The de facto standard page description language (PDL) in the graphics arts industry as well as in commercial printing. Developed by Adobe, many printers and most imagesetters support PostScript by having a built-in PostScript interpreter.|
Printing on a PostScript Printer
When a document is printed on a PostScript printer, it is converted to a PostScript file directly from the graphics or page layout program or by the operating system's PostScript printer driver. The PostScript interpreter in the printer converts the text commands into the printer's machine language, which rasterizes the pages and prints them. See rasterize.
When documents are sent to a commercial printer, they are sent in their native page layout format, such as InDesign or QuarkXPress, or as PDF files. The printing house then converts the documents to PostScript.
PostScript and PDF
PostScript was designed as a language to direct the printer or imagesetter hardware. Although based on PostScript, PDF was designed for viewing and interacting with the documents. See PDF and Acrobat.
Adobe PostScript Level 2, introduced in 1990, added data compression and enhancements for color printing. Level 3 (1997) added more enhancements and native fonts and the ability to directly support more formats, including HTML, PDF, GIF and JPEG.
Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) is a subset of PostScript that is used to exchange graphics in the PostScript format. The graphics content may be any combination of vector and raster graphics as well as text. See EPS, Adobe Type Manager and PostScript fonts.