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.

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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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 might mean a different issue is at play?

Opening ‘ss_cmyk.eps’ failed: Could not interpret Postscript file ‘ss_cmyk.eps’

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

Thank you so much!

Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Glad we could help you Pablo!
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
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
Same issue on same config:

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

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

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 this and I’m throwing in the towel for now. Any help would be appreciated…

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?

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Glad you found a solution David! Thanks for reading and commenting!

-Kimberly

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 not worth very much. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. For starters, it runs on Windows, Mac, Linux and even Unix platforms.

There is no question that Photo Shop still reigns as the king of graphics and photo editing programs. However, given that you would need to shell out several hundred dollars for photo shop, why not start off using a tool which is free, and still gives an incredible amount of functionality?

For starters, GIMP allows you to easily do all of the basics. Crop and scale photos, adjust the brightness and contrast for better looking images is just the beginning. Another really cool trick is to add a guide. This is usually done when you want to mark the halfway point of an image or when aligning text (it can also be a step in helping to correct a horizon). You can choose to set this guide by either percent (which can further be specified as horizontally or vertically), by pixels or just by clicking on a spot in the image itself.

Another cool feature involves rotating the images. You can do this by clicking on the layer, then transform and then arbitrary rotation. From here you may select the number of degrees to rotate the image, use a slider to do it yourself, or just click directly on the image until it rotates to the place you wish. Incidentally, you may also rotate layers for those more advanced or experienced users out there.

Changing a color image to black and white is another photo shop like trick which can be accomplished on the GIMP software quite easily. There are actually two different ways to accomplish this. First, you could change it to grayscale. This just uses the pathway of image > mode > grayscale. The second method is through desaturation. Just click on colors > desaturate.

A tool I really, really like with GIMP is clone. This allows a user to remove unwanted little blemishes. This is very photo shop like. To begin, select the little stamp in the toolbox (that is the clone tool). Then pick the appropriate sized brush to use for removal. Obviously, the smaller the blemish the smaller brush you will want. Now you just select an area using Alt + click. That will become your reference for the cloning. Try this one, it is really cool.

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

Peace,

Judi

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

Anonymous
Thanks, worked great for me as well.

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
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
Once I put in the value you have given, it worked like a charm. Thanks to those putting out this information
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
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
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
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
* 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
How do I get the file to run as an .exe, using Windows XP?

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

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

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

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.

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
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.