GNU Ghostscript Documentation
The documents below are from GNU Ghostscript 3.33.
If you have a copy of Ghostscript 3.33, you will have these documents.
The latest version of these files can be obtained with
GNU Ghostscript from
What if I'm a new user?
If you are a new user of Ghostscript, you should start by reading:
Then read as many of the following as seem relevant:
information about how to install and use Ghostscript. This
information is also contained in gs.1 - a `man' page for Ghostscript.
- information specifically for new users.
The catalog at the beginning of devs.mak, which lists all the devices for
which Ghostscript is able to produce output (although if you got Ghostscript
in binary form, it will only include a subset of these devices).
more detailed information about specific devices that
Ghostscript knows about.
more detailed information about some of
the shell scripts and batch files distributed with Ghostscript.
If you have Aladdin Ghostscript, as opposed to the GNU Ghostscript releases
distributed by the Free Software Foundation, you should read (or at least
If you are going to compile Ghostscript, rather than just use an
executable you got from somewhere, you should read:
- additional information about Aladdin Ghostscript releases
that is not relevant to GNU Ghostscript releases.
If you run into any questions, or if you are going to be using
Ghostscript extensively, you should at least skim, and probably
- how to install, compile and link Ghostscript.
There is also a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) file available on the
- information about the fonts distributed with
Ghostscript, including how to add or replace fonts.
- A description of the Ghostscript language, and its
differences from the documented PostScript language.
- information about the .ps files distributed with
Ghostscript (other than fonts).
What should I read if I'm not a new user?
When you receive a new release of Ghostscript, you should start by reading:
- The first file to read
- The GNU General Public License, under which
GNU Ghostscript is distributed.
- information about problems, and major changes and new
features in the current release.
If you have used a previous release of Ghostscript, you probably
should also read any more recent sections of:
- a complete, detailed history of changes in the most recent
What if I'm a developer?
If you are going to be writing a new driver for Ghostscript, you
If you are considering distributing Ghostscript (either Aladdin or GNU
versions) in conjunction with a commercial product, you should read the
PUBLIC license carefully, and you should also read:
- the interface between Ghostscript and device drivers.
- the interface between Ghostscript and platform-supplied
fonts. (Read drivers.doc first.)
If you intend to use Ghostscript in the form of a DLL under OS/2 or
Microsoft Windows, you should read:
- additional clarification of the circumstances under which
Ghostscript can be distributed with a commercial product.
If you intend to use Ghostscript as part of another program and not as a
DLL, rather than as a self-contained executable application, you should
start by reading:
- documentation on Ghostscript as a DLL.
- the documented API for Ghostscript not as a DLL.
- notes on the architecture of device handling in
- documentation for the PostScript to EPSI conversion
- a note of thanks to all the people who have helped with
- information about the Hershey fonts, which are the
basis of some of the Ghostscript fonts.
- a history of changes in older Ghostscript releases.
- a humorous comment on Ghostscript contributed by a user.
- information about the Ghostscript library.
- information about how to integrate Ghostscript with
Unix printer spooling.
Updated 18 December 1997