[XeTeX] ghostscript version

Mike Maxwell maxwell at umiacs.umd.edu
Sat Aug 28 15:01:27 CEST 2010

We're using your pdfpages package to include PDFs into a PDF produced by 
XeLaTeX.  We discovered that ghostscript, which gets used in this 
process, had a bug in an earlier (c2007) version, which causes it to 
crash on one of the PDFs that we're including.

The work-around is of course to use a more recent version of 
ghostscript, and that works fine.  However, we need (for compatibility 
reasons I won't go into) to keep the older version of ghostscript in its 
default location.  So I suspect the solution of using the newer version 
of ghostscript only works because I have its directory ahead of the 
other directory in my PATH.  In the interests of having a robust script, 
I'd like to eliminate this dependency on my particular PATH.

I had thought that the pdfpages package itself called ghostscript (or 
created a call for it to be called later on), but the author of that 
package, Andreas Matthias, tells me that gs gets called by xdvipdfmx.

There's no error msg from xdvipdfmx, the error msg in the log file is 
from the older version of ghostscript (and as I say, everything is fine 
with the newer version of ghostscript).

So: is there a way to tell xdvipdfmx where to look for the gs executable?

We're using the version of xdvipdfmx in the TeXlive 2009 distro.

Andreas also wrote:
 > Xdvipdfmx uses ghostscript to convert some graphics formts,
 > e.g. while including postscript files. However it normally
 > doesn't need ghostscript to embed pdf files. Maybe it uses
 > ghostscript when you are changing the compression level of
 > a pdf?

I'm not trying to change the compression level, so perhaps there's a 
simpler way to include a PDF than the way I'm doing it, which would 
bypass ghostscript?  (My way is to load the pdfpages package, and use a 
\includepdf command to include a PDF page in the appropriate place.)
	Mike Maxwell
	maxwell at umiacs.umd.edu
         "A library is the best possible imitation, by human beings,
         of a divine mind, where the whole universe is viewed and
         understood at the same time... we have invented libraries
         because we know that we do not have divine powers, but we
         try to do our best to imitate them." --Umberto Eco

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