*nix Documentation Project
·  Home
 +   man pages
·  Linux HOWTOs
·  FreeBSD Tips
·  *niX Forums

  man pages->Linux man pages -> gs-gnu (1)              



NAME    [Toc]    [Back]

       gs  -  Ghostscript  (PostScript	and  PDF language interpreter and previewer)

SYNOPSIS    [Toc]    [Back]

       gs [ options ] [ files ] ... (Unix, VMS)
       gswin32 [ options ] [ files ] ... (MS Windows)
       gswin32c [ options ] [ files ] ... (MS Windows)
       gs386 [ options ] [ files ] ... (DOS for PC)
       gsos2 [ options ] [ files ] ... (OS/2)

DESCRIPTION    [Toc]    [Back]

       The gs (gswin32, gswin32c, gs386, gsos2) command  invokes  Ghostscript,
       an  interpreter	of Adobe Systems' PostScript(tm) and Portable Document
       Format (PDF) languages.	gs reads "files" in sequence and executes them
       as Ghostscript programs.  After doing this, it reads further input from
       the standard input stream (normally the	keyboard),  interpreting  each
       line  separately.   The interpreter quits gracefully when it encounters
       the "quit" command (either in a file or from the keyboard), at  end-offile,
 or at an interrupt signal (such as Control-C at the keyboard).

       The  interpreter recognizes several switches described below, which may
       appear anywhere in the command line and apply to all files  thereafter.
       Invoking  Ghostscript with the -h or -? switch produces a message which
       shows several useful switches, all  the	devices  known	to  that  executable,
 and the search path for fonts; on Unix it also shows the location
 of detailed documentation.

       Ghostscript may be built able to use many different output devices.  To
       see  which  devices  your  executable can use, run "gs -h".  Unless you
       specify a particular device, Ghostscript normally opens the  first  one
       of  those  and directs output to it, so if the first one in the list is
       the one you want to use, just issue the command

	    gs myfile.ps

       You  can  also  check  the  set	of  available  devices	 from	within
       Ghostscript: invoke Ghostscript and type

	    devicenames ==

       but  the  first	device	on  the  resulting list may not be the default
       device you determine with "gs -h".  To specify "AbcXyz" as the  initial
       output device, include the switch


       For example, for output to an Epson printer you might use the command

	    gs -sDEVICE=epson myfile.ps

       The  "-sDEVICE="  switch  must  precede	the first mention of a file to
       print, and only the switch's first use has any effect.	Alternatively,
       in Ghostscript you can type

	    (epson) selectdevice
	    (myfile.ps) run

       All  output  then  goes	to the printer until you select another device
       with the "selectdevice" procedure in the PostScript program stream, for

	    (vga) selectdevice
	    (x11) selectdevice

       Finally,  you  can specify a default device in the environment variable
       GS_DEVICE.  The order of precedence for these alternatives from highest
       to lowest (Ghostscript uses the device defined highest in the list) is:

	    (command line)
	    (first device in build list)

       Some printers can print at different resolutions (densities).  To specify
 the resolution on such a printer, use the "-r" switch:

	    gs -sDEVICE=<device> -r<xres>x<yres>

       For  example,  on a 9-pin Epson-compatible printer, you get the lowestdensity
 (fastest) mode with

	    gs -sDEVICE=epson -r60x72

       and the highest-density (best output quality) mode with

	    gs -sDEVICE=epson -r240x72.

       If you select a printer as the output device, Ghostscript  also	allows
       you  to	choose	where Ghostscript sends the output -- on Unix systems,
       usually to a temporary file.  To send the output to a  file  "foo.xyz",
       use the switch


       You  might  want  to  print each page separately.  To do this, send the
       output to a series of files "foo1.xyz, foo2.xyz, ..." using the "-sOutputFile="
 switch with "%d" in a filename template:


       Each resulting file receives one page of output, and the files are numbered
 in sequence.  "%d" is a printf format specification; you can also
       use a variant like "%02d".

       On  Unix  systems  you can also send output to a pipe.  For example, to
       pipe output to the "lpr" command (which, on many Unix systems,  directs
       it to a printer), use the switch


       You can also send output to standard output for piping with the switch


       In  this  case  you must also use the -q switch, to prevent Ghostscript
       from writing messages to standard output.

