Offending command: EPS_Dict

The PostScript error ‘undefined’ offending command ‘EPS_Dict’ probably doesn’t occur anymore. Ten years ago it only seemed to occur when using imposition software, such as  INposition, INposition Lite, PressWise or Preps, to output jobs.

INposition and INposition Lite (releases from around 1999)

Robert from Crisp Digital Limited was kind enough to send me the feedback from the INposition developers who stated that the following conditions cause the error:

  • The source Quark document is arranged as facing pages
  • Only one page of the plate contains one (or more) EPS file
  • The page containing the EPS files (from any creator) is a right-hand facing-page (for example, EPS files are on p. 3, and pages 2 and 3 are facing pages)
  • Printing separations (not composite) from INposition or INposition Lite.

No workarounds are mentioned but one can assume that placing a ‘fake’ little white EPS on all pages or printing composite and letting the RIP handle the seps might get around the problem.

Preps and PressWise

In both PressWise and older versions of Preps an ‘EPS_Dict’ error can show up when printing PostScript files generated by the QuarkXPress MSX or LPX xtension containing EPS-pictures (especially duotones) from PhotoShop. This problem was reported in 1999.

There are 3 work arounds to this problem.

  1. A general workaround for this problem is available for PressWise: Since PressWise promotes only the dictionaries (collections of PostScript operations) in the first QuarkXPress PostScript file added to an imposition, and since PostScript files created by QuarkXPress include only those dictionaries needed to print the contents of the pages contained in each file, it is possible that certain dictionaries required for EPS graphics contained in a QuarkXPress file will not be added to a PressWise imposition. If this occurs, PressWise will generate a PostScript error (Error: undefined; Offending Command: EPS_Dict) when printing the imposed signature. To avoid this problem, use the Azalea Prepress xtension 1.5 or later or add the QuarkXPress PostScript file that contains the EPS graphic (and EPS dictionary) to the imposition first (i.e., uppermost file in the Add/Remove queue), thereby ensuring that the EPS dictionary is promoted by PressWise. Next, add the remaining PostScript files to the imposition and rearrange the pages as necessary in the Page List window prior to printing.
  2. For Preps, you can get around the problem by creating the PostScript file using ‘Print to disk’ instead of using MSX. You could also check the file to see if you can get around the problem: we have noticed that the problem shows up when an EPS-image on the left page touches the right page. Just move the image one tenth of a millimeter and this might help as well.
  3. I got around the error once while imposing XPress 3.32 pages by opening the page that caused the error in XPress 4.04 and creating a new PostScript file from that version.