Network Security, Vulnerability Management

PDF bug in Apple 10.12.2

Mac users of PDFs created by Fujitsu's ScanSnap scanners are being warned that the files might contain bugs affecting the editing of PDFs with Preview, according to an analysis on Apple news site TidBITS.

A problem began, the report stated, when Apple revised its PDFKit framework in its OS v10.12. The company's intention was to unify the code bases of its macOS and iOS PDF. However, a number of bugs were introduced that lessened effectiveness and broke third-party apps that use PDFKit. Complaints began being filed as developers were forced to find workarounds working with the developer framework for handling PDFs in macOS. One complaint stated that with the updated OS, Apple had "deprecated several features without caring about compatibility."

The latest iteration of the Apple OS fixes some of the compatibility issues, but is said to affect workability of several other applications, such as EndNote, Skim, Bookends and EagleFiler.

But, most problematic, reported Adam C. Engst, publisher of TidBITS and author of the report, was that the just issued macOS 10.12.2 presents a serious new bug involving PDFKit: namely, the "OCR text layer added to scanned PDFs by Fujitsu's ScanSnap software will be deleted if you edit the PDF in Preview."

Several developers have notified Apple of the bugs in Sierra, adding that Apple has been indifferent to their alerts.

Engst recommends that Sierra users avoid using Preview to edit PDF documents until Apple fixes these bugs.

An update to the OS is in beta.

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