NEXTSTEP Postscript Printer Definition Information
Entry Number: 1367. Last Updated: 12 June 96. Document Revision: 494A
Adobe Systems, Inc.
+1 (415) 961-4400
Postscript Printer Definition files, or PPD files, contain information about the specific features supported by a printer. An application needs this information to make use of these features. For example, for an application to be able to select the upper or lower paper tray of a printer that has two trays, it needs a PPD file for that printer describing the two-tray capability and the commands necessary to select a tray.
A number of PPD files are provided with NEXTSTEP. The default NEXTSTEP installation includes the most common files. Additional files are available on the NEXTSTEP CD-ROM. If you have a printer for which NeXT does not supply a PPD file, you may be able to get the PPD file from Adobe Systems, Inc. or from the printer vendor. You can then install the file and use it with NEXTSTEP. NEXTSTEP can use PPD files in Macintosh and DOS formats (DOS format is easier to install).
If a printer does not appear in PrintManager, the PPD file for the printer has not been installed. There are three places to look for PPD files:
- First, install the additional PPD files from the NEXTSTEP CD-ROM. See "Installing PPD Files from CD-ROM" below.
- If your printer is still not listed, see if Adobe supplies a PPD file for your printer. See "Obtaining PPD Files from Adobe" below.
- If Adobe does not have the PPD file for your printer, check with the printer manufacturer. See "Obtaining PPD Files from Printer Manufacturers" below.
If you obtain a PPD file from Adobe or the printer manufacturer, you need to install it so that NEXTSTEP can recognize the file. See "Installing PPD Files Not from NeXT" below.
Where PPD Files Go
NEXTSTEP Release 3
You can put PPD files in several different locations: /NextLibrary/PrinterTypes, ~/Library/PrinterTypes, /HostLibrary/PrinterTypes, and /LocalLibrary/Printertypes. Which directory you should use depends on where you got the PPD file and who needs to access the printer.
If you need to modify the PPD information for a printer, put the modifications in separate files that "include" the standard PPD information using the *Include directive. The NEXTSTEP 3.2 Printing release note contains full details on how to name these custom files, as does NeXTanswer #1073, "New Options in Printing." However, please note that there is an error in both of these documents. The custom files should be placed in .../PrinterTypes/CustomPrinters, not .../PrinterTypes/Custom as the release note and NeXTanswer indicate.
Installing PPD Files from CD-ROM
NEXTSTEP Release 3
Every NEXTSTEP system and upgrade comes with a CD-ROM disk containing the entire user release. This makes it easy for users with the basic software configuration to copy files from the CD-ROM onto their system from /NextLibrary/PrinterTypes/English.lproj.
NEXTSTEP Releases 3.0 and 3.1
To install all PPD files in these releases, install the Documentation package, located in the /NextCD/Packages folder on the CD-ROM.
NEXTSTEP Releases 3.2 and 3.3
PPD files in Releases 3.2 and 3.3 are located in two packages: PrinterPPDs and ImagesetterPPDs. Both of these packages are located in the /NextCD/Packages folder on the CD-ROM.
Obtaining PPD Files from Printer Manufacturers
Your printer manufacturer should have a current set of PPD files for all of its PostScript printers. Most printer manufacturers have disks with PPD files ready to send out on request. Call your printer manufacturer to find out about distribution methods for PPD files. In the meantime, your printer manufacturer may be able to suggest a PPD file for a comparable printer that you can use.
If your printer manufacturer offers a choice between Macintosh and DOS formats, choose the DOS format. You can use DOS files under NEXTSTEP by changing just the file name. To use Macintosh files, you need to translate them first (i.e., substitute newline characters for the carriage returns that the Macintosh uses at the end of lines. You can use public domain utilities to perform this translation, or use the UNIX command tr).
Obtaining PPD Files from Adobe
Receiving PPD Files via FTP from Adobe Systems' FTP Server
If a PPD file is publicly available from Adobe Systems, you can get it through Adobe's FTP server.
For anonymous FTP access, use the following information:
hostname: ftp.adobe.com (220.127.116.11) username: anonymous password: any (use your e-mail address)
PPD files are located in /pub/adobe/PPDfiles/DOS. The directory also contains a text file, FILENAME.MAP, which lists the available PPD files and their corresponding file names. If your printer is not listed in FILENAME.MAP then Adobe Systems does not currently provide a PPD file for your printer; contact your printer manufacturer to obtain a PPD file.
Installing non-NeXT PPD Files
NEXTSTEP Release 3
If your printer manufacturer offers a choice between Macintosh and DOS format, choose the DOS format. You can use DOS files under NEXTSTEP by changing just the file name. To use Macintosh files, you need to translate them first (i.e., substitute newline characters for the carriage returns that the Macintosh uses at the end of lines. You can use public domain utilities to perform this translation, or use the UNIX command tr).
NEXTSTEP works only with PPD files that have proper names. PPD files sent out on DOS floppy disks are not usually named properly for NEXTSTEP. You can get the proper name by examining the PPD file itself.
- Copy the DOS file onto a NEXTSTEP file system before you change its name.
- In the header information of the PPD file, look for an entry something like this: *ModelName: "AGFA AccuSet"
- Make the name of your NEXTSTEP PPD file the same as the model name, replacing spaces with underscores (_) and slashes (/) with percent symbols (%). Then, append the extension .ppd to the file name. For example, the above model name would translate to the file name AGFA_AccuSet.ppd.
- Copy the appropriately named file into one of the ...Library/PrinterTypes folders, and you should be up and running with your new printer type. (You may have to quit and restart PrintManager to get it to recognize the new PPD files.)
Adobe and PostScript are trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated which may be registered in certain jurisdictions. All other brand and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders. Portions of this document copyright 1994 by Adobe Systems.