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Last modified: Friday, January 18, 2002 

A page description language (PDL) developed by Adobe Systems. PostScript is primarily a language for printing documents on laser printers, but it can be adapted to produce images on other types of devices. PostScript is the standard for desktop publishing because it is supported by imagesetters, the very high-resolution printers used by service bureaus to produce camera-ready copy.

PostScript is an object-oriented language, meaning that it treats images, including fonts, as collections of geometrical objects rather than as bit maps. PostScript fonts are called outline fonts because the outline of each character is defined. They are also called scalable fonts because their size can be changed with PostScript commands. Given a single typeface definition, a PostScript printer can thus produce a multitude of fonts. In contrast, many non-PostScript printers represent fonts with bit maps. To print a bit-mapped typeface with different sizes, these printers require a complete set of bit maps for each size.

The principal advantage of object-oriented (vector) graphics over bit-mapped graphics is that object-oriented images take advantage of high-resolution output devices whereas bit-mapped images do not. A PostScript drawing looks much better when printed on a 600-dpi printer than on a 300-dpi printer. A bit-mapped image looks the same on both printers.

Every PostScript printer contains a built-in interpreter that executes PostScript instructions. If your laser printer does not come with PostScript support, you may be able to purchase a cartridge that contains PostScript.

There are three basic versions of PostScript: Level 1, Level 2 and PostScript 3. Level 2 PostScript, which was released in 1992, has better support for color printing. PostScript 3, release in 1997, supports more fonts, better graphics handling, and includes several features to speed up PostScript printing.

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For pages about PostScript . Also check out the following links!

Related Links

Adobe PostScript - What's New Page 
Offers information about the last version of Adobe PostScript, as well as information about printers that feature Adobe PostScript.

Adobe PostScript Overview 
Provides a full description of PostScript, with links to white papers and related product information.

Phil's Fonts 
Phil's Fonts offers over 15,000 PostScript and TrueType fonts that you can purchase. In addition, the site offers news on new typefaces, an electronic magazine called "Insite", and related links.

Adobe PostScript fonts catalog
This a catalog of Adobe Type 1 PostScript fonts. You can search an alphabetical index and preview typefaces before you buy them.This page is from the Office of Printing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Adobe PostScript Questions and Answers
List of most commonly asked questions about Adobe PostScript from the Lund Institute of Technology of Lund University, Sweden.

Ghostscript Home Page
Describes Ghostscript, an interpreter for the PostScript language and for PDF, and related software and documentation.

Internet PostScript resources
This Internet PostScript Resources page contains links to newsgroups, FAQ's, code examples, and FTP sites. The main focus of the page is to provide PostScript programming and product development information.

Introduction to PostScript Programming
Guide to programming with the Adobe PostScript language.

PostScript antialiasing
Provides a technical brief on PostScript antialiasing.

PostScript Errors
Provides details about PostScript errors, and information to help fix corrupt files.

PostScript FAQ
This comprehensive FAQ covers introductory items, as well as information on printers, formats and conversion, fonts, books, and programming for the PostScript language.

PostScript Language Guide
Guide to the PostScript language by the University of Zurich computer center. The text is in English and German.

PostScript programming tutorial
Tutorial about PostScript programming by Lance Lovette & Marshall Brush.

Yahoo!'s HTML to PostScript converters page
Yahoo!'s directory of HTML converters for PostScript documents.

Yahoo!'s PostScript page
Yahoo!'s directory of PostScript.

related categories

Formatting Standards

Peripheral Devices


related terms

desktop publishing



laser printer

object-oriented graphics

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