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Net-savvy PostScript coming next year

Adobe announces the next generation of PostScript, reflecting the burgeoning number of digital data sources and destinations, as well as the increasing influence of the Internet.

At the Seybold conference today in San Francisco, Adobe Systems announced the next generation of PostScript, a move that by mid-1997 could affect practically everyone who uses a printer to publish from the desktop.

PostScript, the language that interprets fonts and graphics so that what is seen on screen looks the same on the printed page, has become the industry standard in most desktop publishing systems since its introduction in 1985.

Today's announcement of an upcoming revision of that language follows the unveiling of new versions of two flagship Adobe products, PageMaker and Photoshop, with increased support for Internet-based publishing.

Likewise, the forthcoming PostScript Level 3 is a recognition of the burgeoning number of digital data sources and destinations, as well as the increasing influence of the Internet on the graphic content of documents. It will include four new sets of features:

-- Enhanced Image Technology. This technology recognizes and supports three-dimensional images, photo-quality grayscaling, smooth gradients in graphic objects, image compositioning, and full-color spectrums.

-- Advanced Page Processing. To reduce download times and speed throughput, the printer will recognize each component of a document as a separate object. This aspect of the language will also be rewritten to be compatible with the resident fonts of all leading operating systems.

-- NetWorks System. This creates a Web page so that users can do printer setup, management, and printing over the Internet.

-- PlanetReady Printing. Adobe promises that PostScript 3 will print any language in the world, including full support of international font requirements and customization tools now used by hardware manufacturers. This will require the integration of new drivers into the Windows 3.1, Windows 95, NT, or Macintosh operating systems.

Though the company still has two beta cycles to go, Adobe plans to start shipping PostScript Level 3 to third-party manufacturers and developers in December. The company says that products which support PostScript Level 3 should be available in the second half of 1997, the company said.