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What is a PS file?
A PS file is an image saved in the PostScript page description language. It contains a page layout design that may include vector graphics, raster graphics, and text. The PS language allows users to print page layouts; users can print PS files with a PostScript printer (i.e., containing a Raster Image Processor) without opening it directly with an application.
Adobe Systems developed the PS language in the early-1980s to enable computers to more efficiently convert text and graphics into page layouts, which was especially attractive to students and journalists in desktop publishing industries. Adobe released the first version of PS in 1984 and subsequently released versions in 1991 and 1997. However, over time, other page layout formats, mainly .PDF, have primarily replaced the format.
Advantages of the PS Language
The PS language is especially helpful for maintaining the design of page layouts when printing files across different operating systems and applications. Also, the language supports image scaling to varying resolutions without quality loss, which produces sharper images and text.
Disadvantages of the PS Language
Since other page layout formats replaced the PS language, few applications support it, making it difficult to view PS designs. Also, the format tends to lead to bloated PS files, which can cause longer loading times.
How to open a PS file
You can open a PS file with various applications, including Adobe Illustrator (multiplatform), Adobe Acrobat (multiplatform), and GSView (multiplatform). To open a PS file with Adobe Acrobat, select File → Open....
NOTE: If you are a Mac user, you can also view PS files with Apple Preview, which is bundled with macOS.
How to convert a PS file
Various applications, including Adobe Illustrator, ACD Systems ACDSee, and Apple Preview, can convert PS files to other formats.
For example, Adobe Illustrator can convert PS files to many file types, including the following formats:
- .EPS - Encapsulated PostScript
- .SVG - Scalable Vector Graphics
- .PDF - Portable Document Format
- .JPG - JPEG Image
- .PNG - Portable Network Graphic
- .TIF - Tagged Image File Format
- .DWG - AutoCAD Drawing
- .EMF - Enhanced Windows Metafile
- .WMF - Windows Metafile
- .BMP - Bitmap Image
- .AI - Adobe Illustrator Artwork
- .PSD - Adobe Photoshop Document