Imported PDF - page turns blank

As the title says.

When I scroll through an imported longer pdf file, a blank slab starts creeping up at a certain point, which gradually blocks out more and more text (as shown in the attached screenshot below).

Anyone else have this issue? And if so, is there a fix for it?

I have seen this behavior in Preview. An issue with Mavericks pdf handling, maybe?

I don’t know of any fixes.


I would like to bump this if possible. This odd pdf cropping occurs in Scrivener, but not in Preview. It also occurs in both Scrivener 1 and 2 (just testing it to be thorough). I’m happy to post photos. As a PhD student, being able to read, note and refer to pdf files is important, and I’m hoping a fix is in order. I’d downgrade to Mountain Lion, but I’d have to eventually upgrade eventually. Is there a place to report bugs like this? A stupid question no doubt, but I’ll take a look now amongst the support.

Unfortunately this is indeed a Mavericks bug and not a Scrivener bug. Scrivener uses Apple’s PDFKit to display PDFs. That entire view that shows the PDF files is handled by Apple code - the only code in Scrivener pertaining to it tells it what PDF file to load when necessary. As of Mavericks, you get that ugly white rectangle occasionally. The problem occurs in any program using Apple’s PDFKit, and seems to be down to changes Apple made to the PDFKit (they made it layer-backed on Mavericks, apparently). (It does occur in Preview, but Preview uses a simpler view hierarchy so you may not see it as often or in exactly the same circumstances - I have seen it in Preview, though.)

That said, although I used to see the bug all the time, I haven’t seen it for quite a while - have you updated to the latest version of Mavericks?

When you see the problem, the easiest thing to do is resize the view very slightly - just drag the binder or inspector to resize it a little. This will force a redraw. Unfortunately, as PDFKit is a black box, we have to wait for Apple to fix this bug.

Thanks for replying here, I was about to post in the bug forum. From reading the forums here, I guessed it was a PDFKit problem, and that there might not be a fix, but it seemed worth mentioning. The real problem is when you get towards the last half of a long document, and it simply goes completely blank; I’m happy to post images, but I think you get the idea. Resizing does not work, though sometimes I can get results if I change from single page to double page, though that usually still leaves a big blank spot. The real issue is that it’s extremely slow to scroll, which Preview (at least in its current iteration) is not. Sorry, should have said: I’m running 10.9.1, build 13B42, which I think is the most recent. If you’re not getting it, as well as getting Preview problems which I am not, it may be a hardware/software issue, since this is all due to my upgrading to a new MBA. Obviously I’m a big fan of your program (three books, four scripts, one Masters, and one PhD), so just for curiosity sake, does it make sense to make a suggestion to Apple, or is that something too minor to deal with for them?

Do you have an PDF files that always do this? If so, could you send me one? The best thing to do is to submit a bug report to Apple, but you need a developer account with them to do that and they want reproduction details and so on, so it’s best if I do it - if I have a PDF file that always exhibits the problem, I can put together a sample app using nothing but the PDFKit to demonstrate the bug to them. The trouble is that Apple’s bug reporting has become a lot less responsive in recent years, with bugs being left for longer and responses from the engineers asking for reproduction sample projects even when you’ve given them everything they need to reproduce the issue, so it’s quite a frustrating experience.

Thanks and all the best,

Sorry, lost contact with the internet for a few days. I’ve had similar problems with Apple, so I’m dubious for a response. And no, I’m not a registered developer anymore. Let me look through my files, and see which is the buggiest (some of them completely disappear for example). By the way, 10.9.2 came out, and no change in the upgrade. In the meantime, where’s the best place to send the file?

Here’s a weird one. While I was going through the files I accidentally switched to ‘Single page’, instead of ‘Single page continuous’. This has eliminated both the bar and the disappearance problem, at any zoom level or on any page. It’s an adjustment in reading, but that’s more of a personal taste thing. If this helps diagnose the problem, cool.

You can send a sample file to AT literatureandlatte DOT com - just link to this thread in your email and ask for the file to be passed on to me, and I’ll get it.

That’s interesting about single page view making the issue disappear. I’m not sure what that means, as these modes are just simple toggles within the PDFKit, but it suggests that PDFKit is drawing things differently between those modes. One thing I did read in researching this is that Apple has made their PDF view layer-backed in 10.9, which basically gives it some extra graphical capabilities (although I’m not sure how making it layer-backed helps). Given that layers allow various elements to be drawn over one another, my guess is that this change is what is causing the bugs.

All the best,

I have noted that using page break mode instead of continuous will side-step the problem completely in all programs using PDFKit. I was having issues in Skim, TeXShop and Scrivener (the three main programs I view PDFs in), but when I set these programs to use page mode, the problem went away—and at this point I’m quite used to using the arrow keys + spacebar to navigate PDFs instead of scrolling.

So, at least, there does seem to be a reliable workaround for now, even though it does mean getting used to a different view model.

Sorry about the late reply - I can’t figure out how to get email notifications when there are new posts for the thread, so I thought there was no reply. Anyway, I’m sending the document right now, hope you can replicate. Glad it made some sense to you re: PDFKIt, and also glad there’s a workaround. Scott

I’ve been having the same problem, and switching to single page view gets rid of the blank bar. Still, it would be nice if this were truly resolved, especially since the original post was from 2013.

I doubt anything will change with this until Scrivener’s core foundation is updated to 64-bit (which will be some time off in the future, no estimates yet). The problem is that everything you see in the editor when viewing a PDF, header and footer bars aside, is Apple’s viewer (a bit like when the Adobe Reader plug-in takes over a web browser window to display a PDF), and they haven’t shown any interest in fixing the 32-bit version of their PDF reader—as you note, these obvious bugs have been around for years now. We’ve done everything we can, which is filing bug reports and watching them get closed immediately as “duplicates”. :neutral_face: