GS(1)                              Ghostscript                             GS(1)

       gs - Ghostscript (PostScript and PDF language interpreter and previewer)

       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 inter‐
       preter 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. 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 informa‐
       tion. 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, 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 ==

       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-den‐
       sity (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


       You  might want to print each page separately.  To do this, send the out‐
       put to a series of files ",, ..." using  the  "-sOutput‐
       File=" switch with "%d" in a filename template:


       Each  resulting  file receives one page of output, and the files are num‐
       bered in sequence.  "%d" is a printf format specification; you  can  also
       use a variant like "%02d".

       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  sys‐
       tems, 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  Post‐
       Script  (or  EPS) file, Ghostscript provides a special "device" that just
       prints out this information.

       For example, using one of the example files distributed with Ghostscript,

            gs -sDEVICE=bbox

       prints out

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

       -- filename arg1 ...
              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"  opera‐
              tor) and may contain no whitespace.

       -dname 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 sup‐
              plied 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  -dDEVICEYRESOLU‐
              TION=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 resolutions.

              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  interac‐
              tively  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.

              Disables the "deletefile" and "renamefile" operators and the abil‐
              ity to open files in any mode other than read-only.  This 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.

              Leaves "systemdict" writable.  This is necessary when running spe‐
              cial  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  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 install
       Ghostscript with GSview.  Run "gs -h" to find the location of Ghostscript
       documentation on your system, from which you can get more details.  On  a
       Debian system they are in /usr.

              Startup files, utilities, and basic font definitions

              More font definitions from the gsfonts package
              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 directo‐
       ries 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 any;

       3.  the directories specified by the GS_LIB_DEFAULT macro in  the  Ghost‐
           script  makefile  when the executable was built.  When gs is built on
           Unix,    GS_LIB_DEFAULT    is    usually     "/usr/local/share/ghost‐
           script/#.##:/usr/local/share/ghostscript/fonts"  where  "#.##" repre‐
           sents  the  Ghostscript  version  number.  They  are  "/usr/share/gs-
           gpl/#.## on a Debian system".

       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

       GS_LIB Path names for initialization files and fonts

       TEMP   Where temporary files are made

       Ghostscript, or more properly the X11 display device, looks for the  fol‐
       lowing 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 WidthOf‐
              Screen 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

       This document was last revised for Ghostscript version 9.05.

       Artifex  Software, Inc. are the primary maintainers of Ghostscript.  Rus‐
       sell J. Lang, gsview at, is the author of most of the  MS
       Windows code in Ghostscript.

9.05                             8 February 2012                           GS(1)