I have Distiller 9.1.0 on a eight processor Nehalem Mac Pro.
With 10.5 Leopard, one of my typical .ps files created with InDesign would distill in less than 15 seconds.
After a clean install upgrade to 10.6 Snow Leopard, that same file takes almost two minutes.
First update to 9.1.3.
Next go to Printer Utility and remove AdobePDF PrinDriver.
Next open Acrobat. to create a PDF go to to the Macintosh Print menu and choose Make Adobe PDF.
It my understanding that because Snow Leopard's new security measures The adob PDF Print Driver will not work. Adobe has come up with a new method to Make PDF's
Look for a subject on the forum about CS3 and Acrobat not working or crashing when printing.
Others will be along to give more details.
It explains everything even has links to a adobe tech note about the new procedure.
I think indesignsecrets is about an entirely different "problem". It's that the virtual Adobe PDF printer no longer works with 10.6 and that one may create PDFs via this "Save as Adobe PDF" automator script.
But this one here is about the distiller being very sluggish. I do have the very same problem here with 10.6 on a MacBook Pro. Distiller ist v9.1.0 (which is the latest version, 9.1.3 refers to Acrobat). A 82MB postscrip file (created from the print dialogue in InDesign) takes a whopping 94 seconds, while on an iMac (10.5.8) the same file with the same distiller settings only takes 7 (!) seconds to be processed.
Why in the world is anyone using a modern version of ID to print to a pdf file. ID has the ability to create pdfs on its own that create pdfs using its own pdf library code. It has the advantage of preserving layers, not flattening pdfs, etc. Is creating pdfs directly from ID slower?
For me printing to a Postscript file and putting this Postscript file manually into Distiller has proven to be less error prone. There are print shops out there that still have problems with PDFs exported directly from InDesign depending on the kind of and version of the RIP they are using. Even for Screen-PDFs I sometimes prefer going the extra mile, because PDFs exported from InDesign tend to get bigger than Distiller's PDFs.
However, this is not about why doing it one way or the other. It's about why Distiller is so dramatically slower than before and if it's a known general problem or something user-specific.
I totally agree. Making a PDF from a PostScript file, run manually through Distiller seems to generate a more carefully created, more compliant PDF. I send PDFs to several different newspapers and magazines, and they tend to crash those running older RIPs unless the PDFs are made this way. For little flyers going to a modern laser printer, there doesn't seem to be much advantage to the long method, but for high-resolution imagesetters and platesetters, there's nothing like running the file through Distiller.
I haven't yet tried the method suggested above, but I will give it a go this afternoon and report back.
(Note: somehow I have two different usernames, In Color and aafisher. I'm the same person who initiated this post.)
So the method listed above by Mr. Jones. is not the same as the method I was using previously: create a PostScript file using the Adobe PDF PPD, then running that file through Distiller. As mentioned before, in my experience, this creates the best "quality" PDFs. Mr. Jones suggests a workaround for printing to the Adobe PDF Printer; I think that method is more convoluted and though more automated, it has less control.
I'd just like to know why it takes so long in Snow Leopard for Distiller to churn through the same .ps file. Have the .ps files somehow changed now, or is there a new issue in Distiller's ability to utilize CPU cycles?
I haven't done any regular testing to notice any difference in Distiller's timing. However, there may be many different factors that effect the speed none of them having anything to do with Acrobat per se, but how and what the new OS is doing? Perhaps, Snow Leopard is busier under the hood, but that still wouldn't create the difference in times you are seeing. Do you have another SL machine to try it one? If you can post the file somwhere on the net, several of us could try timing it under Distiller to see if problem is your machine or the Distiller/SL combination.
Anything new on this topic?
I still can't find any reason for why Distiller runs so slow. I don't have a second machine running Snow Leopard to test on another machine. It doesn't seem related to the PostScript files. I've run Distiller with all sorts of PostScript files (from different machines as well), it's always slow (Distiller as a whole is slow).
I did some further testing. I reinstalled Acrobat 9 and updated it again to the latest version (9.1.3 for Acrobat, Distiller says 9.1.0). Same result, Distiller is extremely slow.
