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 GS(1)                              9.14                               GS(1)
 Ghostscript                                                     Ghostscript

                                26 March 2014

      gs - Ghostscript (PostScript and PDF language interpreter and

      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
      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), interpreting
      each line separately and output to an output device (may be a file or
      an X11 window 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 keyboard).

      The interpreter recognizes many option switches, some of which are
      described below. Please see the usage documentation for complete
      information. 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
      Ghostscript: invoke Ghostscript and type

           devicenames ==

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 GS(1)                              9.14                               GS(1)
 Ghostscript                                                     Ghostscript

                                26 March 2014

      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
      "-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".

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 GS(1)                              9.14                               GS(1)
 Ghostscript                                                     Ghostscript

                                26 March 2014

      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
      systems, 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

           gs -sDEVICE=bbox

      prints out

           %%BoundingBox: 0 25 583 732
           %%HiResBoundingBox: 0.808497 25.009496 582.994503 731.809445

      -- filename arg1 ...

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 GS(1)                              9.14                               GS(1)
 Ghostscript                                                     Ghostscript

                                26 March 2014

           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.

           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
           supplied 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
           -dDEVICEYRESOLUTION=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

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 GS(1)                              9.14                               GS(1)
 Ghostscript                                                     Ghostscript

                                26 March 2014

           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
           interactively 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
      "systemdict" 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 definitions 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 rendering.

           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
           recommended for spoolers, conversion scripts or other sensitive
           environments where a badly written or malicious PostScript
           program code must be prevented from changing important files.

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 GS(1)                              9.14                               GS(1)
 Ghostscript                                                     Ghostscript

                                26 March 2014

           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 output
           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

      This mode also sets the .LockSafetyParams parameter of the initial
      output 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 unrestricted.

      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

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 GS(1)                              9.14                               GS(1)
 Ghostscript                                                     Ghostscript

                                26 March 2014

      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

      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
          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 ":".

           String of options to be processed before the command line options

           Used to specify an output device

           Path names used to search for fonts

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 GS(1)                              9.14                               GS(1)
 Ghostscript                                                     Ghostscript

                                26 March 2014

           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 display
           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

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 GS(1)                              9.14                               GS(1)
 Ghostscript                                                     Ghostscript

                                26 March 2014

      This document was last revised for Ghostscript version 9.14.

      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.

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