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Install Ghostscript for Windows and GIMP

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Ghostscript logoGhostScript for Windows supports PostScript (.ps) and Encapsulated PostScript (.eps) files. You can download it and install it here. To install GhostScript for Windows and GIMP, you’ll want to download a Windows distribution with an installer (.exe), and follow the installation instructions.

Getting GIMP to recognize GhostScript

To get GIMP, the popular open-source image editing application, to recognize your GhostScript installation, you’ll need to set an environment variable in Windows as follows:

  • Browse to Start -> Control Panel -> System
  • Select the “Advanced” tab
  • Click the “Environment Variables” button at bottom
  • then click “Add” to add the following system variable:
    • Variable: GS_PROG
    • Value:  Full path to the location of your gswin32c.exe file (in your GhostScript installation directory – the default location is C:\Program Files\gs\gs8.54\bin\gswin32c.exe, but this may vary depending on where you installed it)

Get GIMP

Used to Photoshop, or just starting off with GIMP and having trouble? GIMP is an excellent, open source (free) alternative to Photoshop that is constantly getting better. However, it’s not known as the most user-friendly alternative to Photoshop. There is a Windows version available now, which is making it a lot more accessible to the average designer (although most professional designers are on Mac’s – which also has a GIMP version). GIMP was originally written for Linux. Visit the GIMP project homepage for details.


About Alex Schenker
Alex bring a series of in-depth articles on search marketing and content management systems as well as troubleshooting tips to We Rock Your Web's collection. He is an avid tennis player, nature enthusiast, and hiker, and enjoys spending time with his wife, friends, and dogs, Bella and Lily.
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68 Comments on "Install Ghostscript for Windows and GIMP"

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Andrew Wencer
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Andrew Wencer
Been following the instructions and can’t get it to take and allow me to open .eps files in Gimp. Using: Windows 10 64bit Have installed Gimp 2.8.14 Installing Ghostscript 9.18 Located where Ghostscript is installed and created the System Variable as above, with the pathway C:Program Filesgsgs9.18bingswin64c.exe based on the file location. Now, I do see that in that folder there are 2 executables, the one I listed above, and another one that is just called gswin64.exe without the C on the end. Does that matter? The error message I get is as follows – can you tell if this… Read more »
Dan Jeanette
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Dan Jeanette

Hey – I’m having a similar problem with
Windows 10 (64-bit)
Gimp 2.8.18
Ghostscript 9.20

Did you ever figure this out. I’ve followed all the instructions I’ve found and just can’t seem to get it to work.

Pablo Escalona
Guest
Pablo Escalona

It worked for me like a charm,
-Gimp 2.4.2
-Ghostscript 9.16
-Windows 10 Pro (32bit)

Thank you so much!

Kimberly Alt
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Kimberly Alt

Glad we could help you Pablo!

Judi FitzPatrick
Guest

Thank you for these very easy to follow instructions! You do rock!!!

Peace,

Judi

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Whoever thought it was a smart decision to released this as a TAR.BZ2 is a complete idiot. Seriously, why not just have it self decompress? What the hell were you thinking.

NO ONE uses bz2.

a web rocker
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a web rocker

Just download 7-zip. You’re an idiot if you don’t know it!!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

It says in the article “To install it, you’ll want to download a Windows distribution with an installer (.exe), and follow the installation instructions.”

Can someone elaborate this step, thank you so much.

We Rock Your Web
Guest
We Rock Your Web
We’d be glad to help! Visit the Ghostscript site linked to in the article, and then click on “Browse all files” (beneath the green download button). Then click on the “GPL Ghostscript” folder, and then the latest version folder (9.04 at the time of this comment). Finally, select and download one of the .exe files (gs904w64.exe, where the 904 is the version of the file, the w is for Windows operating system (O/S), and the 64 is for a 64-bit O/S. To find out if your Windows PC is 32-bit or 64-bit, browse to the Start button (lower left of… Read more »
Anonymous
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Anonymous

Thanks, buddy. FYI: This tip works for GIMP 9.02 as well.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

What a help to offer this. Still helpful despite evolving and ever more complex Windows system.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

How do I get the file to run as an .exe, using Windows XP?

