This week featuring two freeware downloads: Ghotscript and the ReplaceInPlace Xtension fror QuarkXPress
I am seeing scripts… err… ghosts!
Back to the time when I was still looking learning how to make PDFs and didn’t know much about the PostScript language, I came across a free utility called Ghostscript. At the time I wasn’t really impressed with it. I found it was clumsy and some fonts didn’t embed properly or in some cases they didn’t embed at all, especially if they were True Type fonts. However I was also using QuarkXPress 4, which, when making EPS files, just didn’t embed True Type fonts; I suppose that the same problem occurred when making PostScript files and the probabilityiesof success were already slim by the time I converted them to PDF with Ghostscript. Add my lack of expertise to all that, and you can see how frustrating my Ghostscript experience was.
So you might ask yourself, “Why are you proposing this download to us then?”
The answer is simply that Ghostscript has improved since and so is my experience in creating press ready files. It still only supports up to level 2 PostScript, but transparency support in PDFs is improved and it can create PDF/X-3 compliant files. And it’s freeware. While I don’t reccomend it for professional printing, I do think that for SOHO purposes it can do the job, especially if you need to convert a PostScript file to PDF or a raster format.
You can download the latest release here.
Set it, replace it and forget it
I am a little more enthusiastic about the ReplaceInPlace Xtension, I wish it was created when I was still using QuarkXPress as my main layout application, earlier in version 4. With InDesign you can place a graphic, then you if decide to change it it will retain the attributes of the previously placed image. This has turned useful to me many times. With the ReplaceInPlace Xtension you can do the same with QuarkXPress 6.x. It can really be a time saver.