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		    a2ps README

           (or PRINTME if a2ps runs fine :)

Please send problem reports to  Ask questions on  Submit changes on

Please send happiness messages to both Akim, Miguel & Masayuki
(,,, and
*only* this kind of messages. 

See the file ANNOUNCE for a presentation of a2ps, if you're still
unsure it is indeed a filter from Anything To Probably Something.


1. Installation
2. Upgrading from versions prior to 4.10
3. Upgrading from versions prior to 4.12
4. Upgrading from versions prior to 4.13
5. Distribution content
6. More?

1. Installation

Some notes on the distribution:

Most of the work for the installation is done by ./configure.  If you
never ever read the file `INSTALL', then you really should do it

Some choices are to make, and to give to ./configure

    	if you do not want to use Native Language Support
    	(i.e. the ability to speak another tongue than English)
    	if you want to use the GNU gettext library for
    	NLS, instead of available NLS services.  I recommend it.
    	Fewer files will get installed.  a2ps is still usable
    	for Western Europe and American.  You should avoid unless
    	you are really short on disk.  This does not imply
    	--disable-nls, you have to add it yourself.

The following choices *are not irreversible*.  They just correspond to
settings in the file etc/a2ps-site.cfg:

    	define the default medium used by a2ps (A4, Letter etc.)
    	There is a special medium name: `libpaper', which means
    	that you have libpaper installed, and that a2ps should
    	use the medium specified by it.  If you don't know,
    	just let configure decide for you.  You can change it later.
    	define the default encoding (ascii, latin1..., latin6,
    	hp, mac, ibmpc, pcg, cp1250).

Note (for novices). If you are not root, you should give
./configure the option --prefix=$HOME to be able to install.

There are several things a2ps needs to know about your system in
order to work properly.  Running configure should be enough to have
apropriate values, nevertheless, it sure is better if you good check
the following items:

1. At the end of etc/a2ps_cfg, the lines
  a. FileCommand:
  b. Variable: lp.default
  c. Variable: lp

2. At the top of etc/a2ps-site.cfg, the lines
  a. Options: --encoding=
  b. Options: --medium=

There are some architectures, typically Solaris, that will fail saying
that symbols `bindtextdomain' etc. are missing.  Then re-configure but
specifying --with-included-gettext.

Remember that \`make install' is mandatory for a2ps to work correctly.
Once the \`make install' done, you may remove the build directory (the
one which has been extracted from the .gz, which you can also removed,

If you encounter problems while configuring or running, it is likely
that somebody already fell on the same problems.  Hence please read

which lists the known problems, and the fixes.  Check out also for the
FAQ, and for a newer version of a2ps: don't send me reports for
prehistoric versions!

If the trouble persists, then, indeed, you may wish to send a bug
report (i.e. something *precise* about the problem and your
configuration :-) to

Do not, *ever*, send bug reports to  Well, pleeeeeease,
I mean.

2. Upgrading from versions prior to 4.10

Because the organization of the library files is different, it is
strongly suggested to get rid of your old library files (usually rm
-rf .../share/a2ps is enough).

There _will_be_ problems if you don't remove them, because the new
a2ps may use files meant for the old versions.  If you don't want to
remove these files, at least make sure they won't be installed in the
same place.

There can be strange things happening with `make check'.  This is due
to a painful behavior of some shared library handlers: they use an old
a2ps library with the new a2ps executable.

Doing `make install' _before_ make check solves the problem.

3. Upgrading from versions prior to 4.12

The most sensitive changes in the interface are that -D no longer
means --setpagedevice, but --define, and -S no longer means
--statusdict, but --setpagedevice.

4. Upgrading from versions prior to 4.13

There's a big change in the syntax of the style sheets.  I must
confess I took a very bad decision when I first implemented this: I
wanted to be compatible with the regexp of Emacs, for obscure and not
really interesting reasons.

*All* the style sheets shipped with a2ps are updated (of course,
otherwise my life would be in danger).  While I did try, I probably
didn't managed to fix your own .ssh file hidden on your disk.  So you
may have to handle this by yourself.  Here's the piece of NEWS stating
the problem:

 * Regexp are now \`egrep'  and \`Perl' like, and no longer \`Emacs' like.
   Before some characters had to be backslashed to denote the
   operators.  Now, it is just the contrary.  For instance before
   `\\(' and `\\)' used to be the grouping operator and `(' and `)'
   were standing for the characters parentheses; while now it is the
   Affected characters are `(', `)', `|', `{', and `}'.
   Make sure to update your own style sheets.

5. Distribution content

Some interesting files/directories you might want to look at are:

README		This message
INSTALL		Information on the installation process
ABOUT_NLS	A presentation of GNU's Native Language Support
TODO		Some things to be done
afm/		Files that describe the width of the chars of a font
arch/		Files to help to port a2ps to non Unix OSes
doc/		The whole documentation
encoding/	Description of the encodings.
etc/a2ps_cfg	The default configuration (after configure/make)
po/		Files for the translation
sheets/		Style sheets for pretty printing support
tests/          Sanity checks of a2ps
contrib/emacs/	Useful emacs files for a2ps
contrib/sample/	A sample on using liba2ps
ogonkify/	The full distribution of the fantastic
		ogonkify package, that fixes a font designed for
		Latin1 so that other Latin encodings are supported.

6. More ?

a2ps has a home page where the latest version may be found.

There, you will also find the documentation in various formats.

There is also a mailing list, to subscribe please see

*NOTE* The mailing list is not a place to drop your bug reports or the
problems you have.  It is a place to discuss about a2ps, to make the
announcements, wishes etc.  Before sending a mail there, remember many
people will read your mail.

Bug reports should be sent to

PS(um): if you're happy with this program, or just if you installed
it, please _let_us_know_!   That's about the only contact we have from
the world of outside, since there are never bug reports 8*)

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