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CSPDF: Generating PDF Documents

The School of Computing CSPDF system can be used to convert pretty much any document into PDF format.


CSPDF implements a printer queue which can be accessed from both Windows and Unix. Anything sent to the print queue will be converted to PDF and then made available to you for download over the web.


Print your document to printer \\staffprintc\cspdf and a short while later you'll receive an email message from the system. That email will give instructions on how to fetch the PDF version of the document you've just printed.

The first URL mentioned in the email is always the same:, and you can use that URL at any time to see a list of all the PDF files available to you.

Once your PDF file has been generated, it remains available for collection for exactly one week. Once you have fetched a particular PDF file it then remains available for one hour before it is finally purged from the system.

Generating PDF Documents under Unix

If you wish to use the CSPDF system under Unix (on raptor for example) then you can do so by submitting any PostScript document to the queue cspdf using the command

lp -d cspdf

However, two things to note:

  • The queue accepts only PostScript. So, for example, to submit a text file you will first need to convert it into PostScript. a2ps will do this for you and submit the print job at the same time:
a2ps -Pcspdf myfile.txt
  • You don't actually need to use the CSPDF print queue at all, as you can convert PostScript to PDF directly using the ps2pdf command. Type man ps2pdf for details.

Possible Problems

This system may not work for all documents (this is a fact of life :-). If it fails completely for one of your documents then you will be told about the failure in an email message.

It's also possible that the generated PDF document may not be exactly the same as the original, so make sure you check you're happy with the PDF version.

By all means let us ( know if you hit problems and we'll see if anything can be done, but we can't guarantee that we will be able to help.


The School of Computing CSPDF system is currently available to anyone with a University of Kent Windows logon.

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