Cl-pslib is a (thin) wrapper around pslib a library for generating PostScript files.

The wrapper

Cl-pslib use CFFI and SWIG to interface with foreign (non lisp) library and generate the low-level lisp wrapper respectively.

cl-pslib does not export the raw (CFFI) pslib API but use CLOS instead.

A psdoc C struct pointer is wrapped in the class psdoc, most of the functions to manipulate this pointer are wrapped in lisp methods specialized for that class.


Pslib use a lot of parameters to configure its behavior.


 (get-value doc "boxheight")

I found this very unpractical so i tried to generate lisp constants to match the corresponding string parameter

 (get-value doc +value-key-boxheight+)

Function name

As general rule the methods for the class psdoc are the same of the ones of the pslib with the character "_" substituted by "-".

There are some exceptions listed below.

native name lisp name
PS_set_border_color set-border-link-color
PS_set_border_dash set-border-link-dash
PS_set_border_style set-border-link-style
PS_open, PS_open_mem open-doc
PS_fill fill-path
PS_show and PS_show2 show
PS_show_xy and PS_show_xy2 show-xy
PS_string_geometry, PS_stringwidth and PS_stringwidth2 string-geometry
PS_symbol font-symbol
PS_symbol_name font-symbol-name
PS_symbol_width font-symbol-width

Other differences

  • setcolor can accept a cl-color object as parameter;
  • there is no '(ps_)boot' method; when an instance of psdoc in created the 'initialize-instance' of that class will call ps_boot if needed. The same is true for '(ps_)new' method;
  • 'open-doc' method will pass the output of pslib (i.e.the PostScript file) to a lisp callback function if the second argument of the function is nil; by default the callback just copy the output in ps:*callback-string*. This maybe can be useful for generate a file in a web application.
  • the string-geometry method return an instance of text-metrics class


Note that the whole library is in an alpha stage, testing is still in progress, please see section below

Missing function

The high-level API does not still remap this functions:

  • PS_free_glyph_list;
  • PS_get_buffer;
  • PS_glyph_list;
  • PS_new2;
  • PS_open_fp;
  • PS_hyphenate;
  • PS_list_parameters;
  • PS_list_resources;
  • PS_list_values;
  • PS_set_gstate;
  • PS_setdash (use set-polydash instead).


Please send bug report to cage at katamail dot com


This library is released under Lisp Lesser General Public license (see COPYING.LESSER file)

Examples are released under GPL version 3 or later


This library is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU Lesser General Public License for more details.

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