Prescribe to Postscript Converter
This is a little package to convert Prescribe, the printer
language used by Kyocera's F-series laser printers, into the
somewhat more popular printing language Postscript. It was
written for two purposes: One, to display Prescribe graphics on-screen,
using a Postscript interpreter like
Ghostscript, and two, to
print these documents on Postscript printers without the need to change
the source application. These days, PDF is a more popular file
format than Postscript; again, Ghostscript can be used to convert the
Postscript files generated by this tool into PDF files.
Although the program does make a honest attempt at conversion, and
works well for my needs, it's far from being perfect. Some features
aren't fully implemented, some may behave differently as the original,
and others aren't implemented at all. I have currently no intention of
further improving the program unless I get some good motivation; but
I'd be happy to receive fixes and contributions. I would be interested
to hear it's of use elsewhere, though.
Features and Limitations
There's not much point in listing the program's "features". It does what
it does without making fuss about it. It reads its input file from
standard input and writes Postscript to stdout. But here are some of
- Only accepts "clean" Prescribe code. While the printers usually
ignore erroneous parts, this converter simply breaks with an
- No raster graphics.
- No barcodes.
- No dynamic fonts.
- No international character sets or other printer emulations.
- The following commands aren't supported and will terminate
SCRC, SEM, INTL, GENF, BARC, RDMP.
- The following commands are accepted but ignored (they simply
have no effect):
DELM, DAM, CASS, STAK, SSTK, CSTK,
COPY, FRPO, ARC
Compilation and Installation
finally copy the resulting executable,
p2p, to a
location of your choice.
This package requires either
flex. If flex is not available, the configuration
script tries to use
lex, but since a few advanced features
of flex are used, a native lex will probably not work.
You also need a C preprocessor,
cpp. If the configuration
script does not find cpp on your system, set the location by invoking
--with-cpp=/where/ever. The preprocessor
must accept the
-P parameter in order to not generate
The converter does not accept Prescribe macros by itself. They must be
preprocessed in order to work properly. Given the '-m' command line
switch, the converter will not produce Postscript code, but it will
re-write all macros as C preprocessor
Command Line Switches
p2p [Options ...] [file ...]
In normal operation, the input files are concatenated, interpreted as
Prescribe data (and are assumed to contain no Prescribe MCROs),
converted to Postscript, which is written to standard output. If no
input file is given, data is read from standard input.
The following options are accepted:
- Writes output to name instead of standard output.
If name contains
%d, it is replaced by the
current page number (i.e. each page is stored in a separate
- Selects the codeset to use, where encoding can be
pc (MS-Dos code page).
- Sets the initial FTMD font mode (default is 15).
- Prints the original Prescribe input as comment within the
Postscript code. Use if you're curious about what p2p does with
your file and you care to read Postscript.
- Don't do Postscript conversion but replace macro calls. The
output must then be fed through a C preprocessor before it
can be converted. The preprocessor must be instructed not to
print linemarkers, and to preserve comments. Using GNU CPP,
this means using the "-P" and "-C" command-line options.
- Does both macro call resolution and Postscript conversion by
calling the C preprocessor internally. Requires correct setup
at compile time. Not available on Windows.
- Scale the Postscript output page. scale is a
floating-point number where >1 means zooming and <1 means
shrinking. (Both X and Y coordinates are multiplied with
- Translate the Postscript output page. offset is a
positive or negative floating-point value in points where
postive means a translation to the right (tx) or up (ty).
(offset is just added to X (tx) or Y (ty) coordiates in
normal Postscript point coordinates.)
- Adjust the left (ux) or top (uy) unprintable area, where
margin is a positive floating-point value in
points. Printing will start margin points from the left
(ux) or top (uy) edge of the paper. Default is 13.5 points for
- Disable the DSC (Document Structuring Convention)
comments that p2p normally generates. Use if your Postscript
interpreter/printer does not like them.
- Enable the parser's (bison's) debugging output, sent to stderr.
Use if the conversion breaks and you don't know why.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty
of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
Free for non-commercial use. Feel free to modify the source code.
If you want to use it in a business enviroment or even distribute
it for commercial use, or along with your code, send a reasonable
donation. Iif you fix bugs or add support for currently unsupported
Prescribe commands, please contribute the changes.
<fp -AT- fpx.de>
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Last modified: Sat Nov 1 13:11:14 2008