       To select a specific paper size, use the command line switch


       for instance


       At this time, the known paper sizes, defined in the initialization file
       "gs_statd.ps", are:

       PAPERSIZE    X inches   Y inches   X cm	    Y cm
       a0	    33.0556    46.7778	  83.9611   118.816
       a1	    23.3889    33.0556	  59.4078   83.9611
       a2	    16.5278    23.3889	  41.9806   59.4078
       a3	    11.6944    16.5278	  29.7039   41.9806
       a4	    8.26389    11.6944	  20.9903   29.7039
       a5	    5.84722    8.26389	  14.8519   20.9903
       a6	    4.125      5.84722	  10.4775   14.8519
       a7	    2.91667    4.125	  7.40833   10.4775
       a8	    2.05556    2.91667	  5.22111   7.40833
       a9	    1.45833    2.05556	  3.70417   5.22111
       a10	    1.02778    1.45833	  2.61056   3.70417
       b0	    39.3889    55.6667	  100.048   141.393
       b1	    27.8333    39.3889	  70.6967   100.048
       b2	    19.6944    27.8333	  50.0239   70.6967
       b3	    13.9167    19.6944	  35.3483   50.0239
       b4	    9.84722    13.9167	  25.0119   35.3483
       b5	    6.95833    9.84722	  17.6742   25.0119
       archA	    9	       12	  22.86     30.48
       archB	    12	       18	  30.48     45.72
       archC	    18	       24	  45.72     60.96
       archD	    24	       36	  60.96     91.44
       archE	    36	       48	  91.44     121.92
       flsa	    8.5        13	  21.59     33.02
       flse	    8.5        13	  21.59     33.02
       halfletter   5.5        8.5	  13.97     21.59
       note	    7.5        10	  19.05     25.4
       letter	    8.5        11	  21.59     27.94
       legal	    8.5        14	  21.59     35.56
       11x17	    11	       17	  27.94     43.18
       ledger	    17	       11	  43.18     27.94

       Note  that the B paper sizes are ISO sizes: for information about using
       JIS B sizes, see Use.htm.

       Ghostscript can do many things other than print or view PostScript  and
       PDF  files.   For  example,  if	you want to know the bounding box of a
       PostScript (or EPS) file, Ghostscript provides a special "device"  that
       just prints out this information:

		 gs -sDEVICE=bbox myfile.ps

       For   example,	using  one  of	the  example  files  distributed  with

		 gs -sDEVICE=bbox golfer.ps

       prints out

		 %%BoundingBox: 0 25 583 732
		 %%HiResBoundingBox: 0.808497 25.009496 582.994503 731.809445


       When looking for the initialization files "gs_*.ps", the files  related
       to  fonts,  or the file for the "run" operator, Ghostscript first tries
       to open the file with the name as  given,  using  the  current  working
       directory  if  no  directory is specified.  If this fails, and the file
       name doesn't specify an explicit  directory  or	drive  (for  instance,
       doesn't contain "/" on Unix systems or "\" on DOS systems), Ghostscript
       tries directories in this order:

       1.  the directories specified by the -I switches in  the  command  line
	   (see below), if any;

       2.  the	directories  specified	by the GS_LIB environment variable, if

       3.  the directories  specified  by  the	GS_LIB_DEFAULT	macro  in  the
	   Ghostscript	makefile  when	the  executable was built.  When gs is
	   built      on      Unix,	 GS_LIB_DEFAULT       is       usually
	   where "#.##" represents the Ghostscript version number.

       Each of these (GS_LIB_DEFAULT, GS_LIB, and -I parameter) may be	either
       a single directory or a list of directories separated by ":".

X RESOURCES    [Toc]    [Back]

       Ghostscript  looks  for	the following resources under the program name

	      The border width in pixels (default = 1).

	      The name of the border color (default = black).

	      The window size and placement, WxH+X+Y (default is NULL).

	      The number of x  pixels  per  inch  (default  is	computed  from
	      WidthOfScreen and WidthMMOfScreen).

	      The  number  of  y  pixels  per  inch  (default is computed from
	      HeightOfScreen and HeightMMOfScreen).

	      Determines whether backing store is to be used for  saving  display
 window (default = true).

       See  the  usage document for a more complete list of resources.	To set
       these resources on Unix, put them in a file such as "~/.Xresources"  in
       the following form:

		 Ghostscript*geometry:	612x792-0+0
		 Ghostscript*xResolution: 72
		 Ghostscript*yResolution: 72

       Then merge these resources into the X server's resource database:

		 % xrdb -merge ~/.Xresources

SWITCHES    [Toc]    [Back]

       -- filename arg1 ...
	      Takes  the  next argument as a file name as usual, but takes all
	      remaining arguments (even if they have  the  syntactic  form  of
	      switches)  and  defines  the name "ARGUMENTS" in "userdict" (not
	      "systemdict") as an array of those strings, before  running  the
	      file.   When  Ghostscript  finishes executing the file, it exits
	      back to the shell.

	      Define a name in "systemdict" with the  given  definition.   The
	      token must be exactly one token (as defined by the "token" operator)
 and may contain no whitespace.

       -dname Define a name in "systemdict" with value=null.

	      Define a name in "systemdict" with  a  given  string  as	value.
	      This is different from -d.  For example, -dname=35 is equivalent
	      to the program fragment
			/name 35 def
	      whereas -sname=35 is equivalent to
			/name (35) def

       -q     Quiet startup: suppress normal startup messages, and also do the
	      equivalent of -dQUIET.

