Postscript and pdf files

Viewing ps and pdf files

There are no agreed-upon standards for displaying mathematics on the web. Until standards are accepted, two possible solutions are to use postscript or pdf (acrobat) files. The names of such files end in ".ps" or ".pdf" respectively. Postscript files are sometimes compressed (gzip'ed), in which case they may have names ending in "ps.z" or "ps.gz".

You can either view a ps or pdf file on the screen, after following the corresponding link in your browser, or you may download the file (for later viewing, or for printing).
  • Downloading:
    a right mouse click in Netscape usually offers an option to save the item being pointed to. If saved, you should uncompress using "gunzip" (see below) and then print or view using an appropriate previewer (e.g., ghostview or acroread, see below).
  • Viewing:
    When you try to read such a file with your browser (e.g., Netscape), your browser may complain.
    Your web browser refers to the ps, pdf, and gzip formats by their "MIME types", namely application/postscript, application/pdf, and application/x-gzip.
    If your browser does not understand these formats or "MIME types", you need to add a "helper" application (such as ghostview or acroread, see below) in order to display them on your screen. In Netscape, one of the submenus of the "Preferences" menu lets you choose helpers.
    While viewing, you may usually print by clicking an appropriate option in your viewing screen. (File/print, etc).

Click here for information and/or downloading ghostview or gsview for unix, windows, and macs (postscript file readers).
Click here for downloading acroread (pdf file reader)

The gunzip utility is default in unix (linux, etc). If you are unfortunate enough not to enjoy the benefits of a true operating system, you may find useful to download winzip or pkzip/pkunzip, both of which are shareware.

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