[OS X TeX] Where (or what) is GhostScript?

Gary L. Gray gray at engr.psu.edu
Sun Jul 23 20:12:32 EDT 2006

On Jul 23, 2006, at 4:08 PM, AES wrote:

> When I TeX something using TeXShop with TeX + Ghostscript selected,  
> it seems to work fine -- but where (or what) is Ghostscript?
> I have vague memories of acquiring and installing an app or utility  
> called "Ghostscript" back in the OS 9 era or maybe even earlier, in  
> order to give GraphicConverter (or was it iView MediaPro?) some  
> added capabilities -- and of being confused at the time as to just  
> what GS was, or did -- especially since there seemed to be several  
> variants of it.
> Now when I do a Finder search for "ghost" on my OS 10.3.9 system,  
> the only thing that seems to turn up is a file named  
> "ghostscript-8.ii2receipt".  So:
> *  Where, and what, is Ghostscript?

When I type "ghostscript" into Google, the first link is:


in which there is a nice FAQ:


in which the first entry states:
What is Ghostscript?

Ghostscript is the name of a set of software that provides:

* An interpreter for the PostScript (TM) language, with the ability  
to convert PostScript language files to many raster formats, view  
them on displays, and print them on printers that don't have  
PostScript language capability built in;
* An interpreter for Portable Document Format (PDF) files, with the  
same abilities;
* The ability to convert PostScript language files to PDF (with some  
limitations) and vice versa; and
* A set of C procedures (the Ghostscript library) that implement the  
graphics capabilities that appear as primitive operations in the  
PostScript language.

> *  Are there things I, as a simple-minded TeX user, should know  
> about it?

It is very useful for converting between graphics formats. I use it  
daily (via a perl script) for cropping PDF files and for converting  
type 1 fonts to outlines.

> *  Preferences I need to set for it, or commands I need to give it?

See the above web site at:


> *  A manual or readme for it?

Again, see the docs.

> *  And can I open that receipt for it with some text editor, just  
> out of
>    curiousity, and without risking damage?

The receipt you are talking about was likely put there by the i- 
Installer, which you probably used to install TeX (unless the MacTeX  
installer puts it there too).

Good luck.

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