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GS(1)                             Ghostscript                            GS(1)

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

       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 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 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

       The interpreter recognizes many option switches, some of which are described below. Please see the usage  docu-
       mentation  for  complete  information.  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 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


       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  spec-
       ify "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 "-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 for-
       mat 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 systems, 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 Ghostscript,

            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" 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

       -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 supplied 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 -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 -dDEVICEYRESOLUTION=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 "" 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.)

              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 rendering.

              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 Ghostscript.

              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  environ-
              ments  where a badly written or malicious PostScript program code must be prevented from changing impor-
              tant 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.

       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  typi-
       cally  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 details.

              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 any;

       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
           "/usr/local/share/ghostscript/#.##:/usr/local/share/ghostscript/fonts"   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 directo-
       ries separated by ":".

              String of options to be processed before the command line options

              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

              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

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

       See and the Usenet news group comp.lang.postscript.

       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)