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Converting a Postscript Document to PDF


Using Adobe Acrobat Distiller

By Hanz Makmur 2002

Laboratory for Computer Science Research – Rutgers University

   This document will show you how to convert a Postscript document to a PDF format document. This process is known as  distilling  a postscript file.


Before a document is distilled, it must first be saved as a Postscript file. SeeCreating a Postscript file from any Document on MS Windows OS for details about how to do this on MS Windows OS.

This document consists of 2 parts. The first part is for MS Windows Operating System and the second part is for Solaris Operating system. If you are looking for instruction for Solaris OS, see part II below.

Part I. Distilling a PostScript file on MS Windows Operating System

Launch  Acrobat Distiller

  1. Under the Job Options, select Screen if you plan to put this PDF file on the website. If you are planning to create PDF file for submitting to FastLane Grant Proposal, you should download and use  Fastlane joboption file. See: Making National Science Foundation (NSF) Compatible PDF file document for details requirement. It is advisable that you always use the FastLane option to maintain compatibility for grant proposal. FastLane job option makes sure that your PDF is printable quality especially for graphics images.
  2. Go to the File menu and select Open. Figure.1  window below will open.

Figure. 1

  1. Locate your postscript file – *.ps file and click the Open button as shown in figure.2.

Figure. 2

  1. From the Save as dialog box shown in Figure3 below, name the distilled PDF file, decide where you plan to save the file and click Save.

Figure. 3

  1. Distiller will now convert the postscript file to PDF format.

Part II. Distilling a PostScript file on Linux System

Converting Postscript file on a Unix system is very easy. Simply run ps2pdf app as follow:

ps2pdf output.pdf