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Adobe PrintGear was a printer imaging architecture that was introduced by Adobe Systems on September 11, 1996 as a low-cost alternative to its PostScript page description technology.[1]


PostScript was a highly-regarded technology that had been introduced with Apple's LaserWriter printer line. However it was expensive, causing friction between the companies due to the high royalty fees charged for PostScript controller boards for the printers.[2]

Lower-cost competitors were introduced for peripherals aimed at the home market, such as QuickDraw-based printers from Apple and PCL-based printers from Hewlett-Packard.[3] PrintGear sought to compete in this market with 1/3 of the cost and memory requirements, as well as increased speed by sharing the rasterization work between the printer's controller and the computer itself.[4] It also supported emulation of HP's PCL4.[1]

The first peripheral to use PrintGear technology was NEC's SuperScript 860 laser printer.[5] By August 2000, PrintGear was discontinued and the website redirected to Adobe PostScript 3.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Adobe Systems Introduces Adobe PrintGear; A New Printing Architecture, Adobe Systems. 1995-09-11.
  2. Adobe-Apple war on Flash reminiscent of PostScript struggle by Daniel Eran Dilger, AppleInsider. 2010-05-14.
  3. Adobe targets entry-level printers, by Tom Quinlan, InfoWorld. 1995-09-11.
  4. Adobe PrintGear Technology Backgrounder (PDF), Adobe Systems. 1996-05-03. Archived 1996-10-27.
  5. Short Take: NEC cuts SuperScript price by Brooke Crothers, CNET. 1997-04-01.
  6. Got an HTTP 302 response at crawl time | Redirecting to..., Adobe Systems. Archived 2000-08-16.

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