Many users are confused about PostScript (PS) printers and why they can be useful for a designer. There are features of CorelDRAW that will only output on PostScript printers. The one most often desired by users is the ability to control the halftone screen when printing. I have users ask me quite often why they can’t access certain features of the Print dialog box and the answer is always that they are printing to a non-PostScript printer. If you think this is a flaw in CorelDRAW, it is not. Regardless of the software, you need PostScript to get some features.
First, let’s determine if you are printing to a PS printer. With a design open in CorelDRAW, select File | Print and choose the printer. Look at the tabs along the top of the dialog box. Is there one labeled PostScript? If you see it, you are printing to a PostScript printer. Otherwise, you are not. It really is as simple as that. Some of you will insist your printer is a PostScript printer. It may be, but you either did not install a PostScript driver or you didn’t select it in the Print dialog box.
For those who don’t have a PostScript printer, you have three choices. The first is to live without having halftone control. Some users don’t need this feature. The second choice is to buy a new printer that has PostScript. Obviously that can be an expensive solution. For those who need it, it can be a good investment. Ever since I entered the graphics business, I’ve been very picky about getting PostScript printers for this very reason. The third choice is to get a RIP (raster image processor) that can take the PostScript data and output it on a non-PostScript printer. Some RIPs are very expensive and may be be included (or an added option) in the price of an output device. This is common on wide-format printers and digital presses. You can also use a poor man’s RIP such as the combination of GhostScript and GSView. I detail that process in the upcoming CorelDRAW X5 Unleashed Advanced Topics book. It isn’t as elegant as other RIPs or having PostScript in the printer, but it is free.
Hopefully this clears up the confusion so that everyone can get the output they desire.