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<title>GSview - Looking into the black box</title>
<h2>GSview - Looking into the black box</h2>
<p><em>Parts of this section are thanks to Russell Lang, author and maintainer of GSview, epstool and Ghostscript for his hints and patiently answering my questions about GSview and Ghostscript. It has helped the Scribus Team to use some of the more advanced features of Ghostscript to improve certain features of Scribus.</em> </p> 
<p>Although Acrobat Reader is in my experience sometimes a better pure viewer for PDF, I also consider GSview one of the most essential tools to have when using Scribus. GSview has a handful of extremely useful functions. For those unfamiliar, it provides an easy to use "front end" to Ghostscript, as well as pstoedit for converting bitmaps into vector files. For those coming from the Windows/Mac world, it also has the functionality of Distiller with a graphical front end for those applications which do not export PDF natively.</p>
<p>First, make sure you have the latest version 4.6+. (GSview migrated from the Windows world, where it has been excellent since the 4.x versions.) Note: GSview uses the libgs.so shared library to access Ghostscript. Red Hat and Fedora Core-1 users are encouraged to get the Ghostscript source RPM from rawhide and enable the shared gs by switching the flag:</p>
<blockquote>
<table width="100%" border="1" bgcolor="#eeeeee"><tr><td border="0">
<small><pre>%define build_libgs 0</pre></small></td></tr></table>
</blockquote>
<p>to 1 in the rpm spec file</p>
<p>For use with Scribus, GSview has the following features:</p>
<ul><li>With the help of pstoedit, you can convert bitmap images or PDF content back into SVG and other scalable vector file formats. </li>
<li>The ability to preview, convert and add previews (Tiff recommended) for raw EPS (Encapsulated Postscript Files).</li> 
<li>The ability to extract text from a PDF. </li>
<li>The ability to preview, convert and add previews for raw Postscript files. An easy to use interface for creating PDFs in applications without the high level of export capabilities of Scribus. (You are still recommended to use the Export to PDF Scribus, as it is optimized for Scribus files.) </li>
<li>As an easy to use front end to Ghostscript's less well known features such as image conversion and re-sampling. The example below uses the epswrite "device". There are others in Ghostscript including: converting between TIFF formats, changing the color depth of at TIFF, Jpeg or the color space of an image.</li> </ul>
<p>One example where I use GSview with Scribus is for troubleshooting/fixing EPS files which do not display correctly within Scribus. Although many applications can generate EPS files, some add their own quirks into the EPS, which can cause problems when used in other applications (like Scribus).</p>
<p>So, if you find difficulty with an EPS or PDF you wish to use in Scribus, open the EPS in GSview. Then, use the key command M to display messages from Ghostscript. The messages can indicate problems which cause display or printing errors. You can also use the epswrite "device" to re-save the EPS, which can help to strip out or fix issues with an EPS. GSview easily allows you access to most all of the Ghostscript drivers and devices.</p>
<p>You can also rasterize an EPS image like this, by converting to PNG or TIFF and then resize, adjust colors etc with an image program like GIMP or Corel Photoshop. I did this with a troublesome EPS and converted it to a 600dpi PNG, which would then display and print perfectly from Scribus. Sometimes when working with images and DTP there are several different ways to accomplish the same task - in my example, it was getting a complex EPS file from Illustrator to display and print properly from Scribus. The fact that there problem displaying the EPS, was not a bug in Scribus, but some non-standard PostScript information in the file, which by using Ghostscript as a back end to GSview I could strip out and then display properly in Scribus.</p>
<p>GSview since about 4.3, has been, in my experience, the most reliable and versatile PDF viewer along with Acrobat Reader on Linux. For DTP with Scribus, I consider it essential.</p>
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