a2ps - format files for printing on a PostScript printer


a2ps [OPTION]... [FILE]...


Convert FILE(s) or standard input to PostScript.

Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too. Long options marked with * require a yes/no argument, corresponding short options stand for ‘yes’.


 display version
--help display this help
--guess report guessed types of FILES
--which report the full path of library files named FILES
--glob report the full path of library files matching FILES
 display default settings and parameters
 detailed list on TOPIC (delegations, encodings, features, variables, media, ppd, printers, prologues, style-sheets, user-options)
After having performed the task, exit successfully. Detailed lists may provide additional help on specific features.


-q, --quiet, --silent
 be really quiet
-v, --verbose[=LEVEL]
 set verbosity on, or to LEVEL
-=, --user-option=OPTION
 use the user defined shortcut OPTION
--debug enable debugging features
-D, --define=KEY[:VALUE]
 unset variable KEY or set to VALUE


-M, --medium=NAME
 use output medium NAME
-r, --landscape
 print in landscape mode
-R, --portrait
 print in portrait mode
 number of columns per sheet
 number of rows per sheet
 first fill (DIRECTION=) rows, or columns
-1, -2, ..., -9 predefined font sizes and layouts for 1.. 9 virtuals
-A, --file-align=MODE
 align separate files according to MODE (‘virtual’, ‘rank’ ‘page’, ‘sheet’, or a number)
-j, --borders*
 print borders around columns
 define an interior margin of size NUM
The options -1.. -9 affect several primitive parameters to set up predefined layouts with 80 columns. Therefore the order matters: ‘-R -f40 -2’ is equivalent to ‘-2’. To modify the layout, use ‘-2Rf40’, or compose primitive options (‘--columns’, ‘--font-size’ etc.).

Virtual pages:

 precede each NUM lines with its line number
-C alias for --line-numbers=5
-f, --font-size=SIZE
 use font SIZE (float) for the body text
-L, --lines-per-page=NUM
 scale the font to print NUM lines per virtual
-l, --chars-per-line=NUM
 scale the font to print NUM columns per virtual
-m, --catman
 process FILE as a man page (same as -L66)
-T, --tabsize=NUM
 set tabulator size to NUM
--non-printable-format=FMT specify how non-printable chars are printed


-B, --no-header
 no page headers at all
-b, --header[=TEXT]
 set page header
-u, --underlay[=TEXT]
 print TEXT under every page
 set page title to TITLE
 set left and right page title to TEXT
 set sheet footers to TEXT
The TEXTs may use special escapes.


-a, --pages[=RANGE]
 select the pages to print
-c, --truncate-lines*
 cut long lines
-i, --interpret*
 interpret tab, bs and ff chars
 specify the eol char (TYPE: r, n, nr, rn, any)
-X, --encoding=NAME
 use input encoding NAME
-t, --title=NAME
 set the name of the job
 set the name of the input file stdin
 force binary printing
-Z, --delegate*
 delegate files to another application
 generate a table of content
When delegations are enabled, a2ps may use other applications to handle the processing of files that should not be printed as raw information, e.g., HTML PostScript, PDF etc.


-E, --pretty-print[=LANG]
 enable pretty-printing (set style to LANG)
 set pretty printing highlight LEVEL LEVEL can be none, normal or heavy
-g alias for --highlight-level=heavy
 level of comments stripping


-o, --output=FILE
 leave output to file FILE. If FILE is ‘-’, leave output to stdout.
 override the usual version control
 override the usual backup suffix
-P, --printer=NAME
 send output to printer NAME
-d send output to the default printer


 include as PostScript prologue
 automatic PPD selection or set to KEY
-n, --copies=NUM
 print NUM copies of each page
-s, --sides=MODE
 set the duplex MODE (‘1’ or ‘simplex’, ‘2’ or ‘duplex’, ‘tumble’)
-S, --setpagedevice=K[:V]
 pass a page device definition to output
 pass a statusdict definition to the output
-k, --page-prefeed
 enable page prefeed
-K, --no-page-prefeed
 disable page prefeed
By default a2ps is tuned to do what you want to, so trust it. To pretty print the content of the ‘src’ directory and a table of content, and send the result to the printer ‘lw’,
$ a2ps -P lw --toc src/*
To process the files ‘’ and ‘sample.html’ and display the result,
$ a2ps -P display sample.html
To process a mailbox in 4 up,
$ a2ps -=mail -4 mailbox
To print as a booklet on the default printer, which is Duplex capable,
$ a2ps -=book paper.dvi.gz -d
News, updates and documentation: visit


Written by Akim Demaille, Miguel Santana.


Report bugs to <>.


Copyright © 1988-1993 Miguel Santana Copyright © 1995-2000 Akim Demaille, Miguel Santana This is free software; see the source for copying conditions. There is NO warranty; not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.


a2ps(1), card(1), fixps(1), pdiff(1), psset(1), texi2dvi4a2ps(1).

The full documentation for a2ps is maintained as a Texinfo manual. If the info and a2ps programs are properly installed at your site, the command
info a2ps
should give you access to the complete manual.

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