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Postscript to PDF Conversion

Submit a PostScript file for conversion:

Simple Instructions

UNIX-like systems

  • You probably already know how to generate PostScript output when printing from your application. Usually simply selecting an option similar to "Print to File" should suffice. This should output a PostScript description of your printed document.
  • Find the PostScript file you saved, and submit it. You should receive a PDF file.

Windows Vista

  • I have no idea. Windows 2000/XP/2003 procedure does not seem to work.

Windows 2000/XP/2003

  • Create a PostScript file of your printed document
    • Download this PostScript printer minidriver (or without installer). This driver has a few extra settings for configuring PDF output options.
    • Run the file you downloaded. If this is the first install, you probably will receive a dialog box that says "Digital Signature Not Found". Click Yes to continue.
    • You now have a printer driver that outputs PostScript files
  • Create a PostScript file of your document
    • Print as normal from your application, but select PostScript Writer (for PDF) as the printer to print to, not your usual printer.
    • When printing, a dialog box will prompt you to save the output file. This is the PostScript output file.
  • Submit the PostScript output file you just created
    • Don't forget where you saved the PostScript output file!. You should receive a PDF file.

Windows 95/98/Me


Windows 95/98/Me should come with a PostScript driver too. Get the PPD/INF files here to install the PPD file as a printer file. Use the Add Printer Wizard to add a new printer. Choose "Have Disk" when choosing the printer model and select pdfwri.inf you just extracted. A new printer (Manufacturer Ghostscript, Model PDF Writer) should be installed. If possible, get the printer to print to file rather than to a printer port.


Get the Windows 95/98/Me package above, and use the PPD file. Somehow...



This is a script that takes as input a PostScript file. The PostScript file is passed to Ghostscript, which is configured to output a PDF file. Ghostscript is a PostScript interpreter capable of generating output for many different (non-PostScript) printers, as well as writing out PDF (Adobe Portable Document Format) files.

To generate a PDF file from any document, we can first "convert" the document into a PostScript file, then use Ghostscript to convert the PostScript file to PDF. PostScript is a language used by many laser printers, so a straightforward method of generating PostScript is to Print a document, and capturing the output (by selecting Print to File).

Windows already has a PostScript printer driver installed. A PPD (PostScript Printer Description) file (also known as a minidriver) is provided with Ghostscript, and can be installed as a Windows printer. A PPD file describes the features and options available for a PostScript printer. You could probably use a driver for any PostScript printer and generate proper PostScript files, but the PPD from Ghostscript includes some options specific to Ghostscript's PDF converter.

The Minidriver (above) installer installs the PPD from Ghostscript, and creates a local printer named "PostScript Writer (for PDF)" that is set to print to FILE:. Printing to this "printer" will create a file containing PostScript data. Ghostscript can then use this file and generate a PDF.