PostScript, or PS is a common printing language used by many printer manufacturers. PostScript may be common; however, it is not found available for many printers. PostScript is used in high-end printers that are used in the printing industries, some offices, graphic designers, and others who need high-quality printing outputs.
There are two types of printers PostScript printers and Printer Control Language (PCL). Most small home or even some office printers are PCL printers. You will decide to buy a printer at some point and knowing what is PostScript and why is it used in high-end printers will help your choice.
What is Adobe PostScript?
Printers that use PostScript are usually more expensive and these printers are mainly used in medium to large industries. These printers are used in printing, publishing, and design businesses.
1] PostScript explained
The PostScript Page Description Language was developed by Adobe and released in 1984. It was originally designed for use on laser printers. However, it began to be used on imagesetters for commercial printers. PostScript is a device-independent Page Description Language (PDL). This means the document you print will be the same across all PostScript printers. PostScript describes the graphics and the text so that the printer knows what to print. This means that the print will be uniform. This means that you can print a draft document at home and then send the soft copy to a printer for printing and the two documents would be the same.
2] PostScript language is costly to use
One reason for the PostScript printing language to be used in high-end printers is the fact that it is expensive to use. This means it would make regular printers more expensive. The PostScript printers used in industries need to print consistent high-quality files for commercial purposes, so they would find a better use for these costly high-end printers. With most homes or offices not needing to print very high quality, it would not be cost-effective for them to purchase a printer with PostScript. For this reason, manufacturers will use PostScript in high-end printers used in commercial or industrial applications.
3] PostScript printers are more specialized
If you think about it, the average person does not need to print high-quality files that would require PostScript. Most persons who would need to print high-quality files would go to a print shop for this. This makes printers that use PostScript language more specialized. Regular printers are device dependent which means they depend on the computer’s memory as well as the small memory in the printer to process files. Printers that use PostScript are not device dependent, they usually have an intermediary server computer that processes their files. Specialized printers are usually more expensive, and they are best for commercial uses.
4] PostScript printers are slower than regular printers
Saying that PostScript printers are slower than regular printers may seem like a weird point. However, it is good to note that PostScript printers are slow compared to regular PCL printers. This does not mean that PostScript printers are snail slow, but they are usually not as fast as regular printers. PostScript printers are made for high-quality prints that in some cases need to be large as well.
Read: PostScript printers vs PCL printers differences explained
5] PostScript printer files are larger, and more memory is required
PostScript printers are used for commercial applications in most cases. This means a lot of the files will be large. Large files especially with high quality, will take up a lot of memory. PostScript printers would have larger memory and processing capabilities so they will be more expensive. Regular printers do not have a lot of memory in them so that makes them cheaper. Because printers that use PostScript are mainly commercial printers, they are usually very large. This is not to say that PostScript printers cannot be small like an office printer.
What does PostScript do in printing?
PostScript is a general-purpose programming language that allows the user to describe the text and graphics on a page. PostScript printers use a computer to run an interpreter for processing the PostScript language files.
PostScript works like vector graphics using mathematical calculations instead of Bitmap and pixels to define graphics and text. This means that a PostScript printer will output higher-quality print and the quality will be consistent across devices.
In essence, this means that the PostScript language creates all the print data and does not rely on the printer for print data. This allow the output to be consistent when printed on more than one type of printer or print device.
Are PostScript printers necessary?
If you intend to print only simple graphics and text on a single printer, then you will not need to get a PostScript printer. However, if you design complex work that you want to be printed large, high-quality, and consistently across different devices, you will need a PostScript printer.