Error | Save as PDF options unsupported | Create PDF | InDesign, Illustrator | Mac OS 10.6 or later

Issues with Save as PDF options

When you use InDesign or Illustrator on Mac OS 10.6 and later, the Adobe PDF printer is not listed under the available printers. Or, it is if available, it doesn't create a PDF as expected. When you choose Save As Adobe PDF from the Print dialog box, an error such as the following appears:

"The Save as PDF option in the Printer dialog is not supported."

Solution: Print as a PostScript file, and then convert the file to a PDF

Note: If you want to use the Acrobat PPD with this method, first follow the instructions in Install Adobe Acrobat PPD.

  1. Choose File > Print.
  2. Click Print Settings.
  3. From the Printer list, choose PostScript File.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Set any other settings as desired.
  6. Click Print.
  7. When prompted for a location to save your PostScript file, save it to a location you can easily locate later.
  8. Open the PostScript file with Adobe Acrobat Distiller, or Apple's Preview application, to convert it to a PDF.

Install Adobe Acrobat PPD

Follow these steps if you want to have the Acrobat 9 PPD appear in the PPD pop-up menu. The Acrobat 9 PPD supports custom page sizes, which are often necessary when using this workflow with the Print Booklet feature in InDesign.


InDesign CS5 is used as an example here. For other versions, adjust the version number in the folder paths.

  1. Quit InDesign.
  2. Navigate to /Applications/Adobe Indesign CS5/Presets/.
  3. Within the presets folder, create a folder named PPDs (the folder name is case-sensitive).

  4. Control-click the following link and choose Save Link As to download the Acrobat 9 PPD:
    Acrobat 9 PPD

  5. Place a copy of the downloaded PPD into the folder you created in step 3.

Additional information

Most applications can take advantage of the new Create Adobe PDF from the PDF menu in the Mac OS print dialog box. However, InDesign and Illustrator sometimes don't support this feature, depending on the version you are using. In this case, print to a PostScript file, and use Distiller or Apple Preview to convert the file to PDF.

For details about Adobe PDF Printer support on Mac OS 10.6, see Can't print PDFs | Mac OS X 10.6 and later.



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