	      Equivalent  to -dDEVICEWIDTH=number1 and -dDEVICEHEIGHT=number2.
	      This is for the benefit of devices (such as  X11	windows)  that
	      require (or allow) width and height to be specified.

	      Equivalent  to  -dDEVICEXRESOLUTION=number1 and -dDEVICEYRESOLU-
	      TION=number2.  This is for the benefit of devices such as printers
 that support multiple X and Y resolutions.  If only one number
 is given, it is used for both X and Y resolutions.

	      Adds the designated list of  directories	at  the  head  of  the
	      search path for library files.

       -      This  is	not really a switch, but indicates to Ghostscript that
	      standard input is coming from a file or a pipe and not  interactively
  from  the command line.  Ghostscript reads from standard
	      input until it reaches end-of-file, executing it like any  other
	      file, and then continues with processing the command line.  When
	      the command line has been entirely processed, Ghostscript  exits
	      rather than going into its interactive mode.

       Note  that  the	normal initialization file "gs_init.ps" makes "systemdict"
 read-only, so the values of names defined with -D, -d, -S, or  -s
       cannot be changed (although, of course, they can be superseded by definitions
 in "userdict" or other dictionaries.)

SPECIAL NAMES    [Toc]    [Back]

	      Causes individual character outlines to be loaded from the  disk
	      the  first  time	they  are  encountered.  (Normally Ghostscript
	      loads all the character outlines when it loads  a  font.)   This
	      may  allow loading more fonts into RAM, at the expense of slower

	      Disables character caching.  Useful only for debugging.

	      Disables the "bind" operator.  Useful only for debugging.

	      Suppresses the normal initialization of the output device.  This
	      may be useful when debugging.

	      Disables the prompt and pause at the end of each page.  This may
	      be desirable for applications where another program  is  driving

	      Disables	the  use  of fonts supplied by the underlying platform
	      (for instance X Windows).  This may be needed  if  the  platform
	      fonts look undesirably different from the scalable fonts.

	      Disables	the  "deletefile"  and	"renamefile" operators and the
	      ability to open files in any mode other  than  read-only.   This
	      may  be  desirable  for spoolers or other sensitive environments
	      where a badly written or malicious PostScript  program  must  be
	      prevented from changing important files.

	      Leaves  "systemdict"  writable.	This is necessary when running
	      special utility programs such as font2c and pcharstr, which must
	      bypass normal PostScript access protection.

	      Selects  an alternate initial output device, as described above.

	      Selects an alternate output file (or pipe) for the initial  output
 device, as described above.

FILES    [Toc]    [Back]

       The  locations of many Ghostscript run-time files are compiled into the
       executable when it is built.  On Unix  these  are  typically  based  in
       /usr/local,  but  this may be different on your system.	Under DOS they
       are typically based in C:\GS, but may be elsewhere, especially  if  you
       install	Ghostscript  with GSview.  Run "gs -h" to find the location of
       Ghostscript documentation on your system, from which you can  get  more

	      Startup files, utilities, and basic font definitions

	      More font definitions

	      Ghostscript demonstration files

	      Diverse document files

ENVIRONMENT    [Toc]    [Back]

	      String  of  options  to  be  processed  before  the command line

       GS_DEVICE    [Toc]    [Back]
	      Used to specify an output device

       GS_FONTPATH    [Toc]    [Back]
	      Path names used to search for fonts

       GS_LIB Path names for initialization files and fonts

       TEMP   Where temporary files are made

SEE ALSO    [Toc]    [Back]

       The various Ghostscript document files (above), especially Use.htm.

BUGS    [Toc]    [Back]

       See the Usenet news group comp.lang.postscript.

VERSION    [Toc]    [Back]

       This document was last revised for Ghostscript version 6.53.

AUTHOR    [Toc]    [Back]

       L.  Peter  Deutsch  <ghost@aladdin.com>	is  the  principal  author  of
       Ghostscript.   Russell  J. Lang <rjl@aladdin.com> is the author of most
       of the MS Windows code in Ghostscript.

6.53			       13 February 2002 			 GS(1)
[ Back ]
 Similar pages
Name OS Title
ps2ps Linux Ghostscript PostScript "distiller"
ps2pdf Linux Convert PostScript to PDF using ghostscript
pdf2ps Linux Ghostscript PDF to PostScript translator
eps2eps Linux Ghostscript Encapsulated PostScript "distiller"
ps2pdfwr Linux Convert PostScript to PDF without specifying CompatibilityLevel, using ghostscript
ps2ascii Linux Ghostscript translator from PostScript or PDF to ASCII
pf2afm Linux Make an AFM file from Postscript (PFB/PFA/PFM) font files using ghostscript
wishx IRIX Tcl language interpreter with Tk
sh Tru64 Shell, the standard command language interpreter
pcfof Tru64 Generic print filter for ANSI, PCL, and multi-language PostScript printers
Copyright © 2004-2005 DeniX Solutions SRL
newsletter delivery service