Adobe Reader and Safari – A Fix for Snow Leopard Users

In July, Apple released Mac OS X Lion 10.7, which included Safari version 5.1. Safari 5.1 was also released for Snow Leopard 10.6. Apple’s Safari web browser has always had an integrated PDF rendering engine, based on the system-wide program Preview. For basic in-site PDF vieiwing, Safari’s built-in engine is sufficient, but for filling out web forms and using encrypted PDFs, many users needed to turn to Adobe Reader, Adobe’s PDF viewing program.

With Safari 5.1, Adobe Reader stopped working without warning. Users were acclimated to clicking a PDF link and seeing it within Adobe Reader in their browser, instead were faced with errors, and finally after a second update from Apple, the original Preview engine.

Last week, a client needed to be able to fill out online forms, and wanted my help getting Adobe Reader working again. In order to do this, we had to downgrade the Safari installation from 5.1 to 5.0. Enter Pacifist, a wonderful piece of software from CharlesSoft. With Pacifist, the Safari 5.0 installer, and the Adobe Reader installer, you can restore Adobe Reader functionality to Safari.

In order to perform the installation, launch Pacifist, then click “Open Package…” then find the Safari installer file (you may need to double click the safari DMG file if it’s not showing as one of your connected disks). In the Pacifist window, select Safari, then click the top left button, “Install.”

The most important note for downgrading your version of Safari is that you need to click “replace” at every opportunity for Pacifist to correctly get all of Safari to work. When it’s done, just install Adobe Reader again, and all should be well. Unfortunately for us 10.7 users, this fix only works in Snow Leopard.

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