I then (re)installed Acobat 8 and updated it to the latest version available. I created ps-files from InDesign, using Adobe PDF 9.0 PPD as well as Adobe PDF 8.0 PPD. I fed Distiller with both flavours, no difference. Distiller 9 is still slow. Even worse: Distiller 8 is slow, too!
I then had a closer look at the Activity monitor. Distiller 8 and 9, both only used about 10% of CPU cycles while processing the ps-files. I took these very ps-files and copied them on a machine running Acrobat 9 on 10.5.8. There everything works fine. Both files were processed with normal speed, with Distiller using about 90% of cpu cycles.
So it seems that Distiller 8 and 9 under Snow Leopard are so slow due to a massively inefficient use of cpu cycles. Why, I don't know. There's also an error message logged every time Distiller 9 starts. Sth about "Acrobat SelfHealing Error: Copy failed for: Contents/MacOS/SelfHealFiles/Library/Automator/Save As Adobe PDF.action Adobe SelfHealing Error: shmFSCopyObject Failed in line 949 of file Volumes/BuildDisk_mbs73/Acro_root_nsd/Common/SelfHealingSDK/Source/sr c/MoverCFMP.cp"
I've since wiped out my upgraded installation of 10.6 and started over from scratch. The 10.6 machine mentioned below has a clean installation of Snow Leopard with a clean installation of CS4 Design Premium. I ran all updaters.
My benchmark .PS file is 78MB.
Both machines are using Distiller 9.1.0 and the exact same Distiller setting file:
Neither machine reports errors.
Clearly there's something wrong.
Same issue here. Cannot BELIEVE Dilstiller's performance degrade after Snow install. 5-10 times as long on every file. I make hundreds of ads every week, passing AI eps files directly to Distiller.. running latest versions of each. Moved to Snow Leo expecting to gain some processor efficiency & thruput. Instead... this unexpected NEW bottleneck. Arggh. hey Adobe.. it ain't us.. it's Distiller. Please get this fixed pronto!
According to this answer
to an article on InDesignSecrets.com, Distiller runs a bit slower, but not that slow, on a Mac Pro 8-core early 2008 (Distiller 9.x/10.6.x). So maybe this indicates that it's an user-specific problem we ran into. However, I still have no clue :/ I don't have another machine to run tests with, and no time (and no guts ) to update my main machine to 10.6 to see if it behaves the same as my MacBook Pro.
Please try this out: Drag your ps-file onto Distiller. Then, alt-click on the desktop or press Cmd-H (to hide Distiller). Alternatively, just bring any other application up front. On my Mac Book Pro, Distiller then is a whole lot faster! While the Distiller window is frontmost, it uses about 10% CPU cyles (as I mentioned before). When it's hidden, it uses 90%! Jobs, that took 60 seconds are now completed in 5-8 seconds again.
This makes totally no sense, but that's what I see happening and it's reproducable.
Follow-up: While Distiller is working on a ps-file, just try to bring _any_ app-window (even a finder window will do) up front that covers the progress bar of the Distiller window. As soon as the progress bar is out of sight, Distiller speeds significantly up.
I already filed a bug on this. Still the number of people affected seems astonishingly small - even though the Distiller workflow might be a little bit outdated and therefore lowering the number of people who even notice that there's sth wrong in the first place.
True.! Works exactly like that here on my setup. If I drag an eps to Distiller in Dock (running, but window not open) a file can take 2-3 secs to distill. If I drag same file onto open Distiller window, same file takes 11-12 secs to process. Larger files, numbers both go up but in same proportion. Key is that damn progress bar MUST be hidden, by a window sitting overtop it or by app being minimized. Makes drag n drop batch processing tricky.. but my workaround may be drag n drop to the docked Distiller icon. or set up a watched folder workflow that meets my criteria (if possible). Thx for very useful observation/explanation of this really dumb phenomenon.
