Photoshop CC Hangs When Opening PDFs

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  • Updated 2 months ago

For years, every time I try to open a PDF in Photoshop it makes Photoshop hang, the only way to stop it is to Force Quit PS. This has happened with multiple OS versions, multiple machines and with multiple PS versions.

It used to be that Force Quitting and re-opening PS would mean I could open the offending PDF fine the second time, but recently it's got to the point where Force Quitting means I cannot open PS again. Frequently this results in PS refusing to either open or close, it doesn't show in Activity Monitor and it stops my MBP from restarting or shutting down, requiring a forced shut down. (In fact, I'm having to do that right now after this post as PS is refusing to open or quit.)

I'm worried this is affecting my hardware and it's seriously affecting my ability to do my job. Given the number of people with the same issue over so many years, I don't understand how Adobe has ignored this.

My spec:

MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2012)

2.6 GHz Intel Core i7

16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3

NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 1024 MB

Intel HD Graphics 4000 1536 MB


Currently using latest PS CC 2017 version.

Any help would great, thanks!

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Emma Price

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  • anxious, frustrated, cross

Posted 9 months ago

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David, Official Rep

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Howdy Emma,

Sorry you're running into such a problem.  The reason it hasn't been fixed is because this isn't something we've been hearing from customers.  That leads me to believe there is something specific about your setup (and that of the other people encountering this problem).  I actually was monkeying with PDFs in PS just last week...

So, let's see if we can work together to narrow this down a little, ok?

Do you have this problem with all PDFs or just a few specific ones?  Would you be willing to send me one of the offending PDFs?  Do the PDFs contain some specific (particularly uncommon) fonts?  How large are the PDFs?

How about your system?  What other apps are you running at the same time?  How are you opening the PDFs -- File > Open or click-and-drag or CMD+click+context_menu or via Bridge or ... ?

Let me know and let's see if we can figure this out for you.

Thanks,
David
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Emma Price

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Hi David,

Thanks so much for getting in touch. Sorry to contradict you, but there are  indeed a number of people who have had and have been having this issue for years. In fact I left a similar comment on this thread which has existed without a fix since 2013, with people regularly adding to it, it might be useful to have a look through it: https://forums.adobe.com/thread/1161665

To address your questions - it's always the first PDF I attempt to open in a session. So if I've not opened a PDF since opening PS then any and all PDFs hang on the PDF settings dialogue box. I say this honestly - it is every type PDF, from text-heavy to no text, single page or multi-page. It's been happening for years since using CS4, on multiple different machines. It can be a 250KB PDF or 50MB, it's always the same problem.

Due to the fact that I know it will always happen,  I make sure to save any previous work and shut all files, including any other CS software that might have been running. So other than Chrome, Safari and Mail there won't be any other programmes running.

This happens when dragging the PDF to the PS icon in my toolbar, when using PS's File > Open mechanism and also when CMD+clicking on the file itself.

In short, it's always the first PDF regardless of size and content.

In order to fix the issue I have to Force Quit and restart PS (clicking escape/cancel does nothing) and it usually allows me to open the same file without an issue once I've reopened PS and let it run a little. Recently however I've found that in addition to Force Quitting I've had to force power down my entire laptop as PS hangs completely, to the point that Force Quit and Activity Monitor do not behave as if PS is open, but the toolbar shows it as such and I'm unable to do anything else with it.

I hope that all makes sense, I'd love to work out what the issue is and fix it as I work with a lot of graphics due to the nature of my job.

Many thanks,
Emma
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Emma Price

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Hey guys,

OP here, I am still having trouble despite having manually updated Acrobat. It appeared to work for a short time but has since deteriorated again and continues to result in hanging Photoshop. I know it will happen and therefore make sure everything else is saved and turned off on my machine before attempting to open PDFs in PS.

I then have to either force quit or wait (sometimes 30 mins or more) for the problem to resolve itself before trying again, which is when the PDF usually opens fine. I have just come to accept that this will always be an issue and have found a way to work around it as best as possible.

As mentioned previously there are in fact other people posting about this issue, and still adding to the thread which is five years old: https://forums.adobe.com/thread/1161665?start=40&tstart=0

I realise that I did not respond to Todd's last question about Font Book, which I have indeed used since CS3/4, although have also used Suitcase (though not recently).

As usual, any thoughts would be gratefully received.

Cheers,
Emma
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David, Official Rep

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Howdy Emma,

Thanks for the info!  I sit corrected...!

