[OS X TeX] Re: Why this .ps file can not be viewed?

Ferguson, Don fergdc at uleth.ca
Wed Mar 17 20:38:29 EDT 2010

Greetings  "Michael Sharpe" <msharpe at ucsd.edu>
On 15/03/2010 at 21:37 you wrote concerning
Re: [OS X TeX] Why this .ps file can not be viewed?

Hello Michael,

MS> On Mar 15, 2010, at 12:56 PM, Leo wrote:

MS>> Hello all,
MS>> A .ps file exported from Emacs somehow can not be viewed in Preview.app.
MS>> If I run pstopdf in Terminal.app to convert it into .pdf file, it can
MS>> not be viewed either.
MS>> Any .ps expert can shed some light on this? I have attached a sample .ps
MS>> file.
MS>> <scratch.ps>
MS>> Thanks.
MS>> Leo

MS> Using 10.6.2 and gs 8.70, when I double-click on the .ps, it comes up in preview (no error message) as a blank box at the top of the page, and Adobe Distiller produces the same outcome. However, ps2pdf (a small front-end to gs writing to the pdfwrite device) produces both the box and several lines of text, with no error message.

Here the file «scratch.ps» opens without complaint with a GhostScript viewer. What I see is a text box with an outline and a drop shadow. Within the box, the text is

*scratch*                              * 1/1*

The first line appears to be rendered by Helvetica-Bold and the second by plain Helvetica.

The text box is followed by some vertical whitespace and then three lines of text, in red, and each line begins


The three lines of text appear to be rendered using a monospaced font like Courier.

I'm not on a Mac machine and don't know that much about PostScript. However, the 'Creator' of the document is «ps-print v7.3.50» and perhaps that has something to do with readability.

Since this list allows attachments, I've attached a JPEG version of what is visible. I've only clipped the top of the page as the remainder is blank. Also, what I see is the same as what John McChesney-Young posted at


Anyway, since it opens without complaint via a simple PostScript viewer, there should be no fault with the file in terms of PostScript code. Of course, maybe the file is supposed to reveal something other than what the JPEG shows.  :-)

Cheers  Don (Green Dragon)

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