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Creating a Postscript File

To create a PostScript file from your word-processing program

  • Verify that have a PostScript printer driver installed on your computer. If your computer has a PS printer driver installed, skip the following Download and Install steps. Note that Unix and Linux systems applications usually produce generic PostScript directly and do not need any drivers to download.

Download a PostScript Printer Driver

  • If you do not have a PostScript printer driver installed on your computer, you will need to install a generic (non-device-specific) color PostScript printer driver. You only have to install the driver once but you will need to have administrative rights to your PC to do it. If someone else manages the PC for you, you may need to ask them to install the driver. Once the driver is installed, you can create PostScript files at any time.
  • Download Adobe's self-installing executable PostScript driver, universal installer version 1.0.6 or later, for Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP. If you wish to browse for a particular version or language, search Adobe's web site. Save the downloaded file, winsteng.exe, to a temporary location, such as C:\TEMP. You will also need a PostScript Printer Description (PPD) file for the model of printer that you will be using. The Generic Color PostScript PPD defpscol.ppd is a suitable PPD file for most uses. Right-click and "Save Target As..." on this file, defpscol.ppd, and save it to the same temporary location as you downloaded the driver.

Install the PostScript Printer Driver

  • Find the file winsteng.exe which you downloaded earlier and double-click on it to run it.
  • Accept the license agreement.
  • Choose the connection type Local Printer (rather than Network Printer).
  • When asked to choose a port to connect the printer to, choose FILE: (rather than COM1:, COM2:, etc.)
  • When asked to choose a printer model, you can choose the option Generic PostScript Printer, but if you would like to print in color as well as Black and White, click on the Browse button and browse to the location where you saved defpscol.ppd earlier and choose Generic Color PostScript.
  • If asked, do not make this your default printer.
  • Do not try to print a test page yet.
  • If asked, say you do wish to configure your printer and check that the default paper size is set to A4 or Letter (US Standard), depending on your preference.

Create a PostScript File

  • Open your manuscript in the Word Processing program in which it was created.
  • From the File menu, choose Print and select the Generic Color PostScript printer which you have just installed from the list of available printers and click on OK.
  • A box should then pop up with Print to File in the title bar and a box for you to type in the name of a file. The name it wants is the name of a temporary output file where it will put the text and codes that would normally be sent directly to the printer. Do not put in the name of the file that you are printing or you will overwrite it. If, for example, the file that you are printing is called manuscript.doc, then it is a useful convention to call the output file manuscript.ps.
  • If the Print to File box does not give you the option to navigate to where you would like the output file to go, you will need to give the full pathname, like this:

Print To File Graphic

  • Click on OK and the output file will be created. To confirm, navigate to the folder where you sent the output file (C:\TEMP in the example above), and find your file - it should be called manuscript.ps but you may find that Windows has added an extra .prn suffix, making it manuscript.ps.prn.

Confirm and upload

  • This is the file that you will upload to SPIE through http://MySPIE.org. If you wish to check it before submitting, right click on the file and choose Open With... from the context menu. Scroll down the list until you get to Notepad and select it, then click OK.
  • Notepad should open with your file loaded. If you see something like this, then you have been successful in creating a PostScript file:


%%Title: Microsoft Word - manuscript.doc

%%Creator: PScript5.dll Version 5.2.2

%%CreationDate: 12/22/2006 16:7:54

%%For: mattn %%BoundingBox: (atend)

%%Pages: (atend)

%%Orientation: Portrait

%%PageOrder: Ascend

%%DocumentNeededResources: (atend)

%%DocumentSuppliedResources: (atend)

%%DocumentData: Clean7Bit

%%TargetDevice: (Acrobat Distiller) (3011.104) 0

%%LanguageLevel: 3


  • Note: if you wish to view the Manuscript PostScript file, not the PostScript code as you see in Notepad, try downloading and installing Ghostview for this purpose.
  • Upload this PostScript file to SPIE at http://MySPIE.org. (File size must be 45MB or smaller)

To create a PostScript file from a PDF file

  • To create a PostScript file from a PDF file, you can either:
  1. print to file following the same steps outlined above for word processing programs, or
  2. if you have a full version of Adobe Acrobat (not Reader), you can simply go to File/Save As… and save as a .ps file.

**Note: there is a higher likelihood of fonts and symbols dropping or substituting when printing to file from PDF.

  • Follow the Confirm and upload instructions.

To create a PostScript file from LaTeX style files