Reading on a computer screen (save trees!) would be easier with the Acrobat format than with the PostScript format, using a free Acrobat Reader from Adobe Systems, or using other non-Adobe Acrobat viewers (see below). These viewer applications also allow printing of Acrobat files. Therefore, this format is recommended in general.
Acrobat (PDF) is a document format developed by Adobe for the purpose of distributing documents electronically and allowing viewing of documents on a computer screen. It therefore includes features that make on-screen browsing easy, such as, hyper-text links, thumb-nail images, and book marks, much like your Web browser works. However, unlike the standard web format - HTML combined with bitmap iamges, Acrobat documents are also suitable for printing with high quality because it inherits many features of PostScript, a complex page-description language originally designed for laser printers. Small fonts and complex graphics may be printed without jagged appearance that is unavoidable with bit-mapped images. Even if you do not print a hard copy, these features allow you to zoom in and scrutinize a given area without an additional download of a huge bitmap image. Since our publications include graphs and plots that require the highest quality of reproduction, we use the Acrobat (PDF) format for all of our documents, in addition to PostScript.
The Adobe site carries their free reader software for the following platforms:
Also, three independently developed Acrobat Readers are available for NEXTSTEP as quad-architecture (NeXT, Sun, PC, HP) binary packages. Here's one that I consider the best of the three, PDFView. PDFView was written by Günther Fürthaller, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download PDFView.1.61.NIHS.tar.gz (387 kbytes) --
download via FTP
PostScript was originally designed as a language for describing text and graphics for printing. There are now programs that allow viewing of PostScript documents on computer screen, and some high-end computers come with Display PostScript and a PostScript preview application that allows you to browse through documents (page forward/reverse, jump to a given page). However, there is no support for hyper-text links, thumbnail images, or book marks that the Acrobat (PDF) format supports. For the popular platforms such as Windows and Macs, the state of PostScript preview software is not quite there yet. Installing such software still requires some technical skills.
There is a free PostScript viewer available for most platforms, but I have no current information on where they may be found. Try the Ghostscript, Ghostview and GSview home page, or do a Web search with these key words.
Our PostScript files have been created for the Letter size sheets, but should be printable also on A4. If there are any problems, please let me know.
If you want to know more about Mathematica, it's here.