[tex-k] dvips: BeginPaperSize in postscript DSC

pierre.mackay pierre.mackay at comcast.net
Fri Nov 10 02:54:49 CET 2006

Karl Berry wrote:

>    %%BeginPaperSize:
>    %%EndPaperSize
>    The comments %%BeginFeature: and %%EndFeature should be substituted.
>What is the exact syntax, please?
>I wonder what this change would break, ie, what (if anything) uses the
>begin/endpapersize.  Is it possible to use both?
>    Similarly, the %%Papersize comment is (loc. cit., p 101)
>    to be replaced (since 1992) by a %%PageMedia comment.
>Is the syntax for %%PageMedia the same, that is,
>%%PageMedia: Letter
>Or did Adobe make it more complicated?
>And again, would it work to add the pagemedia comment to config.ps in
>addition to the %%PaperSize, or does it have to replace?  I would be
>worried that other software might still want %%PaperSize, however old it
>is.  (Even if Adobe likes to be incompatible, we don't have to.)
>I'm not sure why the "@ A4Size" has a %%PaperSize comment, but the
>"@ letterSize" doesn't.  Tom(s)?
>tex-k at tug.org
It is interesting that the specification for DSC, all 109 pages of it, 
(Technical Note # 5001) dates from 1992, and the only
update is Adobe Postscript Document Comment Extensions for Page Layout.  
# 5644, which is very short.  This implies that
if the %%BeginFeature %%EndFeature syntax is required, DVIPS has been 
out of step for 14 years and no one has hitherto noticed. 
Since about half the early google hits on DSC display DVIPS examples, 
that is a shade bewildering.  But it is possible. 

To judge by the remarks in various pages of the document, most of the 
%%{....}PaperSize comments went out with
DSC 2.1, but backward compatibility has been fooling us.  %%PageMedia 
was adopted as a containing class of Comment,
I still do not understand the syntax fully, but there is no escaping the 
fact that in 2006 we should probably be learning how to use it.

Pierre MacKay

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