Introduction to Enscript

Enscript converts ASCII text files to PostScript, HTML, RTF, ANSI and overstrikes.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS 12.1 platform.



Enscript cannot convert UTF-8 encoded text to PostScript. The issue is discussed in detail in the Needed Encoding Not a Valid Option section of the Locale Related Issues page. The solution is to use paps-0.8.0, instead of Enscript, for converting UTF-8 encoded text to PostScript.

Package Information

Enscript Dependencies


texlive-20230313 (or install-tl-unx)

Installation of Enscript

Install Enscript by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr              \
            --sysconfdir=/etc/enscript \
            --localstatedir=/var       \
            --with-media=Letter &&
make &&

pushd docs &&
  makeinfo --plaintext -o enscript.txt enscript.texi &&

If you have texlive-20230313 installed, you can create Postscript and PDF documentation by issuing (does not support parallel make):

make -j1 -C docs ps pdf

To test the results, issue: make check.

Now, as the root user:

make install &&

install -v -m755 -d /usr/share/doc/enscript-1.6.6 &&
install -v -m644    README* *.txt docs/*.txt \

If you built Postscript and PDF documentation, install it using the following command as the root user:

install -v -m644 docs/*.{dvi,pdf,ps} \

Command Explanations

--sysconfdir=/etc/enscript: This switch puts configuration data in /etc/enscript instead of /usr/etc.

--localstatedir=/var: This switch sets the directory for runtime data to /var instead of /usr/var.

--with-media=Letter: This switch sets the medium format to letter size instead of the A4 default.


Installed Programs: diffpp, enscript, mkafmmap, over, sliceprint, and states
Installed Libraries: None
Installed Directories: /etc/enscript, /usr/share/doc/enscript-1.6.6, and /usr/share/enscript

Short Descriptions


converts diff output files to a format suitable to be printed with enscript


is a filter, used primarily by printing scripts, that converts ASCII text files to PostScript, HTML, RTF, ANSI and overstrikes


creates a font map from a given file


is a script which calls enscript and passes the correct parameters to create overstriked fonts


slices documents with long lines


is an awk-like text processing tool with some state machine extensions. It is designed for program source code highlighting and for similar tasks where state information helps input processing