Information on File Formats
This page contains some information on the file formats
Erik Demaine uses for posting his
papers and talks.
Each file has a basic format that encodes the text, and may also be compressed
in some way. There are three basic formats:
I tend not to compress files unless they are big (over a megabyte or so).
Let me know if you prefer a
compressed version for easier transfer.
is the most common format I use. You can send it
directly to any PostScript-compatible printer.
(On a Mac, you might want to use the freeware
for this purpose.)
You can process and view PostScript
the GV frontend for
the older Ghostview frontend
or the GSview
frontend for Windows, all of which are free.
(Portable Document Format) is not something I use often,
but can be more convenient for some people. If you prefer PDF for a
particular paper or talk, just send
me email and I'll convert it. You can view PDF files on a variety of
machines using the free
(Hypertext Markup Language) is the main language of the web. It can be
viewed in any web browser. Conversion to HTML can be very tricky, but if
you really can't support any other format, you can
send me email and I'll do the
best I can.
If the file format only specifies one of the above, it is not compressed.
If there is an adjective, it is compressed in some way. There are two
compression formats I use:
(GNU zip) is the usual compression I use. If you need a
gzip-compressed file, let me
know. Most UNIX machines have gzip
installed on them; to decompress, just type
You can download free decompressers
for nearly any machine, including UNIX, Windows, and Mac.
is the common compression format on PCs. If you need a
ZIP-compressed file, let me
know. A free
unzip program is available for nearly any machine, including UNIX,
Windows, and Mac. There are shareware decompressers called
WinZip (for Windows) and
PKZIP (for a variety