18 Facts About PostScript


PostScript is a page description language in the electronic publishing and desktop publishing realm.

FactSnippet No. 1,403,158

At about this time they were visited by Steve Jobs, who urged them to adapt PostScript to be used as the language for driving laser printers.

FactSnippet No. 1,403,159

In March 1985, the Apple LaserWriter was the first printer to ship with PostScript, sparking the desktop publishing revolution in the mid-1980s.

FactSnippet No. 1,403,160

On high-end printers, PostScript processors remain common, and their use can dramatically reduce the CPU work involved in printing documents, transferring the work of rendering PostScript images from the computer to the printer.

FactSnippet No. 1,403,161

PostScript 3 came at the end of 1997, and along with many new dictionary-based versions of older operators, introduced better color handling and new filters .

FactSnippet No. 1,403,162

PostScript 3 was significant in terms of replacing the existing proprietary color electronic prepress systems, then widely used for magazine production, through the introduction of smooth shading operations with up to 4096 shades of grey, as well as DeviceN, a color space that allowed the addition of additional ink colors into composite color pages.

FactSnippet No. 1,403,163

PostScript made it possible to exploit fully these characteristics by offering a single control language that could be used on any brand of printer.

FactSnippet No. 1,403,164

PostScript went beyond the typical printer control language and was a complete programming language of its own.

FactSnippet No. 1,403,165

PostScript is noteworthy for implementing 'on-the fly' rasterization in which everything, even text, is specified in terms of straight lines and cubic Bezier curves, which allows arbitrary scaling, rotating and other transformations.

FactSnippet No. 1,403,166

PostScript avoided this problem with the inclusion of font hinting, in which additional information is provided in horizontal or vertical bands to help identify the features in each letter that are important for the rasterizer to maintain.

FactSnippet No. 1,403,167

Some basic, inexpensive laser printers do not support PostScript, instead coming with drivers that simply rasterize the platform's native graphics formats rather than converting them to PostScript first.

FactSnippet No. 1,403,168

When PostScript support is needed for such a printer, Ghostscript can be used.

FactSnippet No. 1,403,169

PostScript became commercially successful due to the introduction of the graphical user interface, allowing designers to directly lay out pages for eventual output on laser printers.

FactSnippet No. 1,403,170

However, PostScript was written with printing in mind, and had numerous features that made it unsuitable for direct use in an interactive display system.

FactSnippet No. 1,403,171

The difference between the PDF and PostScript is that the PDF lacks the general-purpose programming language framework of the PostScript language.

FactSnippet No. 1,403,172

PostScript is a Turing-complete programming language, belonging to the concatenative group.

FactSnippet No. 1,403,173

Typically, PostScript programs are not produced by humans, but by other programs.

FactSnippet No. 1,403,174

PostScript is an interpreted, stack-based language similar to Forth but with strong dynamic typing, data structures inspired by those found in Lisp, scoped memory and, since language level 2, garbage collection.

FactSnippet No. 1,403,175