Web Rocker
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Web Rocker

The .gz file is compressed. You’ll need to extract the .exe file from within it first uzing an extraction/ decompression utility such as 7-zip, Winzip, etc.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Worked like a charm! Downloaded from here http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost/doc/GPL/gpl902.htm

Anonymous
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Anonymous
Using a software program like GhostScript can really allow you to have an incredible amount of control over your printing and even display options. Granted, there is a fair amount of coding involved, but it will certainly allow you to be able to take greater advantage of the capabilities of your computer and printer. Another aspect to this is that you are able to integrate it with GIMP, which is a free and open source graphics editing program. Despite it being free, do not make the mistake of thinking that GIMP is a cheap little piece of software that is… Read more »
Steve
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Steve
I have tried every possible combination of the configurations I have found online. I have edited my environmental variables using the path to ghostscript executable, I have tried both executable (gswin64.exe and gswin64c.exe), I have tried using both .exe configurations in the GIMP environmental config file too. Nothing Will work. – I also Validated my version of ghostscript will actually open the .eps file I’m testing and convert it to PDF and PNG. I am at a loss as to what I am doing wrong: Version: GIMP 2.8.2 – 64 Bit Ghostscript 9.0.6 – 64 Bit Hours of messing with… Read more »
a web rocker
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a web rocker

I tried with gwin32c.exe and gwin32.exe. But I could not solve this Problem. Can anyone please help me? I need it for my master thesis.

Thanks a lot

a web rocker
Guest
a web rocker

I am running Gimp 2.8.2 on Windows 7 Pro x64

I checked task manager and Gimp is not showing *32 to the right of it so I assume is running as x64

downloaded Ghost Script 9.0.6 x64 and it installed in

C:\Program Files\gs\gs9.06\bin

I added the following line:

GS_PROG=C:\Program Files\gs\gs9.06\bin\gswin64.exe

to the file:

C:\Program Files\GIMP 2\lib\gimp\2.0\environ\default.env

Then I restarted Gimp

I have tried to import 2 .EPS files and I get the error:

Opening ‘C:\user\user_work\arrow – up.eps’ failed: Could not interpret Postscript file ‘C:\user\user_work\arrow – up.eps’

Tobs
Guest
Tobs

Same issue on same config:

Downgraded on Gimp 2.8.0 and it works fine now with .eps file.

aggie
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aggie

I had Windows 8, gimp 2.8.4 64 bit, gs 9.07 64 bit.

My error was “Could not interpret Postscript file.”

Downgrading to 2.8.0 also solved the problem for me.

Thanks so much, Tobs. –Aggie

David
Guest
David

Downgrade to gimp 2.8.0 worked for me on Windows 8.1 64bit

Kimberly
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Kimberly

Glad you found a solution David! Thanks for reading and commenting!

-Kimberly

Kumbi
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Kumbi

works great for me, thanks for nice alternative to ph-t-shop!

Frank
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Frank

With GIMP 2.8.4 is works out of the box on Windows 32 bit if you tick “Ghostscript” in the installer. On Windows 64 bit, the installer install the 64 bit version of GIMP which doesn’t works.

Solution: Start the installer with /32 on the command line to force the installation of GIMP 32 bit on Windows 64 bit.

Mark
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Mark

Thanks for sharing, the tips were really useful. Hope you continue to provide such information.

Juergen
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Juergen

Hi guys,

I’m having real trouble getting ghostscript to work with gimp. I followed all the steps you mentioned and it still doesn’t seem to work.

Some info:

Windows 7 (64bit); Gimp 2.8.2 (64bit); tried it with ghostscript 9.06 (32 & 64bit)

I tried system variables for gswin32c.exe, gswin32.exe, gswin64c.exe, gswin64.exe after installing ghostscript. Nothing worked although I restarted gimp (and/or the system several times). This whole thing leaves me puzzled. Since I really need to open the file (.eps) in gimp, any help is greatly appreciated. Cheers.

mew
Guest

Much thanks to the author below for pointing out the gimp 2.8.10 works.

Tripti
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Tripti

I’m trying to use GS in matlab but I get an error that the path is not set. I have added the gs_prog variable and set the path but it still gives the same error.

Can anyone kindly help?

Anonymous
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Anonymous

guys i have an imac with bootcamp running windows 7 64 bits…i tried to install the fu**in ghostscript and i try to look where the .exe file is at the place you said and the file is empty….help me please i really need to open it and i have lost a lot of time on that!!! 🙁 i have installed gimp 2.6.11 it seems the file .exe is nowhere and i can’t seem to remove completely the Gs to start over 🙁

Anonymous
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Anonymous
* GIMP is probably running as 32 bit application check task manager for the *32 next to it. * Make sure you install the 32 bit version of GS. (32 bit processes don’t mix well with 64 bit when doing this kind of thing). * The GS executable will be in Program Files (x86) folder on a 64 bit system. Make sure you set the system environment variable to the full path of the executable. I didn’t need to restart system.. system variable should take effect straight away. (You may have to restart gimp, not sure though).
Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Instead of setting the environment variable for the entire system, you can set it in GIMP alone.

This worked on Win 7 64-bit, premium edition.

