gs man page on Scientific

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GS(1)				  Ghostscript				 GS(1)

       gs  -  Ghostscript  (PostScript	and  PDF language interpreter and pre‐

       gs [ options ] [ files ] ... (Unix, VMS)
       gswin32c [ options ] [ files ] ... (MS Windows)
       gswin32 [ options ] [ files ] ... (MS Windows 3.1)
       gsos2 [ options ] [ files ] ... (OS/2)

       The gs (gswin32c,  gswin32,  gsos2)  command  invokes  Ghostscript,  an
       interpreter of Adobe Systems' PostScript(tm) and Portable Document For‐
       mat (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  exits  gracefully when it encounters the
       "quit" command (either in a file or from the keyboard), at end-of-file,
       or at an interrupt signal (such as Control-C at the keyboard).

       The  interpreter	 recognizes  many  option  switches, some of which are
       described below. Please see the usage documentation for complete infor‐
       mation.	Switches  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 to use many different output devices.	To see
       which devices your executable includes, run "gs -h".  Unless you	 spec‐
       ify  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


       You  can	 also  check  the  set of available devices from within Ghost‐
       script: 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

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

       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:

       Some devices can support 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  lowest-
       density (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 "",
       use the switch

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

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

       On Unix and MS Windows systems you can also send output to a pipe.  For
       example,	 to pipe output to the "lpr" command (which, on many Unix sys‐
       tems, directs it to a printer), use the option


       Note that the '%' characters need to be doubled on MS Windows to	 avoid
       mangling by the command interpreter.

       You can also send output to standard output:


       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


       Most ISO and US paper sizes are recognized. See the usage documentation
       for  a  full  list,  or	the  definitions  in  the  initialization file

       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.

       For  example,  using  one  of the example files distributed with Ghost‐

	    gs -sDEVICE=bbox

       prints out

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

       -- 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" oper‐
	      ator) 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

       -P     Makes  Ghostscript  to  look  first in the current directory for
	      library files.  By default, Ghostscript no longer looks  in  the
	      current  directory, unless, of course, the first explicitly sup‐
	      plied directory is "." in -I.  See also the INITIALIZATION FILES
	      section  below,  and  bundled Use.htm for detailed discussion on
	      search paths and how Ghostcript finds files.  -q Quiet  startup:
	      suppress	normal startup messages, and also do the equivalent of

	      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 print‐
	      ers that support multiple X and Y resolutions.  If only one num‐
	      ber 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 interac‐
	      tively 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	 ""  makes  "system‐
       dict"  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 defi‐
       nitions in "userdict" or other dictionaries.)

	      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
	      strongly recommended for spoolers, conversion scripts  or	 other
	      sensitive	 environments where a badly written or malicious Post‐
	      Script program code must be prevented  from  changing  important

	      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 out‐
	      put device, as described above.

       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

       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 MS Windows 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 Ghost‐
	   script makefile when the executable was built.  When gs is built on
	   Unix,   GS_LIB_DEFAULT    is	   usually    "/usr/local/share/ghost‐
	   script/#.##:/usr/local/share/ghostscript/fonts" where "#.##" repre‐
	   sents 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 ":".

	      String  of  options  to  be  processed  before  the command line

	      Used to specify an output device

	      Path names used to search for fonts

       GS_LIB Path names for initialization files and fonts

       TEMP   Where temporary files are made

       Ghostscript, or more properly the X11 display  device,  looks  for  the
       following resources under the program name "Ghostscript":

	      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 dis‐
	      play 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

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

       See   and	  the	Usenet	 news	 group

       This document was last revised for Ghostscript version 8.70.

       Artifex	Software,  Inc.	 are  the  primary maintainers of Ghostscript.
       Russell J. Lang, gsview at, is the author  of  most  of
       the MS Windows code in Ghostscript.

8.70				 31 July 2009				 GS(1)

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