7 Replies Latest reply on Aug 18, 2008 6:25 PM by Bill@VT

    default paper size

    FieryPantone Level 3
      * The settings under Printing Preferences (for the Adobe PDF printer) specify A4 as default size

      * a stack of PostScript files have been created with A4 as their paper size

      * dragging them into Acrobat Pro (even if it is a sloppy way of converting them) blandly delivers US Letter

      How can I get Acrobat Pro to deliver A4 output?

      Thanks in advance

      [Acrobat Pro 7 on XP]
        • 1. Re: default paper size
          (Aandi_Inston) Level 1
          What you describe should not be happening exactly like that.

          Either a PostScript file includes a page size request, or it does not.

          If a PostScript file includes a page size request, it should always be

          If a PostScript file does not include a page size request, and only
          then, the default page size in Distiller is used.

          Given this, my first guess would be that the PostScript files do NOT
          have a4 (or anything else) actually set as their page size. How is the
          page size set? Or, if you aren't familiar with the insides of the
          PostScript file, how were they made?

          Aandi Inston
          • 2. Re: default paper size
            FieryPantone Level 3
            Thanks for the speedy reply, Aandi!

            The ps files are created with a score-writing app called mup, where the paper-size is specified in the file-header before it is processed to generate PostScript output. I'm not familiar, indeed, with the innards of a .ps file, but if you tell me where to look I can bravely fire up a text-editor and report back.

            As for "default page size in Distiller", I've just checked that and it's set to 211 * 297mm

            To muddy the waters farther, I've now tried dropping the file on to Distiller, and the result is multi-page .pdf (correct) with a lay-out of 11.69 * 8.31 inches (not correct - I was expecting A4 portrait)

            Let me know where to find additional information to help you resolve this strange question.

            • 3. Re: default paper size
              (Aandi_Inston) Level 1
              It is not easy for someone not experienced in PostScript to answer
              this reliably. To further complicate things there are three layers of

              1. The design size. This is the area that the program assumes will be
              available in the printer; the program will lay out stuff in this area.
              This has no effect at all on the paper size chosen, so if the design
              size is wrong, things are just cut off.

              2. DSC comments. These are comments starting %%. Many people believe
              this is the way to specify a page size. However, they are really only
              processed by certain special document processors. To complicate
              matters further, Distiller will in some situations read SOME of these
              comments. They may set orientation, sometimes. This is a very badly
              documented area.

              3. Actual PostScript code - lines not starting %. This is where some
              detailed knowledge really helps. But, that said, there are some things
              you can look for.

              (a) look for the string "a4" on a line which isn't a comment.
              (b) look for the string "setpagedevice". This is likely to have a few
              lines in front of it that set parameters like /PageSize. Look for
              /PageSize in the few lines preceding setpagedevice.

              If you don't find either of these things, it's very likely the file
              does not set a page size.

              Another way to think about this is: what makes you believe that the
              program DOES set a page size?

              Aandi Inston
              • 4. Re: default paper size
                (Aandi_Inston) Level 1
                Screen viewers tend to use the %%BoundingBox line, something intended
                to give the size of "PostScript as graphic file" (EPS), even when it
                isn't an EPS. Distiller can use this for an EPS file only.

                So it seems your PostScript indeed does not have any page size
                requests. Sent to a printer, it will use the default paper in the
                default tray; Distiller will do the same.

                If you can control the prologue, adding the single word


                as a new line will set the page size. This will erase the page and
                reset all the graphics states, including the co-ordinate system, so it
                needs to be done early.

                Aandi Inston
                • 5. Re: default paper size
                  FieryPantone Level 3
                  (obviously) I never realised there was so much to it ... Worst case, I'll run ps2pdf on the ubuntu/linux box and transport the results for printing elsewhere rather than transporting the .ps - so please don't lose your time on this unimportant question!

                  Out of interest, though:

                  1. design size - afaik, the app creating the .ps file has no idea of printer or other output device; in fact, I occasionally run it on a handheld that doesn't even support printing

                  2. DSC comments - %%BoundingBox: 0 0 595 842, and that's yer lot

                  3. no a4 (which doesn't surprise me; see under 4); no string "setpagedevice", no string "pagesize"

                  4. beliefs -

                  a) in the source:
                  pageheight = 29.7039
                  pagewidth = 20.9903

                  b) in the results:
                  opening the resulting .ps with GhostView on the ubuntu/linux box where they usually live does give consistent (different) results when I set pageheight/pagewidth for, say, A5 landscape

                  • 6. Re: default paper size
                    FieryPantone Level 3
                    Some people's advice I'll follow <g><br /><br />So I found % prolog and %% prolog in the source, slipped in "a4" as the first line under % prolog and bingo! the .ps distills as A4.<br /><br />Thanks, Andii!
                    • 7. Re: default paper size
                      Bill@VT Most Valuable Participant
                      I have not read all the responses. However, the setting in the Adobe PDF printer have nothing to do with what Distiller will do. You will have to set the preferences in the Job Settings file in Distiller. If you check the Advanced job settings tab, there is an option for the PS file to override the PDF settings. This is checked by default and is what I think you want. The default page size is given at the bottom of the general tab in points (or other unit). I think those are the two settings you need to consider. I would also suggest you might want to use a press or print quality job settings to be sure to embed the fonts. I think that most music uses a special font set and you want to be sure they are embedded in the PDF (something that the Standard settings tends to not do).