Previews are a great feature in Windows 7 and Windows Vista as well as other programs like Outlook 2007. Previews allow you to quickly look at the contents of a file or attachment without leaving the application or starting up a new application. For example, with the preview handlers installed it is possible to look at an encapsulated postscript file in Windows Explorer

PSPreview In Explorer.png

  1. First download and install a modern version of GhostScript. I'd recommend something more recent than 8.62, which had a lot of issues with transparency. I've been using 8.70 for a while now and it seems quite robust and functional.
  2. Download a recent release of Physics Preview Handlers (currently only the postscript viewer is part of this project), and install it. The most recent link can be found by clicking the large "Downloads" button near the top of this web page.

That is it. This isn't a standalone program - so it won't show up in your start menu or any other visible location. Your system registry is altered to let the Preview system know how to render postscript file and the actual code is placed in your c:\Program Files directory.


Usage could not be simpler: just click on the file you which to preview. When you first click on the file a "Rendering" message will be displayed while the preview handler invokes ghostscript to render the postscript file to images:


That should go away after a few seconds and the image should show up. If an error message appears or if the rendering never ever completes, please do post a message or add an "issue" to the Issue Tracker (see buttons above) - I'd love to track it down. Postscript is full of problems!

BTW, in Windows Explorer you have to make sure the preview pain is turned on! The option is availible from the "Organize" menu, under the "Layout" option:


Uninstalling the preview handlers is very easy. Open up your list of Programs and Features control pannel, search for "Physics" and select the Physics Preview Handlers. Click uninstall!

If you aren't using GhostScript for anything else then I'd recommend uninstalling that as well!

Last edited Nov 9, 2009 at 7:35 AM by gwatts, version 4


QwertyFly Jun 10, 2011 at 3:05 AM 
No Comments Made on this yet,
I am surprised.
I only found this a week ago and I don't know how I have lived without it.
Congrats to Gordon...