Issue still exists in latest Acrobat 9.2 (wich updates Distiller as well) :/
Distiller still crawls as long as the progress bar is visible. Hiding the Distiller window still "resolves" this issue and puts Distiller back to normal performance. Well then, let's wait for 9.3
yup. hoped latest Acro update would catch this issue, but didn't. Fact is, I'm doing just fine now w/drag-drop of my eps's onto alias of a running but minimized Disiller app. Not much harder than old days when I dragged them to open Distiller app window.. plus, no annnoying delays which window was prone to if it was updating progress at time of filedrag. Situation 100% livable till a real fix happens. Sure glad I hit this thread...! Thanks, all.
Thanks, this solution (while 'dumb' that we have to do it) works great.
We use distiller daily to send files to publications in the US and Asia and rarely ever have issues with PDFs that have been distilled through distiller.
Hiding the distiller window made a huge difference in the time to PDF the file.
279MB EPS file with distiller open on the destop = 5 min, 4 sec
279MB EPS file with distiller minimized = 22 seconds.
I had the same issue. Talked about it with friends in the industry and we were all pulling our hair out over this. The fact is this: YOU FIX THE ISSUE BY MINIMIZING DISTILLER DOWN INTO THE DOCK, OR COVERING THE PROGRESS BAR. This from the "Leader in desktop publishing" Adobe?!?!
Its laughable I just spent $1400 on CS5 and I get a shite version of distiller that I have to dig thru forums to get to work efficiently. The time difference on the 2GB files I am ripping is 30 MINUTES which in my business is a lot of FUC&ing time to be di cking around waiting for a file to distill...
if you have this problem, the solution is minimize distiller while its working. ISSUE SOLVED.
This has still not been fixed. Brand new machine, fresh install of OS X 10.6.4, fresh install of CS5.
All my files process at a snails pace in distiller when distilling from .ps files. When I minimise or cover up the window, it finishes the file in 10 times the speed. Its nice to have a Quad core iMac, even better if the application would USE it!
Im surprised theres not more talk of this issue, a google search only brings up a hand full of instances where its happening. Im guessing most people are exporting direct to PDF via InDesign/Quark?
A related issue re distilling and Snow Leopard.
A publisher I'm working with tells me that Snow Leopard now makes it impossible to create PDF files without CID fonts (either directly from InDesign, for example, or by distilling PS files)--and that such PDFs with CID fonts are incompatible with any of the e-book conversion services and any standard search-inside-PDF technologies. They tell me they will have to build PDFs from InDesign files using older tools in order to meet the requirements for e-books.
I've been unable to find any discussion of this issue by Googling various key terms--finding only some outdated info re cid fonts and problems with non-Adobe PS printers/rasterizers some years ago.
Can anyone shed light on this?
Any solution other than hiding the Distiller progress window?
Distilling a 2.4GB file took 20 mins to about the 50% stage, then hide the window and it took 2.5 mins to complete
Distilled the 2.4GB file with window hidden, took 2.04 mins to complete
I've also got some strange info in the Distiller progress window, distilling a 2.4GB postscript file (according to the Finder), in Distiller the size displays as '-181575356bytes' and the progress percentage displays a minus before the percentage done.
And then there's the problem with Adobe PDF printer, eventually found the work-around for that, I've been using Mac's for nearly 30 years now and every time I've upgraded hardware or software I find something won't work.
I've just gone through the expense of a major upgrade, new MacPro, all software bang up-to-date, but it's like taking 3 steps forward and 2 steps back.
"Any solution other than hiding the Distiller progress window?"
Nope (none that I know of).
"distilling a 2.4GB postscript file (according to the Finder), in Distiller the size displays as '-181575356bytes' and the progress percentage displays a minus before the percentage done."
That's a bug in Distiller with files > 2 GB. This bug exists at least since version 8 (and I'm pretty sure it's been there since the beginning of all times). However, this does not affect the output (PDF) in any way, so no need to worry.
Maybe Distiller 10 will be another 10 steps forward and 9.5 back. If this includes a fix to the progress bar, I'll be fine with it :/
Distiller X has fixed the bug. I initially thought it didnt. But it was my mistake. I do believe it helps to create a new postscript file AFTER you have installed acrobat X. Thats just my opinion.
So, yes, a long and annoying bug is finally fixed. THIS ISSUE IS SOLVED.
"all's well that ends well"
- William Shakespeare
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