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OPUS glossary

Adobe Acrobat

Large software package of the Fa. Adobe for creating and editing pdf-files. Acrobat is only available for Windows and MacOS.
Employees of the University of Siegen may purchase a low-priced version. For informationen contact the ZIMT of the University of Siegen.

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It is important for electronic documents that pagebreaks and paging are always shown the same, independent from the computer or software used. In word processing software like MS Word this is noch granted. PDF-Documents in contrast are always shown the same.

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Ghostscript is a suite of software, that supports the presentation and print-out of postscript and pdf-documents. Furthermore it enables the editing and conversion between the formats mentioned.
Ghostview is available for a multiplicity of operating systems or can be compiled from the source code. In Linux distributions Ghostscript normally is enclosed.

Ghostscript is executed by command line, therefore particularly windows user use a graphical interface like GSView.

You find more information and downloads on the ghostscript-Seite and in the Wikipedia.

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Ghostview is a graphical user interface for Ghostscript. It is often mistaken for GSView. The orininal Ghostview is a X11-Interface for linux and unix systems.

Significant functions are the presentation of postscript- and PDF files and the print-out of postscript documents on non-postscript-compliant printers. Furthermore it provides procedures for the conversion of postscript documents into PDF documents.

Download and further informations: Homepage von ghostview

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GSview is a graphical user interface to Ghostscript for Windows and Linux. Gsview is often mistaken for Ghostview, a X11-Interface for Linux- and Unix systems.

GSView requires the prior installation of Ghostscript.

Significant functions are the presentation of postscript- and PDF files and the print-out of postscript documents on non-postscript-compliant printers. Furthermore it provides procedures for the conversion of postscript documents into PDF documents.

Download and further informations: Homepage von GSview

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Meta data

Meta data are data which include information about a document. On our server metadata are information about online publications, which have to be entered when registering the document on the server. (Author name, size, abstract, title etc.)

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OpenOffice is the sister version of StarOffice, available free of charge.

OpenOffice is a full Office Suite, meaning a collection of standard programs for office tasks, such as word processing or spreadsheets.

The main difference to StarOffice lies in a different database and missing modules such as Cliparts. Contrary to StarOffice, there is no official support for OpenOffice as OpenSource software.

Further information can be found on the web site of OpenOffice and in Wikipedia

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Orginal format

The format, in which the document is saved by default by the compiling software. You should use this default format, because every software can save the formattings to the full extent only in teht default format.

Furthermore the RTF format of word processing software can be considered, it sould guarantee the interchange of the documents between different word processing software. Please check the RTF document if it reflects all elements and formattings accurately.

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General information

PDF stands for Portable Document Format. It refers to a data type which should guarantee that a document is always presented in the same way both on displays and printouts. In contrast to conventional data types it is irrelevant which operating system, which type of computer or screen or preset character set is used to view or print the document. If the layout is to be presented unchanged, documents are often offered as a PDF file, particularly on the internet.

Creating PDF files

PDF is not designed to create documents directly. In fact documents of very different applications and types can be generated in addition to the original data format with the help of auxiliary programmes or special functions within applications.

PDF is an open source data format, therefore PDF documents may be produced not only with tools sold by the licence owner, Adobe. The tool with the widest variety of functions will probably be Adobe Acrobat which is only available for Windows and Apple processors. If you use StarOffice or OpenOffice you can create PDF documents directly from the application. Moreover, there is a large amount of free software which converts different formats into PDF files.

Please also read the Site Create PDF-Documents.


Computers cannot usually display PDF documents directly. Therefore a so called “PDF viewer” must be installed. The Adobe company provides a free download of the Acrobat Reader software for different platforms. After the installation the browser is often able to directly display PDF documents using the viewer.

There are other viewers which can be downloaded for free, for example “Ghostview”. This is a viewer for PostScript documents is also capable of reading and (if fully installed) generating PDF.



You can find further information on Wikipedia and on the Adobe website.

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General information

Postscript is a page description language, i.e. a data format which defines in detail the appearance of a document for printing or for display on different computers. PDF is based on Postscript.

Generating postscript dokuments

Postscript documents can be generated with many word processing programs or text layout programs and often serve as a temporary product when generating PDF documents. If your program can directly generate PDF documents, you should use this method. Further information can be found here.

Reading Postscript Files

You need a special vewer to read Postscript documents, as well as a program to read (or print) Postscript files, e.g. GSview, available free of charge.

Printing Postscript Files

Normal printers cannot handle Postscript files; the printer must be Postscript-capable (and is thus significantly more expensive than non-Postscript models). However, viewers such as GSview offer a print function, allowing printing on normal printers.



Further information can be found e.g. in Wikipedia.

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Publication contract

The publication contract appears at the end of the publication process and is mostly filled in. Please print two copies, complete missing information and sign it. The contract is always in German language.

With the contract you transfer the right to store your document, to make it publicly available in data networks and, if required, to convert it into other data formats to Siegen University Library. This right also applies for the German National Library and the “Sondersammelgebietsbibliotheken” (Libraries with special subject collection) if required. You can hand the contract in at the Hochschulschriften- und Tauschstelle of the library at get it signed. Please make an appointment. You keep one copy of the contract, the other remains in the University Library.

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RTF is a conversion format for text files, developed by Microsoft. Contrary to most original formats, the contents are not in binary format, but rather a pure text file.

This has the advantage that the data can be read using any word processing program or editor, even if the enclosed formatting instructions cannot be interpreted correctly. Thus it is very probable that the document contents will be preserved in the future, even if the software necessary for formatting is no longer available.


Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is in popular usage the address of an web page. For detailed informations, especially for the citation of an URL, consult e.g. the Wikipedia.

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Uniform Resource Name. By allocating URNs a uniform, invariable identification of internet resources is aimed at. The reason is the relatively frequent change of URLs, e.g. when suppliers of websites change provider or server. However, URNs cannot as a rule be inserted into the browser as address. One has to make use of a so-called resolver.

In Germany URNs can be resolved with the help of the German National Library’s resolver ,but this service has not yet been fully implemented.

Siegen University Library takes part in the relevant pilot project and allots URNs for all documents published on OPUS Siegen.

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