Adobe PDF Converter and the Evolution of PostScript

PostScript, PS, is a page description language released by Adobe in 1984, as Adobe’s founding technology. As the first device-independent page description language, it quickly got adopted by the emerging laser printer industry. In 1985, the Apple LaserWriter come out. Weighing in at 77 pounds, and with a price tag of almost $7,000, it was a marvel of modern engineering. It was one of the printers that sparked the desktop publishing revolution in the mid ’80s. This was also the first printer to ship with PostScript.

Fast forward to 2017. PostScript has evolved since its original release in 1984. It now has three major revisions (levels of support), improving on image, font, and color handling. PS is available world-wide, supported by most printers and graphic design tools. PostScript is also a part of many enterprise workflows – especially workflows where documents, like invoices or bills, are created. Documents in such workflows often times need to go through various processes before they reach a final destination. Often, these documents need to be converted to different file formats, and one of the most frequently chosen formats is PDF. This need was apparent early on, leading Adobe to create Adobe Distiller in 1993. Distiller went through many iterations, and eventually the technology behind it was provided to enterprises as Adobe Normalizer. Normalizer is a product specifically designed to solve a workflow problem where PostScript needs to be converted to PDF files. Adobe Normalizer and Adobe Distiller are similar in their ability to convert PostScript to PDF. However, Normalizer allows OEMs to customize various aspects of the conversion process, in addition to what Distiller does.
Over multiple iterations, additional file format support was added to Normalizer. It started supporting both Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) and PostScript as inputs. As a natural progression, Adobe has added more input file formats to Normalizer, and with that, the product is also renamed to Adobe PDF Converter. Adobe PDF Converter is the next version of Normalizer. It has the same enterprise-grade features Normalizer did, and more. It produces the same great results when converting PostScript to PDF, and now supports conversion of various image formats to PDF.

What’s new?

  • Adobe PDF Converter now allows for image to PDF conversion. There is a wide range of supported input formats to choose from – JPEG, BMP, TIFF and PNG.
  • Adobe PDF Converter also allows for dynamic N page PDF generation. In other words, when converting a PS file to PDF, you can intercept the conversion at a specific page, and then stop at that point. This is useful when rendering thumbnails for example, and you need to convert only the first page of a large document. This dramatically speeds up the process, as you can just stop at this point and not have to process the whole file.

Here at Datalogics, we truly are dedicated to our customers. For the last 50 years, we have continually updated our products to better meet our customers needs. The enhancements made to Adobe PDF Converter are no exception. I invite you to try Adobe PDF Converter, and contact us if you have any ideas for features you’d like to see in the future.

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1 thought on “Adobe PDF Converter and the Evolution of PostScript”

  1. I would love to see tools that handle PDF in the same manner as PS… specifically being able to ‘mark’ the PDF (as in the DSC comments) for slicing, dicing, merge, and hardware-dependent features (duplex, tray-pulls, imposition, etc.). PDF/VT appears to be a solution, but unfortunately all the specs are under lock & key. Making it very hard for end-customers to know if it’s the ‘right solution’ or not. How to get all the various PDF specs out from under the current paywall… unknown, but really needs to be done for the long-term viability and extension of the file format.

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