PostScript deciphered!


P Chellappan, with Systems, Computer and Production Engineering background, managing partner, PM Digital Products, gave a professional presentation on PostScript to BE printing students from all over India gathered for Annual National Level Seminar, IMPRINT, at Anna University, Chennai.

PostScript is a page description language with text, graphics and programming capabilities. Simple and powerful, it can be rendered on a particular output device with the help of a PostScript interpreter.

Knowing it from its inception, Chellappan, a printer with knowledge of software development, started using PostScript first for his bilingual diary work. Here he found the use of downloading PostScript to a compatible printer, all the pages hereto set manually in English and Tamil of 183 pages, could be printed instantly without the use of formal typesetting. Palaniappa Brothers, his family business of school text books and diaries, breathed a fresh air of convenience, speed and accuracy. After a lapse of two decades, when he started the PM Digital Products, upgrading it continuously with state-of-the-art technology, he brought back the usage of PostScript for the same. In fact, with the innovations, VDP and value addition for their digital printing jobs, PostScript is now used by them for many different ways on a day-to-day basis. What took the cake in his presentation was the practical examples he had shown with the programing process on the spot. In this connection, he explained the salient features of programming.

“PostScript based on Design System, the unit of measurement is 72 points = 1 inch. Remember the Point System on which the types were cast initially. On one side, the stages of development being hand, mechanical, electronic and computer typesetting, the Point System being the running thread, PostScript development was an ingenious method for the use of interface to the Printer,” he told.

“Be it mm, inch for any measurement design, it is worked on the basis 72 points = 1 inch with appropriate conversion. Text is character and graphic is a straight line for PostScript. Based on this, let us say, when mm is used for thickness of lines, straight, curve, angle, any shape, these are all conversion of mm in points,” he added. As the president of The Printing Technologists Forum, Chennai, Chellappan was keen to share his knowledge with the students community.
–D Ramalingam

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