managers of After Effects, Flash Professional, Illustrator, Fireworks, and AIR have posted more info about each app on their respective blogs.
  • The tech support team has posted a couple of technotes:
    • 50654: Applications crash when saving to file servers through SMB protocol (Mac OS X 10.6)
    • 51110: Files may not open in original authoring application (Mac OS X 10.6)

For the sake of tracking related info, I’ve created a Snow Leopard category on the blog.

That’s all I have at the moment.

Information about Photoshop CS3 on Snow Leopard

I’ve done some more research into the history of Adobe’s work with Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard). I can’t speak for product teams besides Photoshop, and in the interests of time, I’m sharing what I’ve found out so far.

It turns out that the Photoshop team has tested Photoshop CS3 on Snow Leopard, and to the best of our knowledge, PS CS3 works fine on Snow Leopard.

Apple and the Photoshop team worked together closely during the development of Snow Leopard, as we do during the development of every OS revision. The Photoshop QE team reported a couple of dozen problems to Apple, and I’m happy to say that Apple has fixed all the significant issues we found. Here are the remaining open issues we know about:

  1. The blue highlight ring around PS windows displayed by Exposé is too heavy.
  2. When using arrow keys to nudge the values in text fields up and down, the values now change more slowly on a Japanese OS.

So, why didn’t we say all this from the beginning? Read on for details.

It has always been Adobe’s policy not to go backwards and do dot releases on software that is no longer shipping. This isn’t some kind of ploy to force people to upgrade; rather, it’s a recognition that resources are not infinite, and we need to focus our efforts on current and future technology*. When we say that we officially support a specific OS, you can trust that we’ve done very extensive testing on that platform. If we haven’t done that level of testing, then we simply won’t say that we support it. That’s why the FAQ reads as it does.

That said, none of us like to inconvenience customers, so the reality is that we *do* actually perform some amount of testing on older product if we believe that there are a significant number of customers using it. So does Apple.

As I say, we have reason to expect that all meaningful issues of running Photoshop CS3 under Snow Leopard have been resolved. However, because we have not done the level of testing that true certification demands, we need to stand by our statement that we don’t officially support CS3 on Snow Leopard.

Hope that makes sense,


* For what it’s worth, Mac users are especially familiar with these trade-offs. Apple has been among the most aggressive companies when it comes to dropping support for old tech in order to move forward. Remember the furor about the iMac having no floppy drive? I could cite many more examples (dropping Classic, PowerPC support, etc.), but you get the idea.

A comment on comments

Thank for all the feedback about CS3 on Snow Leopard. Comments are arriving faster than I can approve them, much less respond to each, so please don’t be upset if I can’t answer every question.
I’m sorry if my replies have offended or upset anyone. That’s never my intention. I’m not someone who finds it easy to get attacked personally or professionally, particularly when many of the commenters obviously haven’t read other comments or my previous replies. It all feels like screaming into the wind.
I (and others) have tried to supply some reasoned responses, and I’ll continue to try to do so (amidst dealing with my regular day job helping to build Photoshop). I’m going to take a little break from the fray, however. The goal of sharing useful info isn’t well served by getting emotions further pumped up.

Adobe Snow Leopard FAQ

The Creative Suite team has put together info about Adobe app compatibility with Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard). It should be live on shortly, but in the meantime, here it is in PDF form.
Apple and Adobe have worked closely together (as always with new OS releases) to test compatibility. As for CS4, everything is good with the exception of auto-updates to Flash panels (which I guarantee you’re not using*) and Adobe Drive/Version Cue (which doesn’t work at the moment on 10.6). CS3 & earlier haven’t been tested. Please see the FAQ for additional info.
* The auto-update part, I mean
[Update: No one said anything about CS3 being “not supported” on Snow Leopard. The plan, however, is not to take resources away from other efforts (e.g. porting Photoshop to Cocoa) in order to modify 2.5-year-old software in response to changes Apple makes in the OS foundation.]
[Update 2: The Photoshop team has tested PS CS3 on Snow Leopard and found no significant problems.]