How to view and print PostScript files

The papers that have been uploaded to the Penn Linguistics web site are primarily PostScript files. They can be downloaded to your local computer using the web browser itself and then printed out or read on screen. To print or read the files, you may need some additional software. This software varies by computer and operating system type.

Note that you do not need any extra software in order to create PostScript versions of your documents. Consult the page "How to make your papers available for downloading" for more information.

Printing PostScript files

Unix systems
On Unix computers the standard printing utilities lp and lpr can print PostScript files to PostScript capable printers (which includes most laserprinters). If your browser is set up to let you view PostScript files by starting ghostview automatically (which Netscape does on babel), then you can just use the Print option in ghostview.
On Macintosh computers with drag-and-drop printing (that's the ones that have a printer icon on the desktop) you can print a PostScript file simply by dropping it onto a laserprinter icon. On older systems, you'll need the print utility DropPS to send a PostScript file to a PostScript-capable printer. To use it, download the file, and then drag and drop it onto the DropPS icon.
Many PC printers do not understand PostScript, and you need an appropriate utility to convert the PostScript file to the printing language used by your printer. The simplest answer seems to be to use the printing capability of ghostview (see below), which can be used to print to a large variety of PC printers.

If you do have access to a PostScript printer, you can print a PostScript file by simply sending it to the printer. In the DOS prompt, type

     type FILE.PS > LPT1:

(Assuming that your document is called FILE.PS and your printer is connected to LPT1:). However, some PostScript-capable printers need to be sent a code that turns on PostScript mode, in which case this method will not work and you must use ghostview.

Viewing PostScript files onscreen

Onscreen viewing requires the ghostscript program (which can also be used to print PostScript files). This program and the associated utility ghostview are available for Unix, Macintosh, and DOS/Windows machines from the Ghostscript page. There is also a convenient freeware version of Ghostview for the Mac from the CMacTeX page.

How to view and print PDF files

Some of our on-line documents are now available in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). These files can be read on screen and printed from Macintosh, Unix and Windows computers, using the free Acrobat Reader available from Adobe for all of these platforms.

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