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GView - a RISC OS PostScript previewer


  • 21-Jun-06: GPL Ghostscript 8.54 released.
  • 08-May-06: GView 1.52 released (slightly less prone to user configuration errors when used with Ghostscript 8.x).
  • 07-Feb-06: GView 1.51 released with a few bug fixes.
  • 03-Feb-06: GView 1.50 released with support for displaying PDF files.
  • 21-Apr-04: GView 1.41 released with support for displaying EPS files.
  • 08-Jan-03: 32-bit safe versions of GView and Ghostscript released for the Iyonix!
  • 25-Sep-02: New release: The fully multi-tasking GView 1.31.
  • 28-Sep-00: GView 1.20 released. Finally, Ghostscript's Sprite device is used to speed up processing.

Name GView
Requires RISC OS 3.1 or higher, Ghostscript 7.03, ChangeFSI
Author Martin Würthner
Version 1.52 (08-May-06)
Status FreeWare
Price free, but see below

GView is a front-end for Ghostscript, a PostScriptTM interpreter that can turn PostScript and PDF files into raster image files. PostScript and PDF are industry-standard page description languages defined by AdobeTM. GView displays PostScript andPDF documents in RISC OS windows. It supports multi-page documents, allows you to go backward and forward in the document, jump to specific pages directly, save Sprite files for pages, convert complete documents to multiple Sprite files and gives you a range of output options.

Recent improvements

Version 1.50 finally allows you to view PDF files. This is particularly useful for PDF files that cannot be displayed by other RISC OS PDF viewers, such as files with embedded TrueType subset fonts, which display random characters only in other viewers, or for files using advanced features not supported by the other viewers, e.g., graduated fills.

Starting with version 1.31, GView fully multi-tasks while processing pages and notices when the PostScript/PDF file has changed on disc. Error-handling has been improved.

Starting with version 1.20, the Ghostscript Sprite device is used to speed up processing. Furthermore, there is an option to generate greyscale images and you can specify the resolution at which you want the pages to be rendered. This allows you to reduce resolution to speed up the rendering and processing of the resulting bitmap or to increase resolution for more detailed rendering.

Future improvements

Currently, GView is very slow and its options are very basic. There are many things on my list for future developments:

  • support PDF files using the new PDF 1.5 cross-reference stream format - those files are completely incompatible with PDF 1.4 and below and currently cause an "xref section interpretation error" in GView
  • add memory and disc caching of rasterized pages to allow quicker navigation in a document
  • cache the Ghostscript executable in memory so it does not have to be loaded from disc for every page
  • add a thumbnail mode from where the user can jump to a page directly
  • allow the user to choose the Ghostscript device and give access to more Ghostscript options, thus turning GView more into a front-end for Ghostscript
  • implement the Adobe DSC more carefully using the Adobe DSC reference manual

Download section

Please read the following section about donations when downloading GView.

GView icon Download GView 1.52 (for all RISC OS platforms, 32-bit compatible) Iyonix OK

GView needs a working installation of the RISC OS port of Ghostscript. It has been tested with many versions starting from 5.10 but the very latest version (8.54) is recommended, in particular for viewing PDF files with advanced features like colour graduations and transparency. There is no point in trying GView before you are sure that Ghostscript works.

Download the latest version of Ghostscript for RISC OS.

For old machines with little memory the original port of Ghostscript 7.03 by Graham Jones is still available.


If you find this utility useful you are invited to support the past and future development of GView by donating some money. Either send me a cheque (address) or use one of the following buttons to donate via PayPal:

Donate £5 Donate £10 Donate €7.50 Donate €15

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Last modified: 20-Nov-09