Offending command: filter

Postscript errors with an offending command filter have something to do with the filters that are used within a RIP to handle various data formats. In all cases I ever read about or encountered, problems decompressing images lead to ‘filter’ errors.


  • Since this error is image related, try isolating the image that is causing the problem and replace it by a version saved using a different file format.
  • Ubuntu users who want to print PDF files and whose CUPS driver uses Ghostscript to convert PDF to PostScript, can run into a PostScript error message (ERROR: invalidaccess OFFENDING COMMAND: filter). Apparently the problem can be resolved by using Poppler instead of Ghostscript. I’ve seen reports with Ubuntu version 10 and 12, meanwhile this may have been fixed in more recent versions.
  • Older Adobe PostScript level 2 RIPs, as well as Acrobat Distiller, up to and including version 5, can only handle small copydot files. Copydot files are films that have been rescanned at a very high resolution to integrate them in electronic files. In Distiller 4 and 5, such files can only contain up to 32000 pixels in either direction. If files containing larger copydot files are sent to Distiller, it will generate an error similar to this: %%[ Error: rangecheck; OffendingCommand: filter; ErrorInfo: Columns 85504 ]%%.
  • Filter errors can occur in older versions of Aldus or Adobe TrapWise. They are most likely caused by an embedded jpeg compressed image. Open the document in the application that creqated it (ie PageMaker, Quark) and check images. Remove any jpeg compressed images and resave as EPS or TIFF and re-place in document. TrapWise 2.1’s internal raster image processor is a PostScript Level 1 clone licensed from Microsoft Corporation. JPEG filtering is not part of the level 1 specs.
23 December 2014

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