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Distiller on the Web

What is PS2PDF? -- Distiller on the Web

Distiller on the Web is provided for those that do not have the full Acrobat suite available to create Adobe PDF files from their documents. Distiller converts PostScript files to PDF format. To use it, you need to print to a PostScript file rather than to a physical printer, then upload the PostScript file to the Distiller interface on the web. This is done by clicking on the Browse button and selecting the PostScript file, which must have a .ps extension! In Netscape, you will need to look for Files of all types (by default it looks only for .html files).

You will get a PDF file in return, which will open in the Acrobat Reader. Click the disk icon in Acrobat Reader to save it to your hard disk. Afterwards you should delete the PostScript file that you uploaded to save disk space.

How to make a PostScript file for uploading to PS2PDF

Instructions for:   Windows   Macintosh   Unix

How to create PostScript files in Windows
  • As first step (one-time only), you need to set up a printer that creates PostScript files.
  • Then you simply print to this printer (you can also choose the "Print to file" option for any other PostScript printer in the Windows print dialogue).
  • Whenever you print to file, you will be prompted for a filename and location.
  • Give the file any name you like, but make sure to replace the default ".prn" extension by ".ps", so that the server knows that this is a PostScript file.
  • It is recommended to put the PostScript file on the desktop and trash it right after successful conversion to PDF format, as PostScript files tend to be very large.
Setting up a Windows 95/98/NT printer for making PostScript files
  1. Select Start button > Settings > Printers and double-click the icon named "Add Printer". The Add Printer Wizard will launch. Keep these instructions open in your web-browser while going through the process.
  2. Click Next, then confirm that you wish to define a local printer by clicking Next again.
  3. Windows will then display a list of printer drivers it knows about.
  4. While theoretically any PostScript printer driver should work, it is recommended to choose the QMS-PS 810 for black-and-white output (scroll down to QMS on the left, then pick the PS 810 on the right). Click Next again.
  5. Now you are prompted for the port to connect this printer to. Choose "FILE: Creates a file on disk". That means whenever you print to this printer, you will be prompted for a filename and location, instead of sending output to a physical printer. Click Next.
  6. Name the printer you just created. It is suggested to call it "PostScript file B/W". Normally you should not make this your default printer. Click Next.
  7. Choose Not to print a test page. Click Finish.
  8. You will be prompted to insert the Windows 95/98 CD-Rom. Do so, and make sure that Windows is looking for the files in the correct location (if the drive letter of your CD-Rom drive is D:, this would be D:\Win98 for Windows 98 and D:\Win95 for Windows 95).
  9. You are now done. The new printer will be listed in the Printers window, and a little floppy icon indicates that this printer creates files, not paper output.
  10. You may want to repeat this procedure to set up a color PostScript printer. An Apple Color Laserwriter would be a good printer driver to choose, although other color PostScript printer drivers will work as well. Note that color PostScript files will be even larger than B/W files.
How to create a PostScript file in MacOS

On a Macintosh system, you select your printer in the Chooser (in the Apple menu) or in a print dialogue. Simply select any PostScript printer, such as an Apple Laserwriter. When printing, select the File option in the print dialogue instead of the Printer option (at top right). The Print button will then change to a Save button. Click it. You will be prompted for a filename and location. It is recommended to put the PostScript file on the desktop and trash it right after successful conversion to PDF format, as PostScript files tend to be very large.

How to create a PostScript file in Unix

On a Unix or Linux system, most printing is done in PostScript format anyway (e.g. via the lp or lpr commands). If you want to convert other types of files to PostScript format, there are a variety of utility programs to do the job, depending on the format of the file to be converted. The following examples all send the PostScript file to standard output, so the output needs to be re-directed to a file with the .ps extension, except for dvips. To learn more about any of these, use the man command on your system.

converts ASCII text to PostScript (2-up)
converts text to PostScript
converts email messages to PostScript
converts troff formatted text files to PostScript
converts TIFF (tagged image file format) images to PostScript
converts PBM, PGM, PPM (portable bitmap/graymap/pixmap) images to PostScript
converts PBM (portable bitmap) images to PostScript
dvips -o
converts TeX DVI (device independent) files to PostScript, saves to file directly

2000-4-25  ITL
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