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Postscript (PS) is a programming language for printing graphics and text. Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) allows to include images into a postscript document. You can view a PS document with gv filename.ps (or ghostview) and print it with lpr filename.ps . Unlike PDF (also of Adobe) a simple text editor or a little C program suffices to produce professional graphics or text. PS can then be translated into PDF (with the command ps2pdf in Unix, by Adobe Distiller on PC or Mac).
Much about this programming language PS can be learend from examples like example.ps . An simple example to draw a hexagon.ps . The file erastotenes.ps shows the programming language feature. It is simple to make bumper stickers like sticker.ps , to make score sheets for chess scoresheet.ps (by N. Elkies ). Postscript is a programming language able to do any computation. Here is an implemntation of life.
Because PS files are ASCII text, they can easily be modified by programs. The Perl script watermark.perl (used as watermark.pl inputfile.ps>outputfile.ps) for example adds a watermark on each page. The script twopage.perl puts two pages on one. Examples, how C programs can write PS files can be found on C.T.McMullen's page .

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Frequently asked questions

Question Answer
I have a PS file in.ps with 234 pages from which I want to extract the pages 3,4,7,20 ?
 pstops 1000:3,4,7,20 in.ps>out.ps 
generates a file out.ps containing all pages which are 3,4,7,20 modulo 1000.
I want to save paper and convert a PS file in.ps into a file out.ps which contains 2 original pages on each new page.
 pstops "2:0L@.7(21cm,0)+1L@.7(21cm,12.85cm)" in.ps > out.ps 
does the job.
How do I convert a PS file in.ps into a PDF file?
 ps2pdf in.ps 
gives a PDF file in.pdf.
How do I convert a PS file in.ps into an animated GIF movie in.gif containing in each frame a page of the PS file?
 
convert in.ps in.gif 


Simplicity, Clarity, Generality B.W. Kernighan, R. Pike, in "The Practice of Programming".
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