Acumen Training

Variable Data PostScript
(5 days, hands-on)
Printable course description (PDF)

A course in producing data-driven PostScript

Variable Data PostScript is a five-day, hands-on class in producing variable data documents using the PostScript language. This class discusses everything from reading and parsing a data streams to drawing charts and setting text to maximizing printing speed using forms and compressed PostScript.

This is a hands-on class, with student exercises giving practice in all the major topics throughout the week.

The student comes away with a wealth of information regarding advanced PostScript capabilities and specific techniques for generating documents from a data stream. The class consists of two parts, which may be taken separately:

  • Advanced PostScript Features, teaching the student about PostScript level 2 and Level 3 features that are important to variable data printing. This part may be skipped by students who have taken the one-week Advanced PostScript course.
  • Variable Data Programming and Techniques, which applies the students' PostScript knowledge to producing documents from a data stream. Students who have taken the Advanced Postscript course may take this part of the course by itself.


Teach the student to generate sophisticated-looking, fast-printing documents from a data stream.


Variable Data PostScript is intended for software engineers, programmers, and advanced support personnel who are writing or maintaining PostScript code that produces variable data documents.


Part 1. Advanced PostScript Features
(2 days, hands-on)

This two-day class discusses the nature and use of PostScript Level 2 and 3 features that are of importance to variable data printing. Here is where we learn how to use forms, pattern fills, file filters, and composite fonts.

Day 1

  • Introduction
  • PostScript Forms
  • Filters & compression
  • Filters and variable-data printing
  • Resources
  • Saving resources to disk

Day 2

  • Color spaces
  • Pattern fills
  • CID-Keyed fonts
  • Composite fonts
  • Composite fonts and styled text


Part 2. Variable Data Programming and Techniques
(3 days, hands-on)

In the final part of the class, we apply our PostScript knowledge to the creation of variable data documents. We shall create sample variable data output that demonstrate a variety of important techniques for producing impressive output that prints quickly and dependably. The topics run the gamut from broad topics (e.g., how to design your data stream) to very specific techniques (e.g.,how to set a block of styled text).

Day 3

  • Introduction and overview
  • Hardware standards
  • Concatenated driver output
  • Trapping errors
  • Driver-generated PostScript
  • Drivervs Printer-side formatting
  • Document Structuring Convention

Day 4

  • PPD files
  • Storing code and images on the hard disk
  • Imported graphics
  • Variable Images
  • Setting Text 1: Simple, left-justified paragraphs
  • Text 2: Centered, right, full justification
  • Text 3: Embedding variable data

Day 5

  • Text 4: Styled text, left-justified
  • Text 5: Styled text, right, centered, full justification
  • Embedding Fonts


Course Prerequisite
Advanced PostScript Features Completion of the PostScript Foundations class or equivalent experience. Students with “equivalent experience” should be able to answer the Advanced PostScript Qualifying Questions.
Variable Data Techniques Completion of Advanced PostScript Features, the Advanced PostScript class, or equivalent experience. Students with “equivalent experience” should be able to answer the Variable Data Qualifying Questions.


Pricing & Availability

See class schedule for a list of locations, dates and class cost.

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