While GIMP is closed, use any text editor like notepad to edit the file “default.env”:

c:\Program Files (x86)\GIMP-2.0\lib\gimp\2.0\environ\default.env

add the line (may vary depending on the version of Ghostscript, version 9.02 is used here):

GS_PROG=c:\Program Files (x86)\gs\gs9.02\bin\gswin32.exe

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Thank you so much for this; I’m in Windows 7 and couldn’t get the system variable to work, but this did it for me.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Keep in mind when you add a system Environmental Variable you need to restart your computer in order for the change to take effect.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Installed in Vista Control Panel || System || Advanced Settings || Environmentals

C:\Program Files\gs\gs8.71\bin\gswin32c.exe

Mucho Thanks
Fredz

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I’m running Gimp 9.00 on Vista and followed your path. Worked perfectly. Thank you!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Thanks, you saved my bacon! I had told my client that GIMP would import EPS and was taken aback when I got an error message about “Ghostscript needs to be found”?

Download and install was easy. I was able to find the Vista environmentals in System || advanced system settings || evironmental variables , with Admin privileges. The new version had a little different path C:\Program Files\gs\gs8.71\bin\gswin32.exe

Great Work and thanks again

Fredz

We Rock Your Web
Guest
We Rock Your Web

Hi Fredz,

Thanks for sharing your experience, we’re glad you got it working!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Running GS 8.71 I found that GIMP 2.6.2 works with gswin32.exe but not with gdwin32c.exe in Windows XP.

Thanks! It’s working like a charm now.

We Rock Your Web
Guest
We Rock Your Web

Thanks for sharing your findings – that’s good to know, I’m sure it will save someone a lot of time 🙂

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Thanks man. You saved my day!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

As a matter of interest. In your explanation you say full path to win32c.exe, but as an example of the path you mention win32.exe. (without the c)

Which one is correct? I am using Eclipse and constantly get an error that my path is wrong when I want to print. Would every program use a different path variable? How can I test my path if I do not have GIMP?

Thanks

We Rock Your Web
Guest
We Rock Your Web

The path variable (GS_PROG) simply stores the path of the GhostScript executable (win32c.exe). When the variable is used in GIMP, it should call the GhostScript executable and load it. Thanks for pointing out the typo – they should both be win32c.exe. If your path is wrong, GhostScript won’t run correctly.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Thanks a lot, it was really helpful… I didn’t even realized that GIMP was available for Windows… Nice.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Thanks, it worked like a charm…

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

how do i find the path? i have no idea where the install directory is…

thanks.

We Rock Your Web
Guest
We Rock Your Web

See the comment above.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

That was great. Thanks a lot. One suggestion – in the bit about the system variable, you might explain that the path should look like this (including the ghostscript exe file name) (in my case), C:\Program Files\gs\gs8.54\bin\gswin32.exe

We Rock Your Web
Guest
We Rock Your Web

Thanks – actually the path varies per installation, so we simply tell them to look in their install directory. But I’ll leave your comment in case it helps someone.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I was always interested whether it is possible to learn working with Photoshop on my own. I am actually one of such enthusiasts, and have read several e-books already, but still lag behind…

Perhaps, there’s something I miss… I need your help!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Thanks … that was really helpful

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Awesome – I’ve been trying to get GIMP to recognize GhostScript for a while. Thanks for the useful infos!!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Thanks heaps, worked first time with no issues. Just be aware when adding the full path of the value to include the updated gs9.00 number e.g. C:\Program Files\gs\gs9.00\bin\gswin32c.exe

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Once I put in the value you have given, it worked like a charm. Thanks to those putting out this information

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Wasted lots of time over the summer trying to get this to work. Revisited it today and read your tutorial first – worked like a dream. Thanks 🙂

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Thanks, worked great for me as well.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Followed the instructions carefully, tried to set the variable with gswin32.exe and gswin32c.exe. It’s not working for me. I’m using Gimp 6.11, Windows 7 Enterprise (32-bit) with Ghostscript 9.0.0.

charlie
Guest
charlie

Same here, I am using Windows7 and it didn’t work. I have tried everything, went to Control Panel, accessed System but there is no “Advanced” tab in there. I don’t know, I have never had problems installing any Windows exe files before, maybe I am not experienced enough with the new Windows O/S. I used to have Windows XP SP3 on my computer, till last month when I upgraded.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Thanks, works great.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Had to use gswin32.exe with no “c” also and restarted GIMP. Worked with no problem. Thanks!!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I had to choose gswin32.exe not gswin32c.exe

Am running Windows 7 with Ghostscript 8.71 and GIMP 2.4

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Thanks, it works great.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

it works. Thanks

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I’m using GIMP 2.6.8 (32 bit) and Ghostscript 8.7 (64 bit) on Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit and the instructions worked fine.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I need to know how to install the 64-bit version of Ghostscript. Like in which folder do I dump the files? Please help.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Thanks a bunch. This was a very useful tip. I just got GhostScript working with GIMP so that I could do a little editing on an EPS file. I followed them and I was surprised it worked the first time.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Great Tip. It worked really well. Thanks.

Jason

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