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Question: pdf text select in preview not working after High Sierra upgrade

The text select function appears to not work in preview of pdf documents after upgrading to High Sierra.

Area select still works, the pdf is not password protected and it is not an image based pdf. I think it's a bug, any help out there?

Cheers, Hans

MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2014), macOS High Sierra (10.13.1)

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Nov 26, 2017 11:31 AM in response to hfeitz In response to hfeitz

I found a temporary solution to this problem. But that does not mean that this problem has been removed.


After I open the file with preview, I commant printing by pressing cmd + P and save it as a new pdf file from this window. The new file that i created in this way is now has selectable and highlitable text.

Question marked as Helpful

Nov 25, 2017 7:58 PM in response to hfeitz In response to hfeitz

I also have this problem with preview application. It is not about all PDF files, but some can not be selected the text and highlight it. File is not encrypted, content is not photo, text.

In fact, I can open this file with Adobe Reader and I can use the text part but I can not use it with preview.


The file is not a file I created with a program such as excel, but a chapter I downloaded from the journal site.


I share one of the files I mentioned about your experiment with you: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1L5Ywfdr_Kd0uTOEGGSWPvziykMqU7lcj/view?usp=shari ng

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Nov 15, 2017 4:18 PM in response to hfeitz In response to hfeitz

In addition, I just noticed that this affects PDFs created by MS Excel by using the "Save as PDF" function. Other PDFs appear unaffected

Nov 15, 2017 4:18 PM

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Nov 15, 2017 8:34 PM in response to dialabrain In response to dialabrain

Before High Sierra, if it was an image based PDF, then the text selector would highlight the entire document now it just shows the mouse pointer arrow as if there's nothing to select. The MS Excel output hasn't changed so it must be on the Mac OS side. Anyway, a fix would be great but I'm now printing to a PDF printer, which is just another two clicks extra. Life goes on...

Thanks for your thoughts.

Nov 15, 2017 8:34 PM

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Question marked as Helpful

Nov 25, 2017 7:58 PM in response to hfeitz In response to hfeitz

I also have this problem with preview application. It is not about all PDF files, but some can not be selected the text and highlight it. File is not encrypted, content is not photo, text.

In fact, I can open this file with Adobe Reader and I can use the text part but I can not use it with preview.


The file is not a file I created with a program such as excel, but a chapter I downloaded from the journal site.


I share one of the files I mentioned about your experiment with you: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1L5Ywfdr_Kd0uTOEGGSWPvziykMqU7lcj/view?usp=shari ng

Nov 25, 2017 7:58 PM

Reply Helpful (1)
Question marked as Helpful

Nov 26, 2017 11:31 AM in response to hfeitz In response to hfeitz

I found a temporary solution to this problem. But that does not mean that this problem has been removed.


After I open the file with preview, I commant printing by pressing cmd + P and save it as a new pdf file from this window. The new file that i created in this way is now has selectable and highlitable text.

Nov 26, 2017 11:31 AM

Reply Helpful (3)
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Question: pdf text select in preview not working after High Sierra upgrade