The PostScript language is the world’s most famous page description language. It was developed by Adobe Systems in 1985 as a language for printer drivers and was perhaps the key technology in the desktop publishing revolution. It consists of commands for describing the printed page, including both text and graphics. A text file of these commands is sent to a PostScript printer, which prints them. PostScript has some features other page description languages lack. For example, a font is a collection of subroutines to draw arbitrary curves and shapes; there’s no difference in the way text and graphics are handled. This contrasts with Windows, where you can perform arbitrary scaling and translation of the lines in a chart, while watching all the labels stay right where they are in the same point size.
This section is relevant only if you are aiming at a fairly high-end printer. However, it’s worth understanding something about PostScript since it’s the base for PDF, which is relevant to everyone.
PostScript printers used to be quite specialized; however, as power has increased, more printers are offering PostScript compliance, e.g., the LaserJet 5 series. PostScript printers are the standard for high-volume/high-quality printers.
PostScript is generally produced by printer drivers or by graphics packages such as Illustrator, though masochists can do it by hand. PostScript is usually drawn on the printer. However, the public-domain package, GhostView, is available for rendering ...