Update: Apple has released an update that fixes the InDesign bug where the cursor is corrupted. so designers can think about upgrading their Macs to macOS 10.13 or buying a new Mac now (unless you also use Illustrator or a Wacom tablet).
MacOS 10.13 breaks Illustrator – and Wacom tablets don’t work with it – so you should hold off updating your Mac or buying a new one. There are also a few issues with Photoshop. Here’s what we know so far about when fixes will be released.
Operating system updates are always accompanied by bugs and other issues with your favourite software applications, though these are usually fixed quickly with patches. It’s rare, however, for an OS upgrade to fundamentally break major applications and make hardware unusable – to the point that the companies behind them tell you not to upgrade.
This is what’s happening to Adobe Illustrator. Adobe has said that the vector drawing application doesn’t “officially support” macOS 10.13 (aka High Sierra) – i.e. is usable for day-to-day work – and a fix doesn’t seem to be on the way soon. MacOS 10.13 was released last week, and is designed to deliver better performance through a new file system (APFS) and HEVC video compression, as well as adding VR support and an upgrade Safari.
The message from Adobe is that Mac-based designers and artists who use Illustrator shouldn’t upgrade their Macs to macOS 10.13. This is essentially also saying that you shouldn’t buy a new Mac either if you use either of these apps, as you can’t buy a new Mac with an older OS – unless you’re able to get your hands on some older stock still running macOS 10.12 (aka Sierra).
Here’s how macOS 10.13 affects Illustrator CC 2017 and InDesign CC 2017, and Wacom tablets:
Illustrator CC 2017 High Sierra compatibility
The new APFS file system on MacOS 10.13 may prevent Illustrator CC 2017 launching, throwing up an error message. It may also stop it installing.
Illustrator will default to emulating the Illustrator 6.0 colour space. You can reset this in the application’s settings, but you’ll need to do this every time you launch the app.
Incompatibility with some graphics cards/chips will cause glitches to GPU-accelerated tools and effects such as Brushes, Live Corners and the like. You’ll need to turn these off (if the above hasn’t put you off already).
Adobe says that its engineers are working on fixes and will release them “in a future version of Illustrator” – but no time scale has been mentioned. We hope it doesn’t take until the next major release of both apps, which past behaviour by Adobe suggests would be in November this year, about a month or so after announcements at its Adobe Max conference.
InDesign CC 2017 High Sierra compatibility
When macOS 10.13 was released, InDesign CC 2017 suffered from an the issue that was simpler but equally disruptive. After a while of using InDesign, your cursor might turn into a “pixelated box”. This would make using InDesign somewhere between highly frustrating and impossible.
At the time, Adobe said that “Our engineering team is working with Apple to correct the root problem as soon as possible” – so a fix should hopefully appear soon.
And it has. Adobe reached out to us to let us know that a new Supplemental Update to High Sierra from Apple fixes the problem. More info here.
Photoshop CC 2017 High Sierra compatibility
Photoshop can’t use APFS disks as scratch disks.
Older Adobe apps and macOS High Sierra
Some users have also detected problems with Premiere Pro, and pre-CC 2017 versions of all of the Creative Cloud and Creative Suite tools aren’t supports and are likely to see problems on macOS 10.13.
Wacom High Sierra compatibility
Wacom has released a statement on its support site saying that “due to nature of the changes in High Sierra, the existing Wacom driver for 10.12 will not work.”
The company “is currently working on a new driver update to support the new operating system. The new Wacom driver will be ready by late October at the latest.”