GhostPCL: prebuilt binaries for Win32 and OS X/macOS

Programs for printing PCL and PostScript from vDos and vDosPlus

Users of Jos Schaar's vDos (or Wengier Wu's vDosPlus, based on 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 or vDosPlus.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, then 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.

Note: The version of pcl6.exe in this archive includes the Dark Courier support described below.

Win32 and OS X/macOS binaries for pcl6 from GhostPCL 9.24 or later

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/macOS binaries of GhostPCL are surprisingly hard to find, so I have provided my own build of the OS X version of pcl6, built from GhostPCL version 9.24 or later (I occasionally update this build to the latest version). The binary is self-contained (it includes the required fonts); no additional files are needed.

These binaries are used in my standalone PCL-to-PDF applications for Windows and OS X/macOS, available on another page.

GhostPCL with Dark Courier: All my GhostPCL builds use 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 named Courier.

For the OS X/macOS binary, download this archive. The binary will run on 10.6 "Snow Leopard" or later only.

Win32 binaries for GhostPCL are now downloadable from the GhostPDL project itself. You may find the Win32 binaries on the GhostPDL project page. Note that current official downloads have names like gpcl6win32.exe, not pcl6.exe, as in earlier versions, and are dynamic-linked. The downloads on this page still use the name pcl6 and are static-linked (i.e., one unified executable that does not rely on external DLLs).

If you want Dark Courier (as described above) in GhostPCL, do not use the binaries from the GhostPDL project, but instead download my build in this

GhostPCL is documented (possibly in obsolete form) 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 an (almost) PDF/A-compliant document under Windows, download gswin32c.exe from the GhostPCL site as described above. Use the following command line (it is all one line) to convert the PDF output from pcl6 (either my version or one downloaded from the GhostPCL site) 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).