An invasion of go boards

This page links to a collection of go boards in PostScript and PDF format of various sizes and format. It is possible to customize many aspects of these boards to a large extent. Kudos to Harry Fearnley for suggesting many valuable features and contributing documentation. Your main choices are, non-exclusively:

For more information and thoughts about various aspects of Go board printing, visit Harry Fearnleys Go boards page.


Download a ready-made PDF file (follow the links further below). The PDF files currently available are of low resolution, and print quality will likely be better if you work with the PostScript files. I hope to offer high resolution PDF files in the near future.


Download a ready-made PostScript file. You need to have a PostScript viewer/interpreter and/or printer installed. A freely available PostScript viewer/interpreter is the GSview/GhostScript pair.


Hand-edit a downloaded PostScript file, using your favourite text-editor. All important parameters can be set from within the PostScript file itself, e.g. board size, text decorations, star points, line width, et cetera. Only image backgrounds need to be imported using the script gb-TEMPLATE (see below).

This may sound scary, but it really is not. When you open the PostScript files with an editor you'll find that they are legible and contain lots of comments on how to modify them to suit your purpose.


Download the master perl script gb-TEMPLATE. You will need to have the programming language perl installed on your system. The script will output a PostScript file entirely customizable via command-line parameters. Use this to import custom-made backgrounds such as simulated wood grain or any design of your liking. A few example boards with backgrounds are available from this page.


Poke around in the misc directory where I've stuck a few further versions, such as 19x19 goboards for A1 and A2 paper sizes, and an A4 file with two 5x5 goboards.

The master template and the PostScript files allow customization of

Board size — it has to be square.


Paper size — A4, A3, A2, and A1 are currently supported.


Star points — appearance and location.


Optional text for promotional activities, contact details. Up to seven different text fragments can be specified.


Background — it can be either a grayscale, color, or image background. The background dimensions can be specified and images can be clipped.


Crop marks — optional.


Grid unit sizes — for different styles (e.g. Japanese/Chinese) of boards.


Color specification for various page elements.


and more miscellany.

The go board elite troups can be found in the source directory in the boards subdirectory. They are created using the perl script gb-TEMPLATE, found in the bin directory.

The go boards available here all have a little bit of sideways text printing the location of the page you are reading. It is easy to turn this off either with gb-TEMPLATE or by editing the PostScript source itself.

It is possible to print go boards with a greyscale background, a color background, or to import an arbitrary image. The imported images currently must be PostScript image encodings and are required to be created with the pnm suite, presumably by conversion from some other image format. More documentation can be obtained from running gb-TEMPLATE with the --help option. Several background images, including wood grain backgrounds, can be found in the grain directory. The bin directory contains a rudimentary script that can be used to tile images without disruptive border effects. You will find that some images work well, other less so.

If you have a specific request and it is not yet supported or you are unable to get it working, contact me. If possible, try to ask a geeky fellow Go player first - there should be aplenty.