Apple's anti-tip for PostScript files

Apple’s Hot News has a tip today that is just chock full o’ wrong. It tells you to open your PostScript and EPS image files in Preview to convert them to PDF. Unless Apple is trying to sneakily teach you how to Force Quit an application, this is simply terrible advice. In my experience, Preview takes forever to convert (E)PS to PDF. How long is forever? Before I started writing this post, I tried to open a few a simple PS and EPS files in Preview and time how long it took to do the conversions. In each case, I gave up and did a Force Quit on Preview after 5-15 minutes of watching the blue and white barber pole spin.

The tip is laughably entitled “From EPS to PDF in No Time Flat,” and uses words like “instantly” and “on the fly”--phrases that have never come to my mind when thinking about Preview and PostScript conversion. Because Preview is the default application for .ps and .eps files, I am occasionally reminded of how slow its conversion is when I mistakenly double-click on an EPS or PS document. I almost always end up killing Preview before it finishes the conversion.

So how should you convert PS and EPS files to PDF? Try ps2pdf . The conversion will take, at most, seconds. ps2pdf uses Ghostscript, the free PostScript emulator, and is usually included with it. My copy was installed along with the DarwinPorts ghostscript package.