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Page Description Language (PDL)

A page description language (PDL) developed by Adobe Systems. PostScript is primarily a language for printing documents on laser printers, but it can be adapted to produce images on other types of devices. PostScript is the standard for desktop publishing because it is supported by imagesetters, the very high-resolution printers used by service bureaus to produce camera-ready copy.

PostScript is an object-oriented language, meaning that it treats images, including fonts, as collections of geometrical objects rather than as bit maps. PostScript fonts are called outline fonts because the outline of each character is defined. They are also called scalable fonts because their size can be changed with PostScript commands. Given a single typeface definition, a PostScript printer can thus produce a multitude of fonts. In contrast, many non-PostScript printers represent fonts with bit maps. To print a bit-mapped typeface with different sizes, these printers require a complete set of bit maps for each size.

The principal advantage of object-oriented (vector) graphics over bit-mapped graphics is that object-oriented images take advantage of high-resolution output devices whereas bit-mapped images do not. A PostScript drawing looks much better when printed on a 600-dpi printer than on a 300-dpi printer. A bit-mapped image looks the same on both printers.

Every PostScript printer contains a built-in interpreter that executes PostScript instructions. If your laser printer does not come with PostScript support, you may be able to purchase a cartridge that contains PostScript.

There are three basic versions of PostScript: Level 1, Level 2 and PostScript 3. Level 2 PostScript, which was released in 1992, has better support for color printing. PostScript 3, release in 1997, supports more fonts, better graphics handling, and includes several features to speed up PostScript printing.

For pages about PostScript, . Also, check out the following links!

More Information

Outstanding Page Adobe PostScript - What's New Page
Offers information about the last version of Adobe PostScript, as well as information about printers that feature Adobe PostScript. Updated on Jul 31, 1998

Outstanding Page Adobe PostScript Overview
Provides a full description of PostScript, with links to white papers and related product information. Updated on Dec 25, 1997

Outstanding Page Phil's Fonts
Phil's Fonts offers over 15,000 PostScript and TrueType fonts that you can purchase. In addition, the site offers news on new typefaces, an electronic magazine called "Insite", and related links. Updated on Aug 7, 1997

  Ghostscript Home Page
Describes Ghostscript, an interpreter for the PostScript language and for PDF, and related software and documentation. Updated on Aug 5, 1998

  Internet PostScript resources
This Internet PostScript Resources page contains links to newsgroups, FAQ's, code examples, and FTP sites. The main focus of the page is to provide PostScript programming and product development information. Updated on Jul 20, 1998

  PostScript Errors
Provides details about PostScript errors, and information to help fix corrupt files. Updated on May 8, 1998

  PostScript Resources
Useful listing of PostScript resources, links, and information. Updated on Aug 16, 1997

  Yahoo!'s HTML to PostScript converters page
Yahoo!'s directory of HTML converters for PostScript documents. Updated on Aug 1, 1998

  Yahoo!'s PostScript page
Yahoo!'s directory of PostScript. Updated on Aug 4, 1998

  Introduction to PostScript Programming
Guide to programming with the Adobe PostScript language. Updated on Jan 1, 1998


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