Technical Breadth

Artifex® has the most complete software solution available for host-based applications and the embedded printer marketplace, including all PDLs (PDF, XPS, PostScript, and PCL), fonts, and font rasterizers. We commercially license and support Artifex Ghostscript®, GhostXPS®, GhostPCL®, and GhostPDF® technologies. Ghostscript software is an open technology, evolved over the course of 15 years. It is freely available on the net for unsupported use, including prelicensing evaluation, but not for distribution in or with commercial products. If you want to use Ghostscript technology for commercial purposes, you are in the right place: we develop, license and support Ghostscript software.

In addition to the Ghostscript family of technologies, Artifex offers its MuPDF PDF and XPS rendering engine. MuPDF is a light-weight PDF/XPS interpreter targeted at the mobile device/smartphone market and has been integrated into products for iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, Android and HP/Palm devices.

See our licensing page for more information on terms of licensing.


Ghostscript software was originally developed as a PostScript language interpreter, but has evolved into much more. We released GhostPDF in 1993, offering the first non-Adobe PDF interpreter (Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format). We began demonstrating our GhostXPS interpreter in January 2006. We also offer GhostPCL supporting Hewlett-Packard's PCL 5c, 5e, and XL languages. Artifex has been demonstrating GhostXPS since January 2006, and is an early-adopter of this new PDL from Microsoft.


In addition to Ghostscript's interpreter/rasterizer capabilities we now offer full "Distiller" capability - the ability to convert from XPS to PDF, PostScript to PDF, PCL to PDF, PDF to PostScript, and PDF to PDF (normalizing PDF) while maintaining high-level text, font, and vector graphics information. Please see our press release.

Graphics Library

We offer the Ghostscript graphics engine as a separable module. This technology supports the full richness of the PostScript LanguageLevel 3 imaging model (including gradient fills), the XPS imaging model, the PDF 1.7 imaging model (including transparency), and the PCL5e/5c/XL imaging models (including RasterOp); it can be used in your application without the front-end interpreters, if desired. Artifex Ghostscript has a large number of back end file format and device driver modules that enable it to produce many popular graphics image file formats (TIFF, JPEG, EPS, etc) as well as drive a host of raster devices. Artifex Ghostscript is an excellent choice if you're looking for a customized software solution to a complex imaging problem, if you want to support imaging devices for which no interpreter is available for the PDL(s) you need (XPS, PostScript, PDF, and/or PCL).

The library can utilize a display list internally to allow for multiple processor cores to render parts (bands) of the page in parallel. The display list can be on disk or in memory, and also allows large, high resolution pages to be rendered with a small memory footprint.

Color management based on ICC profiles is very flexible allowing for spot color profiles as well as the traditional Gray, RGB and CMYK profiles, and multiple output profiles can be specified for different object types such as text, images, and graphics to improve the color reproduction and rendering quality.

Multi-platform Support

The Ghostscript family of technologies is distributed with full source code and has been ported on to all major platforms and many embedded platforms, including Unix, Linux, MS-Windows Vista/95/98/2000/NT, Macintosh, OS/2, Vxworks, and VMS. Ghostscript is often the first PostScript, PDF, and/or PCL interpreter available on less widely used operating systems.

Mindshare and Compatibility

Our objective is to create fully compatible interpreters that will accept any legal XPS, PostScript, PDF, or PCL file conforming to the published specifications of these languages. Beyond that, we realize that vendors have implemented undocumented extensions to these languages: we serve our customers by implementing such extensions in Ghostscript whenever they are commercially significant. Ghostscript's freely available distributions may well be the most widely used desktop PDL interpreters on the Net. Ghostscript has been integrated within more host-based applications than any other PDL technology, and as such has become a leader in mindshare. Ghostscript is now widely recognized as a de facto standard implementation of the PostScript and PDF languages: for example, many ACM-sponsored conferences specify "PostScript acceptable to Ghostscript" as an approved electronic submission format.