November 2022



Preview in Ventura Drops Support for PostScript and Encapsulated PostScript Files

In a somewhat disappointing development, Apple has dropped support for PostScript and Encapsulated PostScript files in macOS 13 Ventura’s version of Preview. The company did not offer a reason why, although it’s not inconceivable that it was for security reasons. In 2017, Microsoft turned off support for EPS in the Windows versions of Office apps due to vulnerabilities in the EPS format.

PostScript is a page description language for print publishing, first developed by Adobe in 1982, and it was a key part of the rise of desktop publishing. Because PostScript programs could be processor-intensive, actually rendering the page was beyond the capabilities of many computers of the time. (When it shipped, Apple’s PostScript-capable LaserWriter, with its 12 MHz 68000 processor, was more powerful than the Macs of the time, which had only 8 MHz 68000 processors.) To make working with PostScript files easier, Adobe and Aldus, makers of PageMaker, developed the Encapsulated PostScript file format in 1987, combining a PostScript program with a low-resolution preview of the content. EPS was a popular format for the print industry for some years, until PDF supplanted it in the 1990s.

Neither PostScript nor EPS is used much today, but if you still need to view and convert files in either format, Apple suggests that apps that can work with .ps and .eps files are available “in the App Store and elsewhere.”

Happily, you don’t need to resort to the slim and dubious pickings in the Mac App Store (the apps we found had 2.7 and 2.8 stars). Adobe Illustrator can open both .ps and .eps files, as can the venerable GraphicConverter. Developer Michael Tsai also recommends two apps: EagleFiler and Skim, the latter of which is the most similar to Preview.

If you just need to convert an occasional file, there are numerous Web-based conversion tools, including CloudConvert, which handles both formats (among many others) and provides up to 25 conversions per day for free.

So although it’s too bad that Apple chose to drop support for these files in Preview in Ventura, it shouldn’t be difficult for those who still work with the formats to develop alternative workflows.

Upcoming Events

Click for special offers to Mac Users Groups members.

Website design by Blue Heron Web Designs

Click the image for information about advertising on this website.