GSDistiller: an open-source PDF distiller for Windows


A low-powered open-source alternative to Adobe Acrobat Distiller

GSDistller is a Windows utility that converts PostScript printer files to PDF format using only open-source software. You may download it here. The program is designed for use either from the Windows command line or by dropping a file on the application.

The program is a compiled AutoIt script that acts as a "wrapper" around the open-source GhostScript gswin32c.exe application, by Artifex Software. You may download the AutoIt source code here. The code is probably incompetent, but it seems to work. Feel free to modify and reuse it. You will of course need to change the path in which the compiler finds gswin32c.exe. The source code for gswin32c.exe is available from the Ghostscript web site.

The program works by copying gswin32c.exe to your Windows temporary folder and then using it to convert your PS file to PDF.

Note: If your antivirus software mistakenly tells you that GSDistiller is dangerous (because your antivirus software ignorantly warns about any program created with AutoIt), it is up to you to decide whether or not to believe your antivirus software. If you don't trust this software, don't use this software! Don't waste your valuable time sending me an e-mail asking whether the program is safe!

To convert a .PS file to PDF format, either drop the .PS file on the application (or on a shortcut to the application) or use this command:

GSDistiller filename.ps

You can use a full path for the filename, but if the path or filename contains spaces, use quotation marks around the path and filename.

The output PDF file will have the name and path of the input .PS file, but with a .PDF extension instead of a .PS extension.

By default, the PDF will open in your default PDF viewer. You can prevent this from happening (and suppress the prompt to overwrite an existing output file) by adding a command line switch, /batch, like this (and you can reverse the order of the parameters):

GSDistiller filename.ps /batch

The application also supports Ghostscript's -sPDFSETTINGS= switch, which corresponds to the PDF settings in Acrobat Distiller. If you need this feature, look at the AutoIt source code for details. Future versions will support other output options (like passwords).


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). .