Upgrade to Leopard? Not Yet

As may be expected from a system upgrade as major as Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, there are a few issues that need to get fixed before I recommend it in a graphic design production environment. While many users are reporting no trouble at all, some are reporting problems connecting with AirPort disks (hard drives attached to AirPort Base Stations), AirPort not connecting, HP printers not working, and a handful of other hardware-related glitches.

On the software front, Apple’s applications are working well (except Aperture in conjunction with Leopard’s Time Machine). Adobe is claiming full compatibility for Creative Suite 3 (except Acrobat), and Quark believes QuarkXPress 7 works well. Both plan to issue minor updates in the near future to address any problems that show up. Applications that definitely have problems include:

  • FileMaker Pro 9 (Web publishing)
  • FileMaker Pro 8 and earlier (not compatible)
  • Creative Suite 2 and earlier (not compatible)
  • QuarkXPress 6.5 and earlier (not compatible)
  • Quark Interactive Designer (can’t export Flash)
  • Adobe Acrobat 8 (update expected Jan 2008)
  • Adobe’s video applications (update expected Dec 2007)
  • Font managers (updates likely)

The Acrobat issue affects other applications as well, because the Adobe PDF printer it installs in the Mac OS may no longer work from the Print dialog box.

With these issues and more besides, we recommend keeping an eye on the Leopard reports at www.MacInTouch.com and www.MacFixIt.com (as we will be doing), and holding off using Leopard on a critical production Mac.

However, if you want to explore Leopard’s amazing new features, you CAN install it on an external hard drive (or on a partition on an external hard drive) and restart your Mac using that drive as the startup volume.

For an impressive overview of Leopard’s new features, check out the videos at Apple’s website.