Occasionally asked questions about PostScript images and PostScript files

Dan Ellis <dpwe@icsi.berkeley.edu> 1997nov21

I spend a lot of time trying to fix PS files for various documents (my own and for other projects that I'm involved in). To my horror I realized I was re-solving problems that I had worked through previously but forgotten. Time for technological memory aids! These questions are perhaps not the first ones you'd ask, but they do come up and might not be well covered in other references.

You'll notice that I haven't actually written the answers yet. I've made notes on what I intend to say. Maybe even just knowing that there's something to be said can be helpful ...

  1. What do I need to know about postscript?
  2. I have this postscript file but it doesn't come out correctly on my printer. What's the problem? How can I diagnose it?
    Possible problems:
  3. I have a postscript image that prints/previews fine on its own, but fails when I include it in a file. Why?
  4. My file does one thing under Ghostscript, but another (or nothing) under Ghostview. What's up?
  5. This file was generated by Frame 3 on a NeXT.
  6. This file was generated by Matlab 4.
  7. This file was generated from a Tk4.2 canvas.
  8. This postscript version of a scanned image or screenshot is outrageously large.