Coyote Graphics Routines

Date: Fri Mar 27 12:14:20 2015

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top cgPS2PDF

Utilities, Graphics

cgPS2PDF, ps_file [, pdf_file] [, /DELETE_PS] [, GS_PATH=string] [, PAGETYPE=string] [, /SHOWCMD] [, /SILENT] [, /SUCCESS] [, UNIX_CONVERT_CMD=string] [, VERSION=string]

Converts a PostScript file to a PDF file. This program requires the Ghostscript program to be installed on the user's computer, unless you are using a Macintosh computer or an alterntive UNIX command to do the conversion for you. If you are on a Macintosh, the supplied pstopdf program is used instead. Use the UNIX_Convert_Cmd keyword to select an alternative UNIX command (e.g., pstopdf or epstopdf).

The program requires the Coyote Library to be installed on your machine.


ps_file in required type=string

The name of the input PostScript file that is being converted to a PDF file. If not provided, the user will be asked to select a file.

pdf_file in optional type=string

The name of the output PDF file. If not provided, the name is constructed from the input PostScript file name.


DELETE_PS in optional type=boolean default=0

If this keyword is set, the PostScript file will be deleted after conversion.

GS_PATH in optional type=string

This program assumes that UNIX users can access Ghostscript with the "gs" command. It assumes WINDOWS users have installed Ghostscript in either the C:\gs or C:\Program Files\gs directories. If either of these assumptions is incorrect, you can specify the directory where the Ghostscript executable resides with this keyword. (The Windows 32-bit executable is named gswin32c.exe and the 64-bit executable is named gswin64c.exe.)

PAGETYPE in optional type=string default=LETTER

Set this keyword to the "type" of page. Possible values are:

"Letter" - 8.5 by 11 inches. "Legal" - 8.5 by 14 inches. "Ledger" - 11 by 17 inches. "A4" - 21.0 by 29.7 centimeters.

SHOWCMD in optional type=boolean default=0

Set this keyword to print the command that is spawned in the command output window.

SILENT in optional type=boolean default=0

Set this keyword to suppress output messages.

SUCCESS out optional type=boolean

Set this keyword to a named variable that on output will contain a 1 to indicate successful completion of the command, or to 0 otherwise.

UNIX_CONVERT_CMD in optional type=string

There are a number of commands on UNIX machines for converting PostScript files to PDF files. This program assumes you are using Ghostscript to do the conversion for you. The Ghostscript command on most UNIX machines is "gs", which is used if this keyword is undefined. However, if you would prefer to use another program to do the conversion for you, you can specify the name of the command here. For example, "pstopdf" or "epstopdf". In creating the actual command, this command will be separated by a space from the input file name. In other words, if the alternative conversion command was "pstopdf", the actual command would be "pstopdf" + " " + ps_file. Any output filename is ignored. This command does not apply to Macintosh or Windows computers.

VERSION out optional type=string

On exit, contains the version of Ghostscipt that was used. Not available on Macs or if an alternative UNIX command was used.


A typical sequence of commands to create a test.pdf file:

cgPS_Open, Filename='' cgHistoplot, cgDemoData(7), /Fill cgPS_Close cgPS2PDF, ''

Author information



David W. Fanning 1645 Sheely Drive Fort Collins, CO 80526 USA Phone: 970-221-0438 E-mail: Coyote's Guide to IDL Programming:


Copyright (c) 2011, Fanning Software Consulting, Inc.


Change History:

Written, 6 December 2011, from code supplied to me by Paul Krummel. DWF. I had been using the Mac command pstopdf to create PDF files on Macs. Unfortunately, these PDF files are rotated incorrectly for plots having a landscape aspect ratio (ie, most plots). In this version of the software, I have decided to have Macs use Ghostscript and ImageMagick like all other UNIX machines. However, I have left the pstopdf code in place to accommodate anyone who prefers that method. You will have to uncomment the appropriate bits of code (there are two places where this has to happen, search for "DARWIN" in the code). 14 Aug 2013. DWF.

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