I’ve been using the GIMP for a while now. Part of it is that I don’t really want to spend a ton of money on something like Photoshop when I really don’t need to do image manipulation that often. GIMP has worked wonderfully for me. But yesterday, I needed to read in a PDF file, make some changes, and save it back out (as an image, not a PDF). The problem? When I tried to open it, I received an error saying something like “Error starting ghostscript: Failed to execute child process (Invalid argument) “. What to do?
Naturally, I figured that I needed Ghostscript in some way or another. So I browsed about, found a download page for all sorts of versions, and installed the latest and greatest (8.53 packaged for 32-bit Windows, in case you are wondering). Yet it still didn’t work. The error came back the next time I tried. Hrm.
It’s like it was installed, but still not running. While I’ve found at least one reference to setting an environment variable to point to the location of the Ghostscript executable, that didn’t work.
So I browsed about some more, and found this page, which talks about the very issue, and recommends placing a single executable file (gswin32c.exe) into The GIMP’s bin folder, usually somewhere like:
C:\Program Files\Gimp 2.0\bin
So I did. Voilá. It came right up the next time I tried to open the PDF (I did exit the GIMP first and restart, not sure if that is necessary). Since only a single file was installed, I figured I would play with it and see if it only needed that file for some reason, or if the entire Ghostscript needed to be installed. When I uninstalled the program entirely, leaving only the executable in the bin folder, it got further than without anything installed – but it didn’t load the file. Presumably this means that the exectuable can “find it’s way” back to the libraries that are needed to render the file, which in turn means the whole thing needs to be installed (fonts don’t appear to be necessary).