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Ghostscript is a viewer and manipulator for PostScript and PDF documents.


[edit] Overview

This viewer can read EPS, PS, PDF files. It also includes tools that can manipulate these files and a DLL that can be used by other applications to read these file. This application has a command line interface but GUI versions exist One is called GSview and another MuPDF.

Ghostscript is an interpreter for PostScript™ and Portable Document Format (PDF) files. It is available both under the GNU GPL Affero license and for commercial licensing from Artifex. It has been under active development for over 20 years and has been ported to many different systems during this time.

Ghostscript consists of a PostScript interpreter layer, and a graphics library. Sometimes the Ghostscript graphics library is confusingly also referred to simply as Ghostscript. Even more confusingly, sometimes people say Ghostscript when they really mean GhostPDL.

Binaries for Ghostscript for various systems can be downloaded from The source code is included in both the Ghostscript and GhostPDL downloads from the same site.

GhostPDF is an interpreter built on top of Ghostscript that handles PDF files. Currently GhostPDF relies on extensions to the PostScript language/imaging model, and so cannot be used independently of the Ghostscript PostScript interpreter component. As such GhostPDF is an umbrella term used to refer to both these extensions and the interpreter code.

Ghostscript can also be used to produce raster graphics output in most formats.

Ghostscript can provide PDF reading functionality for IrfanView which is a graphics editing and viewing program. Together they provide an easy way to browse a folder full of PDF files by viewing the first page.

[edit] Related applications

  • Other page description languages:
    • GhostPCL - an interpreter for PCL™ and PXL files.
    • GhostPDF - an interpreter for PDF files.
    • GhostXPS - an interpreter for XPS (XML Paper Specification) files.
    • MuPDF - also available for iOS devices from iTunes(c)
  • A user-friendly viewer: GSview - a graphical interface (GUI) for Ghostscript.
  • A JBIG2 image decoder: jbig2dec

[edit] Tips

  • gs -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dDOPDFMARKS -dNOPAUSE -dQUIET -dBATCH -dPrinted=false -dPassThroughJPEGImages=true -sOutputFile=output.pdf input.pdf
This uses a special option to create a new PDF from the old one. It can fix issues like problems with annotation. It works by forcing ghostscript to use the file's 'screen' options rather than its 'printer' options, by setting -dPrinted=false.

[edit] For more information

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