GhostPCL: prebuilt binaries for Win32 and OS X

Programs for printing PCL and PostScript from vDos

Users of Jos Schaar's vDos may download the required files for printing PCL and PostScript data in this archive. Extract the files and place them in the same folder with vDos.exe.

Troubleshooting: If the output from your DOS program is created with a US Letter page size, but you expect to see output using A4 page size, the extract a substitute copy of pcl6.exe from the archive enclosed in the download; rename the file pcl6.exe and copy it into the same folder with vDos.exe, replacing the original pcl6.exe.

Win32 and OS X binaries for pcl6 from GhostPCL 9.16

GhostPCL, part of the larger GhostPDL project, is software that converts PCL files into PostScript, PDF, and other formats. The project is derived from, and shares much code with, GPL Ghostscript. Prebuilt OS X binaries of GhostPCL are surprisingly hard to find, so I have provided my own build of the OS X version of pcl6. This is built from GhostPCL version 9.16 with the source code unchanged. The binary is self-contained (it includes the required fonts); no additional files are needed.

For the OS X binary, download this archive. The binary will run on 10.6 "Snow Leopard" or later only. (The plural in the name refers to an earlier version that contained a second binary no longer in use.)

Win32 binaries are now downloadable from the GhostPDL project itself. You may find the Win32 binaries on the GhostPCL project page.

GhostPCL with Dark Courier: I have also built a special version of GhostPCL in which the default Courier font is based on HP's "Dark Courier" instead of the lighter version of Courier found in the default GhostPCL font set. The lighter version is also available in this special version. The dark font is named CourierHP; the light font is simply Courier. You may want to experiment with this special version. It may be downloaded as and (The plurals in the names refer to an earlier version that contained a second binary no longer in use.)

GhostPCL is documented here, but the documentation is somewhat sparse. If you want to create a PDF file from a PCL file, use this syntax, and when typing the command-line switches, be careful to follow all the capitalization exactly:

pcl6 -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOutputFile=c:\test.pdf c:\test.pcl 

To apply PJL commands, use the syntax of the example below. Of course, you will need to know exactly what PJL command to use:


To create a PDF/A-compliant document, download, which contains a minimal set of Ghostscript binaries for Windows (GPL licence). Extract the files into an convenient directory, and use the following command line (it is all one line) to convert the PDF output from pcl6 into a PDF/A document. Serious and important warning: The resulting output file will not and cannot be fully PDF/A-compliant, because PDF files that are created from PCL files lack the document-structure information that is inserted by modern application software into the PostScript output that is normally used for creating PDF/A documents.

gswin32c -dPDFA -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -dUseCIEColor -sProcessColorModel=DeviceCMYK 
-sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sPDFACompatibilityPolicy=1 -sOutputFile=output_filename.pdf 

Of course, these programs come with absolutely no guarantee that they will work correctly or even that they will work at all. If you have problems with these downloads, please get in touch with me via this page. Also feel free to get in touch with me if you need binaries for the versions of these programs that convert XPS into PostScript or PDF.

If you find these binaries useful, please visit this page and send a contribution toward my WordPerfect for DOS Updated web site.

Edward Mendelson (em thirty-six [at] columbia [dot] edu, but with two initials and two numerals before the [at] sign, not spelled out as shown here).