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Previous: 43.22 Converting Text Files to PostScript Chapter 43
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43.23 psselect: Print Some Pages from a PostScript file

The psselect program allows you to take a PostScript file and select individual pages for printing. It's part of Angus Duggan's PSUtils collection, a group of utilities for working with PostScript files. psselect produces a second PostScript file, which you can print using lpr or lp (43.2) (if your printer handles PostScript). It's easy to use; in the simplest form, just type:

% psselect -p page-spec input output

where the page-spec is a comma-separated string of page numbers and/or ranges of page numbers separated by a dash. Pages are counted from 1 (the first page of the document), or prepend an underscore (_) to make a page number relative to the end of the document, counting backwards. psselect doesn't try to detect and decode any "page numbers" that may be part of your document. For example, to select pages 1 through 16 of the file book.ps, type:

% psselect -p1-16 book.ps first16.ps

Use -e to print only the even-numbered pages or -o to print the odd-numbered pages. (If you use -e or -o, -p is also required.) Add the -r option if you want to reverse the order in which pages are printed.

psselect only works on PostScript files that conform to the Adobe Document Structuring Conventions. I won't elaborate on those conventions, but I will say that PostScript files that obey these conventions are the exception, rather than the rule. Unfortunately, the PostScript language is entirely too flexible; it's impossible to write fully general programs for extracting pages (and the like) without processing the entire language.

Fortunately, Angus has written a few scripts that convert PostScript files generated by various word processors into a form that he can deal with. These filters are all written in the perl language (37.1); here's a quick summary of what's available:
fixdlsrpsFix DviLaser/PS files
fixfmpsFix FrameMaker files
fixmacpsFix Macintosh files
fixpsditpsFix TranScript psdit files
fixpsppsFix PSPrint files
fixscribepsFix Scribe files
fixtppsFix Tpscript files
fixwfwpsFix Word for Windows files
fixwppsFix WordPerfect files
fixwwpsFix Windows Write files
So to get the odd-numbered pages of a document called fmdoc.ps, which was generated with FrameMaker, give this command:

% fixfmps < fmdoc.ps | psselect -o -p1- > oddpages.ps

- ML, JP, AD

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