a2ps is an Any to PostScript filter. Of course is process plain text
files, but also pretty prints quite a few popular languages (today,
It's slogan is precisely `` Do The Right Thing '', which means that
though it is highly configurable, everything has been made so that by
default a novice users can do complicated PostScript manipulations.
For instance, it has the ability to delegate the processing of some
files to other filters (such as groff, texi2dvi, dvips, gzip etc.),
what allows a uniform treatment (n-up, page selection etc.) of
As an example:
$ a2ps mill.1.ps.gz a2ps.gif NEWS a2ps.texi index.html -o demo.ps
[mill.1.ps.gz (compressed, delegated to Gzip-a2ps): 17 pages on 9 sheets]
[a2ps.gif (gif, delegated to ImageMagick): 3 pages on 2 sheets]
[NEWS (plain): 12 pages on 6 sheets]
[a2ps.texi (texinfo, delegated to texi2dvi): 89 pages on 45 sheets]
[index.html (html, delegated to Netscape): 13 pages on 7 sheets]
[Total: 132 pages on 66 sheets] saved into the file `demo.ps'
It supports a wide number of encodings, and a very good handling of
Latin 2-6 should be noted, thanks to Ogonkify (by Juliusz Chroboczek
interface is internationalized, the output is customizable and there
are as many options as users had wishes (table of content, headings,
virtual page layout etc. etc.).
The documentation has been carefully crafted for both novice and
experts. It is meant to bring light on most questions you have, and
includes a glossary.
Some goodies are provided in the package:
- fixps fixes most common problems in PostScript files
- card pretty prints `--help' from programs
- psmandup eases Duplex printing on Simplex printers
- pdiff prints a comparison between two files
- fixnt fixes Microsoft's Windows NT PostScript files
thanks to Holger Bauer
The full distribution of Ogonkify, by Juliusz Chroboczek, is also
included in the package. Ogonkify let's you fix deficient Latin 2-6
support in popular applications' PostScript (Netscape, StarOffice...).
a2ps is under GPL and can be found on its web page:
There is also a mailing list set up to discuss around a2ps. To
its body. Contributions of any kind are mostly welcome!
Please do not use this address to report bugs, but write to
Version 4.10.3 is a release. It supersedes versions 4.10, 4.10.1 and
4.10.2. It mainly brings a few bug fixes, especially in the
configuration process and in the documentation; new translations; and
Here is the top of the NEWS file:
Version 4.10.3 Jun 25, 1998
* Russian translation thanks to Vladimir Vodolazkiy
* A2PS_LIBRARY is abandoned in favor of A2PS_CONFIG
* Style sheets:
- mib.ssh, meant for ASN.1 "Management Information Base" files,
thanks to Kelly Wiles.
- fixnt, fixes common problems with PostScript files from Windows NT,
thanks to Holger Bauer and Michael Rath
- a2ps-print.el, to ease the use of a2ps from Emacs, thanks to
- OS/2 files by Alexander Mai.
* Predefined delegations:
- GIF, JPG, XBM, XPM, PNG thanks to ImageMagick
- Cleaned up the file names (latin1.edf -> iso1.edf etc.)
- Added iso7.edf (Greek)
- Added iso15.edf (West European, new version).
Version 4.10.2 May 14, 1998
* Fixed installation of Ogonkify
- pdiff (pretty diff) pretty prints diffs. Uses GNU diff, and GNU wdiff.
Version 4.10.1 April 22, 1998
* Updated Ogonkify.
- Swedish, thanks to Peter Nilsson.
- Portuguese, thanks to Pedro Miguel Marques Morais.
* Changed ``Macro Meta Sequence'' to ``Variable'', and ``Meta Sequence''
- --variable is encouraged instead of --macro-meta-sequence
- wdiff.ssh meant to be used on wdiff output.
- udiff.ssh for diff -u.
* file(1) is always called, even for `stdin'. Now it is safe to run
`cat file.ps | a2ps', or `cat file | a2ps --guess'.
People using versions prior to 4.10 are strongly encouraged to update.
In particular, the generation 4.8 is no longer maintained.
We hope you'll enjoy it!
Akim & Miguel