Help Viewing PostScript and PDF Files

What are PDF and PS Files?

PS (PostScript)
Postscript is a device independent programming language with powerful graphics capabilities. It was created by Adobe Systems Incorporated in 1985 and has been extended since then. Postscript files typically end in an extension ".ps" or an extension ".eps" for an encapsulated postscript file.
PDF (Portable Document Format).
PDF files are sometimes called Acrobat files after Adobe's Acrobat reader. PDF is relatively new format from Adobe. It is closely related to PostScript, but has built-in support for hyperlinks. PDF files typically end ".pdf" extension.

Applications for Viewing PostScript and PDF files

You can download PDF or PS files and view them with one of the applications above, or you can configure your browser to start one of these applications automatically.

Example Configuration

For Adobe's Acrobat Reader and Netscape Communicator: To configure netscape to launch Adobe Acrobat when you click on a link to a PDF file do the following:

  1. From Netscape Communicator select Edit.
  2. In the window that pops up select Preferences.
  3. A small box will open up. Click on the little triange | > to the left of the word Navigator.
  4. Select Applications.
  5. Select New.
  6. Enter the following information Description: Portable Document Format MIMETypes: application/pdf Suffixs: .pdf
  7. Click on the browse button to show Netscape where you put Acrobat, or Enter the complete path name to Acrobat followed by %s. For example, on a GNU/Linux system: /usr/bin/acroread %s
  8. Click on the button to the left of Application.

Other Help Pages

A useful link for help on pdf and postscript files can be found Los Alamos. It can also be downloaded or from the Acrobat home pages.