Ghostscript is a leading independent interpreter software with the most comprehensive set of page description languages (PDL’s) on the market today.

Conversion capabilities cover PDF, PostScript, PCL and XPS languages. Ghostscript has been under active development by Artifex for over 20 years, and offers an extremely versatile feature set which can be deployed across a wide range of platforms, modules, end uses (embedding in hardware, as an engine in document management systems, providing cloud solution integration and as an engine in leading PDF generators and tools).

With the release of version 9.22, Ghostscript becomes the first PDF interpreter to support the reading and rendering of documents in the new PDF 2.0 specifications. Updates to the Ghostscript code base include UTF-8 improvements, Page-level Output Intents, Black point compensation, and Halftone origin.

Suffice to say, in the hands of a skilled developer Ghostscript is a veritable Swiss army knife. Having been battle-tested in nearly all possible usage and platform implementations, it’s a solution you can rely on.

Ghostscript provides the following specific technologies:

  • Ghostscript – The original Ghostscript product is an interpreter/renderer for PostScript and normalizing PDF files. It delivers a full array of format outputs (PDF, PDFA, PostScript, PCL, XPS, Raster files, Vector objects, Unicode/ASCII text and printer pipeline).
  • GhostPCL – Interpreter/renderer for PCL files, delivering the full range of format outputs.
  • GhostXPS – Interpreter/renderer for XPS files, delivering the full range of format outputs.


Ghostscript is available both under the GNU GPL Affero license and for commercial licensing from Artifex. Learn more about the open source and commercial license options for Ghostscript.

Patch Contributions and Bug Testing

Artifex is committed to producing code with as few bugs as possible. As such, we have two programs to help ensure the best product possible.

  • Patch Contributions – We welcome patches from outside contributors. If you want to contribute patches to Ghostscript, please review and sign the Artifex Contributor License Agreement.
  • Bug Bounty Program – We have a public bug tracker where anyone is welcome to view open issues, report new ones, and contribute analysis and fixes. When we have bugs that we’d like to get fixed but don’t have time to work on immediately ourselves, we throw them open to the public and offer bounties for accepted fixes. Learn More

Related Projects

There are two related products that you may be interested in exploring:

  • jbig2dec – This is an Artifex developed decoder implementation of the JBIG2 image compression format. Learn More
  • GSView – GSView (currently in beta) is a viewer for various document formats including Postscript, PDF, XPS, EPUB (version 2, no DRM), CBZ, JPEG, and PNG files. It leverages the capabilities of both Ghostscript and MuPDF. Learn More