Adobe PostScript 3 specification
is 20 years old

Twenty years ago Adobe has published the PostScript Language Reference Third Edition, better known as «PostScript 3» (without «Level»):


These were the most important new features of PostScript 3:

  • 4096 gray levels for each color (was 256) allowed smooth shades and improved screening.
  • DeviceN color definitions enabled among other things duotone images and spot color gradients.
  • Smooth shades.
  • Image masks.
  • Two byte fonts (CID).
  • New font types: e.g. CFF, TrueType.
  • ZIP compression/decompression (Flate).
  • InRIP trapping.
  • Color Rendering Intents.
  • PS3 RIPs could convert PDF 1.3 to PostScript.

PostScript 3 was the last update of PostScript with new features. Further developments (e.g. transparency, layers) were all reserved for PDF and no longer compatible with PostScript.

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