Adobe Creative Suite's Lion limitations

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If you use the most recent versions of Adobe Creative Suite, exercise caution in installing Apple's latest version of OS X, Lion, which was released on Wednesday.

In a tech note, Adobe lists a series of issues in Creative Suite applications running Lion, and offers recommendations on how to solve some of these problems. The following is a summary of some of the product-related issues and Adobe’s recommend actions. The tech note contains additional links to more detailed explanations.

While the overall number of issues discovered so far is not astronomical, some will present problems that may cause you to delay a Lion upgrade. It depends on how you're using the suite and which applications you depend on.

Java Runtime and more

In Lion, Java is no longer preinstalled, but rather is available for download as an optional package after install or before opening an application that requires the Java runtime. At runtime when you launch an Adobe application, you will be prompted to install Java if it is not already installed.

If you do not install Java before running an Adobe application, there may be functional problems with Adobe software. For example, you might experience launch failures; a prompt to install Java runtime when attempting to use the applications; or the application may hang on quit. Installing Java should correct those problems. For instructions on installing the Java runtime see Adobe’s support document.

Adobe recommends that corporate IT departments preinstall Java (or make sure Java can be installed through their firewalls/security) to avoid conflicts with Adobe applications.

There are several other minor issues. Crash Reporter will not appear without a 10- to 15-minute delay—or not appear at all—after an unexpected quit in Illustrator CS5, Illustrator CS5.1, and InDesign CS5.5. Adobe CS2 or earlier versions required Rosetta to run on Intel Macs. These older versions will no longer be supported as Apple removed Rosetta support with the Lion release. Adobe currently has no support built in for Lion’s Restore feature—which restores your windows after quitting and re-opening an app.

The company says it’s investigating which of the new Lion features, such as Autosave, Restore, Versioning, Full Screen Mode, and more multi-touch gestures make sense to include in future versions of its software.


Problem: The Adobe Reader plug-in and Acrobat plug-in are not compatible with Safari 5.1, the default browser in Lion that’s also available as a download for Mac OS X 10.6. Users running Snow Leopard who upgrade to Safari 5.1 may also encounter this problem. Adobe Reader and Acrobat work as standalone applications on Mac OS X 10.7 and 10.6, and render PDF documents outside of the browser window. Safari 5.1 renders PDF documents natively.

Solution: If you use Acrobat for forms, digital signatures, portfolios, guides, 3D, extended PDFs, and rights management, or need the Acrobat plug-in to render PDF documents in Safari, Adobe recommends that you not upgrade to Lion.

Adobe Reader and Acrobat will still work as expected outside of the browser. If you can open a PDF document in Safari, but it is not fully functional because it requires Adobe Reader or Acrobat, you can save the PDF file from Safari to your computer and open it directly in Adobe Reader or Acrobat. Adobe says it is working on a fix to this problem. More details are available on the Adobe’s support page.

Adobe Drive 2 and 2.1

Problem: Customers connected to a digital asset management server, Photoshop, InDesign, InCopy, Illustrator, and the Mac OS X Finder cannot display folders or files located in a second-level folder of a mounted drive.

Solution: Adobe is working on a fix. Until a fix is released, do not upgrade to Lion if you are using Adobe Drive with a Version Cue Server. More details are available on the Adobe support site.

Contribute CS5 and CS5.1


  1. Contribute detects LPDF files as PDF files and displays an error message during publish.
  2. Contribute plug-in crashes when selecting text/highlight color outside the color panel in the Firefox browser (Contribute In Browser Editing).
  3. Publishing Content Type with metadata enabled results in Content Type being successfully published, but the metadata is not created or populated. These categories of XML files cannot be edited because validation fails on Lion.
  4. For Contribute CS4: The color picker does not select color outside the color picker dialog.

Solutions: None stated.

Dreamweaver CS4

Problem: After using Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 on Mac OS X Lion, there are multiple entries for the application in Keychain Access. This is a known issue with Lion.

Solution: Ignore this. There is no negative impact to having multiple Keychain entries. This issue does not occur with Dreamweaver CS5 or CS5.5.

Problem: If you use the Color Picker to sample a color from an open document, the color returned is different than the color you sampled. This is a known issue with Lion. It does not occur in Dreamweaver CS5 or CS5.5.

Solution: Use a different method to choose a color, such as entering the hexadecimal or RGB value directly.

Fireworks CS4

Problem: Color Picker does not reflect the color selected on the canvas.

Solution: None stated.

Flash Family

Flash Builder

Problems: Flash Builder 4.0.x will not work on Mac OS X Lion. Adobe does not plan to update this product for use with Lion. Flash Builder 4.5 is generally compatible with Lion; however, Adobe has discovered problems that may degrade the user experience or affect use of the products.

Solution: Adobe advises Flash Builder users not to upgrade to Lion.

Flash Catalyst

Problems: Flash Catalyst CS5 does not work on Mac OS X Lion. Adobe does not plan to update this product for use on Lion. Flash Catalyst CS5.5 is generally compatible with Lion; however, Adobe has discovered problems that may degrade the user experience or affect use of the products.

Solution: Adobe is advising against a Lion upgrade for Flash Catalyst users.

Flash Player

Problem: Flash Player may cause higher CPU activity when playing a YouTube video. Plus, the Flash Player settings dialog does not respond to mouse clicks.

Solution: Use the tab key to change the focus to the Close button and use the spacebar to close the dialog. While not all settings are available, you can also use the Flash Player native control panel located in System Preferences.

Problem: Custom native mouse cursors are not animating properly in Lion.

Solution: None stated.

Illustrator CS5 and CS5.1

Problem: The option to save or export is disabled from Save As or Export dialog window when the desktop is set as the save location.

Solution: None stated.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Lightroom 2.7 has been verified to work with Lion. Versions 2.6 and earlier were not tested, but they too might run without issues. If you are running a version of Lightroom 2 earlier than 2.7, update the software by choosing Help -> Check for Updates... from within Lightroom, or manually download and install the 2.7 update for Mac.

Problem: When you try to install Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 on Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or 10.7 (Lion) from the DVD, the installation fails.

Solution: Install an updated Lightroom version 2 from the Adobe website. Select the most recent version that’s listed in your language. Follow the on-screen instructions to download and install the update.

If you installed Snow Leopard or Lion to a blank hard disk, you won’t need your original discs to install Photoshop Lightroom 2, as any Lightroom update can install the entire application (bundled with the latest patches and camera updates). All you need for a clean install is your original serial number.

Photoshop CS3, CS4, CS5

Problem: Droplets created in Adobe Photoshop CS5, CS4, or CS3 stop working after you upgrade to Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.

Solution: For CS5 users, the 12.0.1 update lets you create droplets using native code for Intel processors. Update Photoshop CS5 with the latest updates and then recreate your droplets. As for Photoshop CS4 and earlier, droplets do not work on Mac OS X Lion. Droplets in Photoshop CS4 and earlier rely on code for Power PC processors (used by Apple G4 and G5 computers) to run. Droplets in the initial release of Photoshop CS5 also rely on code for PPC processors. Apple no longer supports or includes Rosetta with Lion, which is required to run PPC code on Intel Macs. Adobe suggests using Mac OS X 10.6 or earlier or upgrading to Photoshop CS5 or later.

Premiere Pro CS5

Problem: Universal Counting Leader is missing countdown numbers.

Solution: None stated.

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