PostScript is both an input and an output format for Visual Integrity software. Before PostScript, there were dot-matrix printers and green screens. Developed in 1982 by by John Warnock and Charles Geschke at Adobe, it is still at the heart of virtually all of today’s printed pages and publishing applications. PostScript is a computer language which describes how text and graphics are combined on one page. This page description language enabled the leap from dot matrix and impact printing to laser and ink-jet printing as well as the significant improvements in screen displays. Most applications, especially scientific and engineering programs, can easily output data and reports in the PostScript language. These files can be converted into other formats using software from Visual Integrity.
Frequently Asked Questions
Many scientific and engineering applications are limited in their export capabilities but one common thread is that they can all output PostScript files. In order to take the output from these applications and use it in the documentation and book-building systems, PostScript is converted to publishing formats such as WMF, CGM, EPS, SVG and MIF. Types of graphics include:
- Schematics from EDA systems such as Mentor Graphics and Cadence
- GIS output from ArcView
- Reports and print streams from mainframes and database systems
- Graphics from legacy systems such as Interleaf and older versions of FrameMaker
- Data plots from medical and technical instruments
- Drawings from CAD systems such as UniGraphics, CATIA, Microstation
There are two basic formats for graphics – vector and image. Vector graphics are made up of objects, lines, curves and text while images are made up of a collection of dots or pixels. Images are also referred to as bitmaps or rasters.
Visual Integrity can convert most PDF files into either vector or image formats. It’s important to know which is best for the job you are doing.
If you need to break a PDF file down into objects and text for editing, then you want to choose a vector format. The vector formats supported in our software are DXF, PDF, PS, EPS, SVG, WMF, EMF, CGM, HPGL and MIF.
If you do not need to edit the file and simply want a sharp copy to insert into a document or to publish on a web-site, you’ll want to go with image formats. The image formats that we support are TIFF, GIF, PNG, JPEG and BMP. If you will be printing the graphic on a laser or ink-jet printer, convert at 150 or 300 dpi (dots per inch) resolution. If publishing to a web-site, use 96 or 72 dpi is best for screen display. Keep in mind that the higher the dpi (resolution), the larger the file size. It’s best to use the lowest resolution which achieves the level of quality you want.
Note! Scanned images can not be transformed by vector mode into lines, text and other vector objects because they are not vector source files. Instead, you will get an exact replica of the PDF as an image that can be used as a tracing layer which aids in the duplication effort. To convert scanned images into vector objects, you need a special class of software called “raster to vector”.
It is easy it is to create a PostScript file from virtually any application on a PC. Most PC’s are likely to have a PostScript printer driver configured in its printers settings. If not, you must Install a PostScript Printer Driver before going any further.
- Open your file within your application and then select “File…”, “Print”
- Choose your PostScript printer. Note that you can use any PostScript driver included with Microsoft Windows without having the actual printer since you will simply be printing to a file.
- Press “OK” to print to file. Note that the PostScript tab under Properties should be set to Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) for best results.
- You will be prompted for a file name and location. If you do not assign .ps as the extension, the default in Windows will be .PRN. Both are valid input extensions.
- Open your Visual Integrity software and when prompted for a PostScript file to convert, go to the location chosen in Step 4 and select the new .ps or .prn file for conversion.
- The extension does not matter – Some systems give printer files a default extension, like .prn or .plt. This does not matter. If the file has been created using a PostScript printer driven, the result will be a PostScript file that Visual Integrity software can convert.
- Watch out for PCL: Most HP printers use a printer language called PCL. The default mode on HP PostScript printers is usually PCL. PCL can not be converted by TGC. Be sure that your HP printer is in PostScript mode to ensure a successful conversion.
- Save directly as PostScript or EPS files – Many applications allow you to save your files as PS or EPS through their “Save as…” menu. A few even produce PostScript by default. This results in good input for our conversion engine.
- Fonts – Try to use standard PostScript fonts like Helvetica and Times New Roman. Non-PostScript fonts, such as Type 1 fonts and TrueType fonts should be embedded so that the text data is available in the PostScript file. This gives our software the best chance to preserve the fonts during conversion.