Friday, 12 December 2008

Open & print .ps PostScript files (Windows)

If you download / receive a document in Adobe PostScript .ps format on a Windows computer, you may find that you can't easily view it or even open it, let alone print it out. Which may be a problem if you need to read that file!

How to view or print a .PS file in Windows

The easiest way I've found to see and print PostScript files in Windows is this:

  1. Download and install GhostScript (free for non-commercial use).

  2. Download and install GhostView, aka GSview (also free).

  3. Launch Ghostview (GSview.exe) and File, Open the .ps file in GhostView - not in Ghost Script, which just presents a scary blank window. It should display fine in Ghost View:

  4. Then just read or print it from GhostView as normal - make sure that "Windows GDI printer" is ticked under "Print Method", outlined in red below (it should be already, but check it in case):

Related tips / issues

Convert PS file to PDF

With GhostView you can easily convert the currently-open PS file to the more common PDF file format.

Choose File menu, Convert, and OK the default options (or tweak 'em first if you want, e.g. to convert only selected pages):

Then just browse to where you want to save the .pdf file, and enter the filename you want (but after the filename make sure you add ".pdf" without the quotes, before you finally hit "Save").

Automatically open .ps file in web browser

A bonus is that after you install GhostView, if you click a link to a PostScript file in a web browser like Internet Explorer or Firefox, and you choose Open, it will thereafter automatically open in GhostView.


PostScript is used a lot for electronic publishing / desktop publishing, e.g. by universities / academics, but perhaps not very often otherwise. Still, sometimes when you're searching for information on the internet, what you're looking may be available only as a PS file.

When I was trying to find help or a guide on how to print a Postscript file, at first I could only find webpages or posts which advised using PrintFile or doing even scarier tweaks - but it takes time to try to figure out and input the right settings for your particular printer, and it just didn't work for me however much I tweaked things. The method I suggest above is much easier, simpler and faster: I hope this tip saves you some time trying to hunt for solution to the Windows PostScript printing issue!

1 comment:

petia t said...

Awesome - thanks so much for some very useful info!