Ghostscript documentation or reference

John Shaver bobjohnbob at
Thu Feb 13 09:36:26 MST 2014

On Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 9:09 AM, Levi Pearson <levipearson at> wrote:

> Maybe some others have more insight into this than me, but it's my
> understanding that PDF contains a modified subset of PostScript for
> graphical descriptions.  It lobotomizes it as a programming language
> in order to ease implementation requirements and constrain how it
> works.  But it also adds some new commands, which ghostscript has to
> understand in order to read them.  Those commands you mentioned are
> almost certainly defined by the PDF specification, which is freely
> downloadable from Adobe.

I'm pretty certain that they are not specific to the PDF specification (or
even part of).  The only time I seem them used in online scripts is when
people are using ghostscript to process PDF files and try to pull specific
pages or information from them.

There is no sign of them in the postscript reference manual ( or here ( and searching google
for / "runpdfbegin"/ returns no results.


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