gs (GhostScript) cheat sheet

Aug 28, 2012
Cheat-sheet for versatile interpreter GhostScript. It can be used to tweak, convert, produce high quality Postscript and PDF files.

Convert postscript (ps) to pdf:

gs -q -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOutputFile=fileout.pdf

Merge ps and/or pdf:

gs -q -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOutputFile=fileout.pdf filein2.pdf filein3.pdf

Extract page(s) from a ps or a pdf document:

gs -q -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dFirstPage=3 -dLastPage=3 -sOutputFile=fileout.pdf

Embed fonts in a pdf:

gs -q -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOutputFile=fileout.pdf -dPDFSETTINGS=/prepress -dEmbedAllFonts=true -dSubsetFonts=true -dCompatibilityLevel=1.6 filein.pdf

Convert images to pdf:

Check this post. Or else use ImageMagic's convert.

PDF optimization options

-dPDFSETTINGS=/screen (screen-view-only quality, 72 dpi images) -dPDFSETTINGS=/ebook (low quality, 150 dpi images) -dPDFSETTINGS=/printer (high quality, 300 dpi images) -dPDFSETTINGS=/prepress (high quality, color preserving, 300 dpi imgs) -dPDFSETTINGS=/default (almost identical to /screen)

Paper size options

-sPAPERSIZE=letter -sPAPERSIZE=a4 -dDEVICEWIDTHPOINTS=w -dDEVICEHEIGHTPOINTS=h (point=1/72 of an inch) -dFIXEDMEDIA (force paper size over the PostScript defined size) -gWIDTHxHEIGHT (page size in pixels)

Output devices:

-sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sDEVICE=ps2write -sDEVICE=png16m (24-bit RGB color) -sDEVICE=pnggray (grayscale) -sDEVICE=pngmono (black-and-white) -sDEVICE=pngalpha (32-bit RGBA color) -sDEVICE=jpeg (color JPEG) -sDEVICE=jpeggray (grayscale JPEG) -sDEVICE=epswrite (encapsulated postscript) -sDEVICE=txtwrite (text output, UTF-8) Check -sOutputFile below, for separate images for each page of a multi-page document. Tiff, PNM and many more formats are supported. Check details in Ghostscript output devices.

Help & list of available devices:

gs -h

Other options

-dNOPAUSE (no pause after page) -dBATCH (exit after last file) -sOutputFile=ABC-%03d.pgm (produces 'ABC-001.pgm'..'ABC-010.pgm'..) -dEmbedAllFonts=true -dSubsetFonts=true (Embeds only the characters used in document) -dCompatibilityLevel=1.4 (Adobe's PDF specifications, >=1.4 for font embedding, =1.6 for OpenType font embedding) -dCompressPages=true (compress page content) -dFirstPage=pagenumber -dLastPage=pagenumber -dAutoRotatePages=/PageByPage (or /All or /None) -rXRESxYRES (XRES & YRES in pixels/inch) -rRES (same XRES & YRES, affects images and fonts converted to bitmaps) -sPDFPassword=password More details & defaults on ps2pdf documentation.
Adobe® PDF Creation Settings - Used by GhostScript.
GhostScript Documentation.