PostScript Printer Description

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PostScript Printer Description
Filename extension .ppd
Magic number *PPD-Adobe
Developed by Adobe Systems

PostScript Printer Description (PPD) files are created by vendors to describe the entire set of features and capabilities available for their PostScript printers.

A PPD also contains the PostScript code (commands) used to invoke features for the print job. As such, PPDs function as drivers for all PostScript printers, by providing a unified interface for the printer's capabilities and features. For example, a generic PPD file for all models of HP Color LaserJet contains:

*% =================================
*% Basic Device Capabilities
*% =================================
*LanguageLevel: "2"
*ColorDevice: True
*DefaultColorSpace: CMYK
*TTRasterizer: Type42
*FileSystem: False
*Throughput: "10"

which specifies that the printer understands PostScript Level 2, is a color device, and so forth. The PPD can describe allowable paper sizes, memory configurations, the minimum font set for the printer, and even specify a tree-based user interface for printer-specific configuration.


CUPS uses PPD drivers for all of its PostScript printers, and has even extended the concept to allow for PostScript printing to non-PostScript printing devices, by directing output through a CUPS filter. Such a file is no longer a standard PPD, but rather a "CUPS-PPD".

External links

es:PostScript Printer Description fr:Printer Postscript Description nl:PPD-bestand ja:PostScript Printer Description

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