[OS X TeX] Preparation of illustrations for press

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Tue Mar 25 17:33:58 EDT 2008

Le 25 mars 08 à 21:32, Alan Litchfield a écrit :

> Bruno Voisin wrote:
>> Also, Adobe applications notoriously produce huge files and assume
>> huge computer resources. They are also generally not well optimized
>> for the Mac. Did you try Gimp instead? (I'm no Gimp user myself, so I
>> don't know whether the result will get smaller with it.)
> Umm. No. Adobe applications do not make notoriously large files.  
> GIMP is a
> rasterised graphic image manipulation program and is quite capable  
> of making
> really big files too. Note that it is not the applications that  
> necessarily
> make the files big, but the user. High quality work requires a lot  
> of image
> data, hence big files (the average newspaper page file when sent to a
> CreoScitex platesetter is around 4Gb).
> Adobe applications not generally well optimised for the Mac???  
> Bruno, really.
> I am not about to trumpet Adobe's cause, but by comparison with any  
> other
> application suite in the same field, they have no peer.

OK, it's probably obvious I'm no big Adobe fan. I do use Illustrator  
and Acrobat because they have functionality I couldn't find in other  
software, but it's not software I enjoy using.

Let me just say:

- Once I saw a Mac and a PC, both with illustrator, process the same  
file. On the PC it was much faster.

- Opening an EPS file in Illustrator, modifying it and saving the  
result to EPS creates a file about twice the size of the original  
file. I tried to adjust the options I could identify (such as creating  
neither preview nor thumbnail), but that didn't change the file size  

- Adobe software have a tendency not to use the OS interface and try  
to impose their own version of this interface instead. By this I mean,  
for example, that by default Illustrator does not use the standard OS  
X interface for the Open File and Print dialogs; there are switches to  
restore the OS X interface for these, but it's not obvious to find.

Similarly, once you've installed Acrobat it installs by default a PDF  
viewer plugin in Safari (whereas Safari is already perfectly capable  
of displaying PDF files) and upon opening a PDF file in the Finder a  
dialog pops up telling Acrobat isn't the default PDF viewing  
application and suggesting to make it the default.

- If you use Font Book to disactivate fonts, you'll realize the  
disactivation is not taken into account by Illustrator. Obviously  
Illustrator uses its own font management routines, not those of OS X.

- I've experienced situations when an Adobe application does  
something, and suddenly my Mac becomes unresponsive for several  
seconds or minutes. When finally I manage to open Activity Monitor I  
realize most of the CPU is taken by an Adobe process. That other  
applications don't usually provoke the same phenomenon makes me think  
Adobe applications are not optimized for the Mac. That they take most  
of the CPU just for themselves shouldn't happen.

Moreover, I've noticed with Leopard a big problem with Adobe Updater:  
for online access to scientific periodicals using my university's  
subscription, I have to set a proxy auto-config (in System Prefs >  
Network > Advanced > Proxys). After upgrading to Leopard, I noticed  
that at times my Mac became extremely slow, practically unresponsive  
and the fans started spinning and spinning. Every time it lasted  
several minutes (between 10 and 20) before either the Mac crashed or  
went back to normal. I finally identified the cause as Adobe Updater  
running in the background, and noticed the problem vanished when the  
proxy auto-config was disactivated. No other software update mechanism  
I know provokes the same problem.

All in all, my feeling whenever I use an Adobe application is using a  
Mac afterthought of a Windows application. I hope that changes in the  
future, and if so I'll be happy to use their applications, but for the  
moment that's not how it feels.


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