On OS X, is there a good application to open PS files without converting them to PDF?

In addition, I want to associate PS.GZ files to this application, but retain the TAR.GZ association to my uncompressor. Is this feasible?

  • Hello! Regarding the opening: Have you tried to open the PS files directly with Preview.app?
    – myhd
    Aug 24, 2012 at 12:47
  • 2
    Also, would you consider splitting your question, which is actually two questions, into two articles? Your second question will gain visibility, and it will be easier for people to help you.
    – myhd
    Aug 24, 2012 at 12:49

3 Answers 3


There are several possibilities:

  • Preview.app (comes with OS X) will open any PS (PostScript) file. In the background, I assume, a conversion to PDF takes place, but this should not be an issue.

  • Adobe Illustrator can open and edit PostScript files. Shelling out a rather big amount of money for just viewing a PS file seems overkill, though. However, there is a free 30-day-trial (link from January 2013 for CS6).

  • PostView by Metaobject is said to support PostScript as well, but I personally am not convinced / could not get it to work.

My personal recommendation: Use Preview.app!

  • 6
    Note that Preview cannot "open any PS file" -- it is limited to Postscript files that are structured in such a way that Preview can convert them to a PDF, and then it displays the PDF. That means that hand-coded PostScript may not be compatible, but the output of any commercial application should be.
    – user116575
    Mar 1, 2015 at 19:47
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    I've never had a problem with hand-coded PostScript in Preview. I'd argue that if it's valid PS, Preview can open it.
    – benwiggy
    Jul 18, 2020 at 17:57
  • Preview on the latest MacOS no longer supports .ps files, see macrumors.com/2022/10/25/…
    – gen
    Mar 10 at 14:58

Problem: I recently encountered this problem and found Preview.app was unable to open a *.ps file.
Solution: Changing the extension to *.eps allowed the files to be opened automatically (i.e. double-clicking on the *.eps file converted the file to PDF and opened it in Preview.app).
Caveat: However, YMMV.


To answer your first question:

No need to download anything to open the *.ps file without converting just open your terminal.

open -a textedit filename.ps

It will open a *.ps file like Ultraedit.

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