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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?
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.
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
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?
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.
(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
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).