I am about to install W32TeX on a flash drive. Among the files to be installed (via a vbs script) are GhostScript and GhostView.

My question is, do I really need GS and GV, because I only create very simple personal letters, with no PS drawings, etc.

2 Answers 2


If you can guarantee that you

  1. don't use PostScript related packages such as PSTricks
  2. don't import EPS images
  3. don't need to compress your PDF output which is produced by either pdflatex.exe or xelatex.exe.

then you don't need GhostScript! GhostView is just a viewer with very limited features that I never need to use.

You just need to compile your TeX input file with pdflatex.exe or xelatex.exe and finish!

  • how do you preview your pdf then in Emacs - AUCteX for example? what would be the best game in town to have side-by-side pdf preview?
    – doctorate
    Jul 10, 2014 at 12:12

If the "simple letters" are done using PS (via LaTeX) you need at least GhostScript. If you're interesting in viewing your PS documents, then you need GSview as well. The GSview download page states that:

GSview is a graphical interface for Ghostscript. Ghostscript is an interpreter for the PostScript page description language used by laser printers.

To that extent, you have to set the PS interpreter (GhostScript in this case) in GSview in order for it to work, otherwise GSview won't be able to display any PS content:

Gsview settings

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