About Ghostscript and Ghostview
Last modified: 12 December 2008
Ghostscript is a program for displaying PostScript graphics. Ghostview is a convenient user interface to Ghostscript. Both are freely available on the Net.
If you want to view PostScript documents with a Web Browser (e.g. Netscape, Mosaic,...) you should install Ghostscript and possibley Ghostview. If you are using a Mac, Ghostscript should be sufficient (the Mac version already has a Graphical User Interface), but for Unix or MS-DOS you will probably also want to get Ghostview to serve as the user interface to Ghostscript. Instructions for setting up Ghostview to be your "external viewer" for PostScript documents on Unix machines are given below, although nowadays most web browsers are configured to do so by default.
You can get Ghostscript and Ghostview from the sources listed below. Installation instructions are generally included in the distribution.
Ghostscript is now distributed in two different versions, with two different licenses. The Aladdin version, distributed by Aladdin Enterprises, is more recent and is covered by the Aladdin Ghostscript Free Public License (AFPL), which prohibits commercial distrubution (unless you get a commercial license from Artifex Software Inc., which is the only entity currently authorized by Aladdin to grant such licenses). The GNU version is the Aladdin version of about a year ago, and is covered by the GNU Public License (GPL). It is therefore now called "GPL Ghostscript".
- Aladdin Ghostscript
- Obtaining AFPL Ghostscript 8.54
(the latest Aladin version, as of 1 June 2006).
- GNU Ghostscript
- Obtaining GPL Ghostscript 8.51
(the latest GPL release, dated 27 May 2006).
- GNU Version for Unix from the GNU project at MIT.
Anonymous ftp to prep.ai.mit.edu. Look for a binary file with a name like gnu-ghostscript-8.55.tar.bz2 (the version number might be different).
GhostviewThe original Ghostview has evolved into several different "front-end" tools for viewing PostScript using Ghostscript:
- Ghostview, Gv, MGv, and GSview
- Ghostview for Unix from the GNU project at MIT.
- MacGSView for MacOS X
Selecting Ghostview as your external viewer in Unix
X Windows browsers such as Netscape and Mosaic should be able to use ghostview automatcially if it is installed, but if you have any problems you can configure them explicitly to do so.
- For Netscape Navigator, select the "Options" menu, then select "General Preferences" and go to the "Helpers" page. Look for a Description line that reads "application/postscript" and make the "Handle By" entry read "ghostview %s". If you don't have an entry for "application/postscript" already then add one.
- If you are using Mosaic, then you can have ghostscript selected as your PostScript viewer by adding a line to a file called .mailcap your home directory. Simply place in this file a line containing the following:application/PostScript; ghostview %s
Netscape (version 1.1 or later), Mosaic (2.4 or later) and current beta versions of Lynx will take care of unpacking files compressed with the Unix compress utility (files ending in .Z) or the GNU gzip utility (files ending in .gz), though some versions of Mosaic seem to have problems getting this step right.
If you are using some other browser (OmniWeb, Microsoft's Internet Explorer) then you may want to look at the instructions for your browser, and/or in the xxx archives at Los Alamos (see below).
- Ghostscript, Ghostview and GSview (The Ghostscript Home Page).
- Ghostscript Frequently Asked Questions page.
- Ghostscript/Ghostview README
- About HyperTeX FAQ from Los Alamos
Compiled by Eric Myers <email@example.com> Last Updated: 25 July 2000
Copyright © 1998,1999 by Eric Myers
PostScript is a trademark of Adobe Systems Incorporated.