GS linux command manual

GS(1)                           Ghostscript                            GS(1)

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

       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)

       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),  inter-
       preting  each  line separately.  The interpreter quits gracefully when
       it encounters the "quit" command (either in a file or  from  the  key-
       board),  at  end-of-file, 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 exe-
       cutable, 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


       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

       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
            ( run

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

            (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 high-
       est 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= -rx

       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 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 "", 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

       For   example,  using  one  of  the  example  files  distributed  with

                 gs -sDEVICE=bbox

       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 ":".

       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  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

       -- 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 equiva-
              lent 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 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 def-
       initions in "userdict" or other dictionaries.)

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

              Causes Ghostscript to exit after processing all files named  on
              the  command line, rather than prompting for further PostScript

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

              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.

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

              Disables character caching. Useful only for debugging.

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

              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.

              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

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

       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

              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

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

       See the Usenet news group comp.lang.postscript.

       This document was last revised for Ghostscript version 7.07.

       L. Peter  Deutsch    is  the  principal  author  of
       Ghostscript.   Russell J. Lang  is the author of most
       of the MS Windows code in Ghostscript.

7.07                             17 May 2003                            GS(1)