Offending command: def

The ‘def’ operator is used in PostScript to define things like other operators. This means that PostScript errors with ‘def’ as the offending command appear rather frequently (as PostScript errors go) and can be caused by just about anything because the lay-out application, the printer driver and any illustration on the page can include definitions that potentially generate errors.

Invalidaccess errors

A PostScript error ‘invalidaccess’, offending command ‘def’ may be caused by an Illustrator file that contains multiple master fonts. The error also occurs when printing such files straight from Illustrator 6.0 or Separator 5.X. The only work-around we know of is converting all multiple master text in the design to outlines. Then try printing again.

Lars from Denmark said in the prepress newsgroup that an XTension from Alap called Markit has a similar problem. To get rid of the error, you could try the following:

  • Make a new text file in a text editor
  • Write the following line: userdict /xs undef
  • Save this text file in the Harlequin/SW/Page Features directory.
  • Then select it as the Page Feature in the Page Setup on the RIP.
  • Try to run the job again!

Errors due to memory leaks

A PostScript error, offending command def, could be caused by the RIP not having enough memory to calculate part of the page. Try to isolate the element (possibly a printer font or imported graphic like a corrupted EPS) that causes the error and recreate or simplify it.

Some RIPs tend to lose memory when they have been running for days or weeks without being reset or switched on and off. Reset the RIP and try printing again.

You can free up disk space (which is used for virtual memory) on older PostScript level 1 RIPs by performing a fontcache delete. This procedure gets rid of unnecessary temporary font files that take up valuable harddisk space. Most level 1 RIPs come with a utility to delete the fontcache, often it is just a little PostScript file that has to be downloaded to the RIP.

Color Encore RIPs

When you print multiple master fonts to an imagesetter using a RIP calibrated with Southwest Software’s Color Encore 3.1 or earlier (e.g., Splash RIP), the PostScript error ‘OffendingCommand: def’ occurs. Calibrate the RIP using Color Encore 3.3 or later to get rid of this error.

Other things to try

Reboot the system or try to substitute images that were placed in the lay-out using copy and paste with properly imported images.

9 August 2013

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