I have a PDF opened in Preview where on one page a diagram should show, but it doesn't. The same holds for the program "PDF Reader Pro Lite" and probably other PDF readers. But if I open the PDF in Google Chrome or "Adobe Acrobat Reader DC", then the diagram is visible. Does anyone know why it won't work for certain applications?

I am running macOS Mojave 10.14.5, and all applications are up to date.

  • Adobe Reader is the gold standard for pdf display. Preview often falls short of it. Jun 20, 2019 at 11:04

1 Answer 1


The PDF file format contains are series of code-like instructions that have to be interpreted and then rendered into a displayed image, and there are different 'engines' that do this in a variety of ways. Apple's own CoreGraphics engine works differently from Adobe's. Of course, both contain a number of bugs!

It's also possible that the PDF was not created 'to spec', and different engines are more or less forgiving in how they deal with syntax errors.

You could try Exporting it from Preview as a PDF, which will 'rinse' the PDF data through CoreGraphics, and which might fix the problem. Or it might do nothing; or it might hide the diagram when viewed in any reader.

PDF Reader Pro Lite is likely to use Apple's native APIs for creating windows with a PDF view.

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