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fax2ps - convert a TIFF facsimile to compressed PostScript™


fax2ps [ options ] [ file … ]


fax2ps reads one or more TIFF facsimile image files and prints a compressed form of PostScript on the standard output that is suitable for printing.

By default, each page is scaled to reflect the image dimensions and resolutions stored in the file. The -x and -y options can be used to specify the horizontal and vertical image resolutions (lines/inch), respectively. If the -S option is specified, each page is scaled to fill an output page. The default output page is 8.5 by 11 inches. Alternate page dimensions can be specified in inches with the -W and -H options.

By default fax2ps generates PostScript for all pages in the file. The -p option can be used to select one or more pages from a multi-page document.

fax2ps generates a compressed form of PostScript that is optimized for sending pages of text to a PostScript printer attached to a host through a low-speed link (such as a serial line). Each output page is filled with white and then only the black areas are drawn. The PostScript specification of the black drawing operations is optimized by using a special font that encodes the move-draw operations required to fill the black regions on the page. This compression scheme typically results in a substantially reduced PostScript description, relative to the straightforward imaging of the page with a PostScript image operator. This algorithm can, however, be ineffective for continuous-tone and white-on-black images. For these images, it sometimes is more efficient to send the raster bitmap image directly; see .BR tiff2ps (1).


Print only the indicated page. Multiple pages may be printed by specifying this option more than once.

Use resolution as the horizontal resolution, in dots/inch, of the image data. By default this value is taken from the file.

Use resolution as the vertical resolution, in lines/inch, of the image data. By default this value is taken from the file.

Scale each page of image data to fill the output page dimensions. By default images are presented according to the dimension information recorded in the TIFF file.

Use width as the width, in inches, of the output page.

Use height as the height, in inches, of the output page.


Some messages about malformed TIFF images come from the TIFF library.

Various messages about badly formatted facsimile images may be generated due to transmission errors in received facsimile. fax2ps attempts to recover from such data errors by resynchronizing decoding at the end of the current scanline. This can result in long horizontal black lines in the resultant PostScript image.


If the destination printer supports PostScript Level II then it is always faster to just send the encoded bitmap generated by the tiff2ps program.


fax2ps should probably figure out when it is doing a poor job of compressing the output and just generate PostScript to image the bitmap raster instead.


:doc`tiff2ps` (1), libtiff (3tiff)


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January 27, 2024 4.5