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Postscript conversion.

David Sprogis dhsprogis at tasc.com
Mon Apr 4 17:58:06 EST 1994


In article <CnJnDr.s7w at mozo.cc.purdue.edu>, pmiguel at bilbo.bio.purdue.edu says:
>
>  What programs exist that (somewhat) intelligently convert a Postscript
>or EPS file to TIFF or PICT (etc.) so that it can be modified with a 
>typical graphics program (e.g. MacDraw, Canvas, etc.)?  
>
>  By "intelligently" I mean in such a way that text remains text, not 
>an arbitrary assembly of graphics.
>  Tscript (Teletypesetting Company, Brookline, MA) can do the EPS to TIFF 
>or PICT conversion but the resulting file contains one big graphics image 
>-- no text.  Microsoft Word can convert an EPS file to a lesser extent 
>in that it can print it okay but displays it only as a large grey 
>box.  Canvas does essentially the same thing.
>  
>  The postscript file comes from the GCG program PRETTYPLOT.  If GCG could 
>create TIFF or PICT graphics files there wouldn't be a problem -- but GCG 
>seems to be made to allow output to a printer or printer-formated file 
>only.
>
>Phillip


Hey Phillip,

	I guess I don't know what exactly you want, but it sounds like
you want to convert from PostScript to TIFF in such a way as to be able
to edit the resulting TIFF - the edit mode you want being one where you
can select and edit the text (embodied in the TIFF) in the same way you
might edit text in a word processor.

	I'm not sure that there is any route to accomplishing this.  My
understanding of TIFF is that it is a raster-only file format.  Thus any
conversion of text into a TIFF file would have to be "rasterized" - turned
into a picture.  As a picture, it would not be editable in the same way
that text is editable in a word processor - unless the paint-box were
very smart (with OCR) and could recognize the text portions of the image.

	I have never seen a paint-box with this capability - however,
there are many with a text entry feature which might lead one to believe
that they do have this capability.  Frequently, a paint-box will allow the
user to enter text by clicking on the canvas (page) then typing the text.
The text can be ignored for a while, then later selected and edited - like
on a word processor.  Then the page with text can be saved to a TIFF file.
I think you will find that if you read the TIFF file back into the paint-box
that you will no-longer be able to select the text again.

	-- I just checked the TIFF spec to confirm this and while I see no
explicit ASCII text capabilities (TAGs) it is always possible that a paint-
box manufacturer has customized TIFF with their own TAGs to store the
text in ASCII as well as in a raster format.  If this is the case, then I would 
be wrong concerning writing, reading back and then editing.  However,
this being the case, it is unlikely that another manufacturer's PostScript
to TIFF converter would be able to utilize these custom TAGs in the same
way that the paint-box manufacturer did.

	In summary, I think you are looking for something which may
not exist.  Perhaps you should consider using a paint-box which reads
PostScript files - I think Corel Draw does and more than likely Adobe
products do - they are respondsible for PostScript.  Good luck in your search.
Some additional products which you might want to be aware of are:

I know and like:

    Freedom of Press
      PostScript interpreter for many platforms which outputs to many printers
      as well as to several file formats -- available from CAI in
      Billerica, MA  (508) 667-8585

    GhostScript 
      PostScript interpreter for essentially any platform which outputs to some
      printers and to files/raster data -- available from Aladdin Ent.
      Menlo Park, CA (415) 322-0103

I've heard about:

    Opium 
      converts PostScript to several raster image formats. It has 
      several language extensions relating to image processing (alpha 
      channel, ``forall'' for images etc.) and usability of PostScript 
      as a general purpose script language (``system'', secure and 
      non-secure modes, etc.) Converts to TIFF 5.0 (including RLE, LZW, 
      fax3, fax4, and JPEG compressions), PBM, PGM, PPM, Sixel (VT240, 
      LN03), Group 3 fax, ASCII, and HPGL (experimental). 

              Interpreter, Converts-PostScript-to-ASCII, Converts 
              PostScript-to-TIFF, Converts-Images, Level-2, 
              Converts-PostScript-to-HPGL. Status: commercial. 
              Platforms: UNIX, Sun, DECstation, AIX, NeXT, Alpha and 
              VMS. Get-From: Stream Technologies Inc., Valkjarventie 2, 
              SF-02130 Espoo, FINLAND, Tel: +358 0 43577340, Fax: +358 
              0 43577348, Email: info at sti.fi. 


				Be well,
				Dave Sprogis
				dhsprogis at tasc.com




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