Because FLOSS is handy, isn’t it?

Default Ghostscript paper size

Posted by isilanes on October 17, 2006

Blog moved to: handyfloss.net

Entry available at: http://handyfloss.net/2006.10/default-ghostscript-paper-size/

The three times god-forsaken Ghostscript (I use the Debian package gs-afpl) suite is shipped worldwide with the US letter default paper size. So, when you use it (e.g. to convert PS to PDF), and if the source file does not specify a paper size, the output file will have a letter size, instead of the more sane A4.

You can specify A4 size at runtime, with the -sPAPERSIZE=a4 flag:

ps2pdf -sPAPERSIZE=a4 input.ps

However, if you want to always use A4 as default, you can change the gs_init.ps file (locate gs_init.ps), and uncomment the following line (remove the leading ‘%‘):


Beware that in Debian you will have to change it to (because the name of the variable is different):


You will only need to edit the gs_init.ps file (as root), make the changes and save the file. Subsequent gs uses (e.g. ps2pdf), will default to A4 page size.


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