Notes for Microsoft Windows Users
Retrieving compressed files
To make efficient use of disk space and network bandwidth,
we give our users the option to retrieve articles in a
compressed format. The two compression schemes supported are
UNIX compress and the superior
gzip format. (Precompiled versions of GZIP.EXE for MS-DOS are
available at the Free Software Foundation's
Well-behaved browsers will recognize the compressed data
stream (without confusing it with the content-type of the data being
transmitted) and will uncompress it before launching the appropriate
Unfortunately, many MS-Windows based Web browsers (including Netscape Navigator 3.x and Microsoft Explorer 3.x) ignore the compression information when retrieving these files, requiring the user to uncompress the files by hand before launching a viewer or printing them. The next versions of both browsers are rumored to fix this problem. A couple of workarounds to this problem exist, but require additional software tools to be installed.
Viewing PostScript and PDF files
In order to view articles downloaded in PostScript format, you will
need to install a postscript viewer and then configure your browser to
use it when a file with a content-type of
application/postscript is retrieved. This is typically
done by creating or editing the appropriate entry in your browser's
helper application menu, but most postscript viewers automatically
configure these tables at installation time. One
shareware application available under MS-Windows is
which is capable of reading gzipped files, which
allows it to work around the compression problem mentioned above.
Both viewers use Aladdin Ghostscript as their PostScript interpreter
which can handle both level1 and level2 compliant PostScript files
as well as PDF files (as of version 5.0).
This means that you can also configure these programs as helper
applications for files of content type
The other shareware alternative available for viewing PDF files is
Once a file is downloaded from the ADS article service, printing can
take place in a variety of ways depending on the type of applications
and printing devices available locally to the user. As a general
handy interface to printing files under MS Windows we
recommend using a shareware program called
By installing Gsview (see above) as well as PrintFile on your system,
you will be able to print PostScript files on a non-postscript
printer, as well as PCL and plaintext files. If you then configure
PrintFile as your browser's helper application for the
MIME type of
you should be able to have the program be automatically launched when
retrieving documents form the ADS article service
using the "Send to Printer" option.
A more rudimentary way to automatically send a file to a printer on an
MSDOS-based system is to create a batch script and
configure the browser to use it as the helper application.
The script can be created with a text editor and should contain
just the following line:
COPY/B "%1" PRN:Which instructs to copy the input file in binary mode to the default printer device. Save the script as a file called, e.g.
BINPRINT.BAT, and then configure your browser to use it as the helper application for documents with MIME type
application/remote-printingas described in the article printing help page. Please be aware that all this batch script does is send a file to the printer port, and is therefore uncapable to properly convert documents to the format expected by your printer, so you have to make sure that your printer is capable of handling the file being sent to it. For instance, if you have a Deskjet printer and want to use this procedure to automatically print files downloaded from our web site, you should select PCL as the output article format. Please also note that this approach is not always the best possible solution as far as printing is concerned since by selecting PCL as output format you will miss the advantages offered by formats such as PDF and Postscript level2, such as higher resolution and better compression.
Viewing PCL files
A freeware application which is reportedly capable of both viewing and
printing PCL files on a variety of printers is
Page Technology Marketing, Inc.
We have not used this software so we cannot comment on it. Please let
us know if you find it useful and/or have other suggestions or
pointers about it.