QUESTION: What is PostScript?
ANSWER: PostScript is a
language that is used for describing the text
and graphics in documents. PostScript was
invented by Adobe Systems Incorporated.
PostScript is known as a
Files that contain documents described in the
PostScript language are normally called
"PostScript files"; hence, PostScript
is known as a file format as well as
Most laser printers and imagesetters understand the PostScript
language. The Adobe Acrobat Distiller software also understands the
Sometimes a simple example can make things crystal clear - so here
is an example of what a PostScript file looks like.
This PostScript file describes a one-page document with one line
of text in twelve-point Helvetica type. If you have the Adobe
Acrobat/Adobe Acrobat Distiller software installed on your computer,
you can demonstrate for yourself how this PostScript
program works. First: highlight this little program, copy it
to the clipboard, and paste it into a text editor. Next:
save it in ASCII FORMAT (i.e., "plain-text format")
under the name PS_FILE.PS. Next: open the PS_FILE.PS file in
Adobe Acrobat Distiller and generate a PDF file
named PS_FILE.PDF. Next: open the PS_FILE.PDF file in
Adobe Acrobat (if you are using Version 4.0 or later) or in Adobe Acrobat
Exchange (if you are using Version 3.0x). Near the top of the page,
you will see the line of text shown in the program.
/Helvetica findfont 12 scalefont setfont
72 648 moveto
(This text is 1 inch from the left edge of the page and 9 inches from the bottom.)show
The Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) file format
There is a special type of PostScript file called
an Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) file. EPS is
a standard file format for importing and exporting
graphics and formatted text among different
applications. Click here
to learn about EPS files.
See also What is a page-description language?