Let's focus on getting this problem resolved for you.  I'm pretty certain that this error you're encountering has a specific software or hardware trigger since a) if it were a general problem with PDFs not opening in PS then the forums would be on FIRE with complaints rather than a single thread here on GetSat and another single (and kinda old) thread on the Adobe Forums and b) I happen to personally open and edit PDFs using PS on a regular basis on both Win and Mac *all*the*time* without any problems.  So, there's some non-normative trigger here.

Could you email me one or more of the PDFs?  My email address is <my first name> (dot) mohr <at> adobe (dot) com.  Do you know the sources of the PDFs that are giving you trouble?  Do they contain text?  Are the fonts common?  If not, are they embedded?  Are you running the latest versions of Acrobat and Photoshop (in case there was some fix I'm unaware of)?  Are you running any other apps at the same time as PS when you open PDFs?

Thanks,
David
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Cindy A. Avelino

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I'm having an issue of not being able to open any kind of PDF files in Photoshop CC 2018. And the message Photoshop gives when I try to open a PDF file is this: "Could not complete your request because of a disk error". I don't know what's happening, every other single files open ok, even huge PSD files. Adobe Acrobat Reader DC opens the PDF files normally, but Photoshop doens't.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Do you have the 19.1.1 update installed? https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/uptodate.html
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David, Official Rep

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Howdy Cindy,

Would you be willing to share one of the PDFs with me?  My email address is <my first name> (dot) mohr (at) adobe (dot) com.

Thanks,
David
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joscha van Deijk

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I have been having similar problems for years. I work with Photoshop CC on a Mac Mini (currently working in PS2018 version 19.0 /OS 10.12.6) and these problems keep occurring no matter which OS or CC version I use. These problems only occur when I'm saving or trying to open a pdf.

Just now I saved a pdf with Bridge and tried to open it in Photoshop, this time PS completely froze and I had to force quit, often it will eventually save or open the document but this will take more than 5 minutes. After having trouble with the first pdf, PS will normally not have trouble with pdf's after this. 

When saving a pdf the process will usually freeze at 10%. I have discovered that I have slightly less trouble saving pdf's if I avoid underscores in the file name. 
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David, Official Rep

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Hi Joscha,

What size PDFs are these?  Could you send me one?  How are they created?  Have you tried creating a simple image in PS and saving it as a PDF?

Thanks,
David
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joscha van Deijk

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It can be any kind of pdf, smallest file size / press quality, whatever. It happens when I try to save a single page as a pdf but also when I'm trying to make a multiple pdf file via automate.

With saving, it seems to work if I avoid underscores in the file name. Although the first save will usually take minutes to complete. The first save gets stuck at 10% for a long time. Once the first one went through ok, it usually will save pdf's just fine, at least for a while.   

Opening pdf's is a total horror. Yesterday I created a number of pdf's via bridge that I then needed to open in Photoshop. Photoshop would freeze every time I tried to open one. Then I'd need to force quit PS.

After force quitting PS would not start up anymore: the icon in the dock starts bouncing but nothing happens. Photoshop doesn't seem to be running. It will show up in force quit but doesn't react when you try to shut it down. Because of this I cannot restart my mac, since it will tell me that photoshop is unable to quit, leaving me no other option than to shut down my mac by holding the power button. I had to do this five times yesterday.

I will send you one of those pdf's I made with bridge and then tried to open but I doubt it has anything to do with the file. Today I tried to finish that job I was working on at home, using my MacBook Air and it worked just fine. So I'm pretty sure it has something to do with Photoshop in combination with my MacMini. Also, at the office I use a Wacom Cintiq 24HD, at home I use a Cintiq Pro 16".

As I mentioned yesterday I have been encountering these problems on my MacMini for years, so it does not seem to be related to either a specific version of Photoshop or my OS.     
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Andrea Karin Morrison

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I have always had this problem with Photoshop CC. I still keep Photoshop CS6 on my computer because I can open PDFs in it with no problem. If I open in CC it always freezes and I have to force quit. This is annoying if I have other files and haven't saved them. Doesn't matter file size, any PDF freezes Photoshop CC. For me I'm usually opening a pdf saved from Illustrator or InDesign that I quickly want to make a jpg for a visual.

I've never complained because I assumed it would eventually be resolved in a update but it never has. 

Andrea
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Can you post a PDF that you can't you can't open? I open PDFs regularly without problem here, so it would be good to find out if it's something specific about your files, or your system.