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Definition

Postscript

Contributor(s): Richard Svensson

Postscript is a programming language that describes the appearance of a printed page. It was developed by Adobe in 1985 and has become an industry standard for printing and imaging. All major printer manufacturers make printers that contain or can be loaded with Postscript software, which also runs on all major operating system platforms. A Postscript file can be identified by its ".ps" suffix.

Postscript describes the text and graphic elements on a page to a black-and-white or color printer or other output device, such as a slide recorder, imagesetter, or screen display. Postscript handles industry-standard, scalable typeface in the Type 1 and TrueType formats. Users can convert Postscript files to the Adobe Portable Document Format ( PDF ) using the Adobe Acrobat product. PDF files present the document's printed appearance on a display screen. (You'll find many PDF documents for downloading and viewing from Web sites; you'll need to download the Acrobat viewer as a plug-in .) Adobe sells a more sophisticated product called Supra for print-on-demand and production printing.

Note that the average home laser printer is not a Postscript printer; which is somewhat more expensive and more frequently purchased for business use. (However, they aren't that expensive and Postscript printers for home or small business use are worth considering.)

This was last updated in May 2010

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