[OS X TeX] Linux --> Mac: Beamer and "Non-PDF special ignored!"

Rick Chartrand rickchartrand at cal.berkeley.edu
Wed Sep 22 12:06:46 EDT 2010

I am a long-time LaTeX user on Linux platforms, and now have a brand new
Mac, with a fresh install of MacTeX/TexLive 2010.  I took an existing Beamer
presentation (one that works fine in Linux) and tried compiling it (with
pdfLaTeX), and got a slew of "Non-PDF special ignored!" errors, and the
\visible commands weren't functioning properly in the PDF (every component
woud be uncovered for every PDF page in the slide).  But in attempting to
isolate the problem, I found the following is sufficient to produce the

This produces about 100 "Non-PDF special ignored!" errors, with no other
enlightening errors in the output or the log.  Behavior is the same from the
command line or TeXworks.

Searching elsewhere suggests this is a pdfTeX problem, but hasn't given me a
clue about the cause or a solution.  I'm baffled how something so common
could go so completely wrong.  FWIW, the pdfTeX version listed in the output
is 3.1415926-1.40.11, while in Linux, a successful compile runs with the
output declaring pdfTeXk, Version 3.141592-1.40.3.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  This is the last step in
converting this silvery paperweight into a useful scientific computing

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