What Does 'PostScript' Mean?

What is PostScript?
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PostScript is a programming language and page description language used mainly in the printing and desktop publishing industries. It was developed in the early 1980s by Adobe Systems and is now considered a standard for printing and displaying graphical content.

PostScript is a vector-based language, which means that it describes the shapes, lines, and curves of an image or document rather than the pixels that make up the image. This allows for high-quality printing and resizing of images, as the language is able to maintain the integrity of the original design.

PostScript is used in a variety of applications, including desktop publishing software, printers, and imagesetters. It is also commonly used as an intermediate language, where a document is first converted into PostScript and then rendered by another program or device.

A primary benefit of PostScript is its ability to handle complex graphics and typography. It has a large set of commands and functions that can be used to create a wide range of graphical elements, such as text, shapes, and images. This makes it ideal for use in applications that require precise control over the appearance of printed documents, such as magazines and newsletters.

Along with its graphical capabilities, PostScript also includes support for various font formats, including Type 1 and TrueType. This allows for the use of high-quality, scalable fonts in printed documents, ensuring that the text is clear and legible.

In sum, PostScript is a powerful and flexible language that has played a major role in the development of the desktop publishing industry. Its ability to handle complex graphics and typography, along with its support for various font formats, make it an essential tool for anyone working in the printing or publishing field.

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Before the creation of PostScript, various publishing systems utilized proprietary typesetting systems that frequently led to problems with compatibility between computers and printing systems. This made it difficult to produce high-quality printed documents, as different systems were unable to communicate with each other.

PostScript was developed as a solution to this problem, providing a standard language that could be used by all computers and printing systems. This allowed for the creation of portable documents that could be printed accurately on any system that supported PostScript.

In conjunction with solving the compatibility issues that plagued the printing industry, PostScript also introduced many other innovations that revolutionized the way documents were created and printed.

Its vector-based language allowed for high-quality printing and resizing of images, and its support for various font formats made it possible to use high-quality, scalable fonts in printed documents.

As a matter of fact, PostScript also played a key role in the development of Adobe Acrobat, as it provided the foundation for the PDF file format. Adobe Acrobat uses PostScript to generate PDF files, and many of the features of Acrobat, such as the ability to include hyperlinks, annotations, and forms, are based on PostScript technology.

Generally speaking, the introduction of PostScript had a major impact on the publishing industry, making it possible to produce high-quality printed documents with greater ease and accuracy.