Although uncommon these days, it’s easy it is to create a PostScript or EPS 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 so, you can simply “print to file”. If not, you must Install a PostScript Printer Driver before going any further.
Print to a PostScript File
- Open your file within your application and then select “File…”, “Print”
- Choose your PostScript printer. Note that you can install 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.
To Install the Generic Microsoft PostScript Driver
Under “Settings, Devices, Printers & Scanners -> Add Printers and Scanners, click on “The Printer i want isn’t listed”. Next, choose the last option, “Add a local printer or network printer with manual settings”. On the drop-down for “Use and Existing Port”, Choose “File (Print to File)”. Then, choose “Microsoft, Microsoft PS Class driver“. This is a universal PostScript driver. Once it’s installed, just choose it when printing your file. By default, it will create a PRN file. If you want, you can change this extension to .ps or.eps.
Not all printers are PostScript printers. Here are some things to watch out for when creating a PostScript file:
- 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.
- Not all printer drivers downloaded from Windows Update are listed in “Add Printer” wizard
What Types of PostScript Files Need Conversion?
Many scientific, engineering and illustration applications output PostScript and EPS files. In order to take the output from these applications and use it in documentation, publishing 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 for publishing systems like FrameMaker
- Data plots from medical and technical instruments
- Drawings from CAD systems such as UniGraphics, CATIA, Microstation
Visual Integrity Knows PostScript and EPS
All of Visual Integrity’s developer tools can convert PostScript into vector and image formats as well as extract text from them. They can also create PostScript from several file types.
AbbVie, formerly a part of Abbott Laboratories, relies on software and instruments in its labs that can only generate data plots by printing. To move them into a digital format, they print ‘to file’ using a PostScript printer driver. Since 1996, they have used PDF FLY to convert the resulting PostScript files into WMF, the format required by their NuGenesis scientific data management system where files can be viewed and plots can be searched based on text strings.
PDF FLY brings CAD drawings into Microsoft Word.
Broadcom, a diversified global semiconductor leader, designs semiconductors and software that accelerate storage and networking in datacenters and mobile networks. Internally, in the writing group, Broadcom uses PDF FLY on Windows to bring PostScript electronics design diagrams from Cadence into their MS Word documentation as scaleable and editable WMF graphics.
Swiss Life, a leading international specialist for risk, life and pensions solutions, automates archival of upwards of 20,000 pages of print correspondence per day in the TIFF format. They are delivered as PostScript print files and run through a conversion service based on FLY Batch Server based in Zurich.
Images for Web-based Repair Manuals
GE Aviation, the world’s leading producer of both large and small jet engines, runs PDF FLY Server as part of an automated EMC Documentum platform + Epic XML publishing flow. PDF FLY produces Web images from UniGraphics drawings and Office graphics delivered to the system as PostScript files for incorporation into repair manuals.
Convert Graphics from NATO Members
Raytheon’s Electronic Warfare Systems is a world leader in the development and production of EW system solutions for strategic and tactical aircraft, helicopters, and surface ships for the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and their international counterparts. They chose PDF FLY to move technical graphics from multinational NATO contract vendors into their own commercial AIMSS IETM system as ActiveCGM-compatible CGM files.
PDF FLY was chosen for several key reasons:
- PDF FLY easily handles both PostScript and EPS,
- PDF FLY provides the utmost flexibility for font mapping and embedding
- PDF FLY was very tolerant of a wide variety of source files with a 99%+ successful conversion rate.
- PDF FLY offers a batch mode which converts a large number of files at once.
Raytheon has been a Visual Integrity customer since 1998
The U.S. Coast Guard Aviation Logistics Center in Elizabeth City, MD overhauls and makes major repairs and modifications to all Coast Guard aircraft and associated equipment. They use PDF FLY to convert aircraft manuals illustrations from PostScript, EPS and PDF into the CGM format for authoring in their internal publishing system. Central to their decision to use PDF FLY was its ability to precisely control orientation and scale of output. Font mapping was also key.
The U.S. Coast Guard has been a Visual Integrity customer since 2004.
Mentor Graphics® is a leader in electronic design automation (EDA) software. Mentor Graphics integrated export options into their FPGA/PLD Integrated Design Flow Software using the FLY SDK using the PostScript format as the basis. This added functionality gives electronics designers the option to export diagrams in MIF and other vector file formats such as WMF to ensure compatibility with their varied publishing tools.
Airbus, a leading aircraft manufacturer, integrates FLY SDK into a proprietary server application used by their airline customers. When the application is fed PDF and PostScript files, FLY SDK drives the automatic extraction of vector graphics as CGM, raster images as TIFF or JPEG and text as ASCII. Airbus chose Visual Integrity because of excellent support, willingness to collaborate on custom features, multi-platform support (Sun Solaris, Microsoft Windows) and general quality of all output formats. Airbus has been a Visual Integrity customer since 2005
As the first company to introduce commercial linen services to the world in Lincoln, Nebraska 1889, Alsco is used to pioneering solutions. Alsco Inc., now a worldwide leader in their area, deployed the PDF FLY Server on Solaris and Linux servers across North America as an integrated part of their corporate document archiving system to extract data from PostScript print files.