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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 and output to an output device (may be a file or an X11 win‐
       dow preview, see below).	 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 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 specify a particular device, Ghostscript normally opens  the
       first one of those and directs output to it.

       If  built  with	X11 support, often the default device is an X11 window
       (previewer), else ghostscript will typically use the  bbox  device  and
       print on stdout the dimension of the postscript file.

       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 -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 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.

	      Restricts file operations the job can perform.  Strongly	recom‐
	      mended for spoolers, conversion scripts or other sensitive envi‐
	      ronments where a badly written or malicious  PostScript  program
	      code must be prevented from changing important 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 out‐
	      put device, as described above.

       The -dSAFER option disables the "deletefile" and "renamefile" operators
       and  prohibits opening piped commands ("%pipe%cmd"). Only "%stdout" and
       "%stderr" can be opened for writing.  It	 also  disables	 reading  from
       files, except for "%stdin", files given as a command line argument, and
       files contained in paths given by LIBPATH and FONTPATH or specified  by
       the system params /FontResourceDir and /GenericResourceDir.

       This mode also sets the .LockSafetyParams parameter of the initial out‐
       put device to protect against programs that attempt to write  to	 files
       using  the  OutputFile  device  parameter.  Since the device parameters
       specified on the command line, including OutputFile, are set  prior  to
       SAFER  mode,  use  of  "-sOutputFile=..."  on the command line is unre‐

       SAFER mode prevents changing the /GenericResourceDir, /FontResourceDir,
       /SystemParamsPassword, and /StartJobPassword.

       While SAFER mode is not the default, it is the default for many wrapper
       scripts such as ps2pdf and may be the default in a  subsequent  release
       of  Ghostscript.	 Thus when running programs that need to open files or
       set restricted parameters you should pass the  -dNOSAFER	 command  line
       option or its synonym -dDELAYSAFER.

       When running with -dNOSAFER it is possible to perform a "save" followed
       by ".setsafe", execute a file or procedure in SAFER mode, and then  use
       "restore"  to  return  to  NOSAFER  mode.  In order to prevent the save
       object from being restored  by  the  foreign  file  or  procedure,  the
       ".runandhide"  operator should be used to hide the save object from the
       restricted procedure.

       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
       details. On a Debian system they are in /usr.

	      Startup files, utilities, and basic font definitions

	      More font definitions from the gsfonts package

	      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.  They  are  "/usr/share/gs-
	   gpl/#.## on a Debian system".

       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 9.10.

       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.

9.10				30 August 2013				 GS(1)

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