Mac users running macOS Sierra 10.12.2 are being asked not to use Preview to edit PDFs until Apple removes several bugs in the app that can lead to corruption issues in the document format.

The recommendation comes from TidBITS publisher Adam Engst. shared on the online Apple newsletter website. Engst supports a fellow developer Craig Laudrup’s claim that Apple’s decision to rewrite the PDFKit framework for macOS 10.12 has broken basic functionality that PDF-related developers depends upon, for example, the compatibility with Doxie and ScanSnap scanners.

It hurts me to say this, speaking as the co-author of “Take Control of Preview,” however, I have to recommend that Sierra users stop using Preview to edit PDF documents until Apple solves these bugs. If editing a PDF in Preview in unpracticable, manage working only on a copy of the file and retain the original one if editing introduced corruption of any sort. The reason why issues have been seen in Apple’s native Preview application, Engst cites approving the DEVONthink developer Christian Grunenberg, who describes the rewritten version of PDFKit in Sierra as a “work in progress”:

Apple wants to implement common foundation for both iOS and macOS. But, it was launched quite early, and for the first time Apple deducted several features without thinking about compatibility. And to make things even worse, lots of former features are now stopped or not implemented at all. This means that we had to add plenty of workarounds or implement stuff on our own. And there’s still work left to be done.

10.12.2 contains new issues, it seems that Apple desires to fix at least the broken compatibility now and of course fixed almost none of the other issues. It is not only DEVONthink, a plenty of other applications like Skim, EndNote, Bookends, and EagleFiler are also disturbed. Apple formerly removed functionality in its iWork suite for Mac to confirm with iOS, however, re-released most of the missing features in a later version. If Apple plans to do the same with an update to Preview is still uncertain. In the meantime, until Apple solves the problems with the native Mac app, Engst suggests Smile’s PDFpen as an alternative solution for PDF manipulation of all sorts, with Adobe’s Acrobat DC taken as a more expensive option

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