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What are .EPS files and how to deal with them?

If you’re a graphics designer or ever worked on a graphics designing project or even downloaded some vectors off of the internet, you must have run into some unknown file extensions.

One of them is going to be .EPS, which is the most commonly seen in vector graphics downloaded from websites like freepik.com and so on. They usually come bundled with another well-known file type such as AI (for Adobe Illustrator) or .PSD (for Adobe Photoshop).

While you might naturally be inclined to go with file types you’re familiar with, using EPS files can have its own advantages. In this article, we go through what exactly EPS files are and how can you handle them.

Also read: Photoshop 101: Five tips and tricks for beginners

What are .EPS files?

EPS stands for Encapsulated Postscript. It is a standard graphics file format created by Adobe in 1992.

Now as the name suggests, EPS files are more of postscript programs that dictate how images and graphics, in general, are placed on a document instead of simply just storing a graphic. This can include both bitmap and vector data and allowing it to store graphics, images or even text.

What are .EPS files and how to deal with them? | Candid.Technology
An EPS file in Adobe Illustrator. Notice the various structured object layers

Since it’s more of a program rather than a file, the image stays the same regardless of the OS or software and hence, this file format is very popular among publishers, designers and artists for its versatility on different programs and operating systems.

Advantages of using EPS files

EPS files are primarily used owing to two advantages:

  • Importing: You can import and use EPS files into almost any image manipulation program
  • Cross-platform compatibility: Files stay exactly the same when you move them between Windows, Mac or Linux. When the file is sent for printing, you don’t need to worry about compatibility

Just like with anything else though, EPS has its own disadvantages as well. The custom settings needed when initially saving a file in the format requires setting quite a few settings and setting them right.

Also, page layout applications don’t usually support EPS files’ modification of text, lines or colouration. This means getting them printed can be a real headache at times.

How to open .EPS files?

What are .EPS files and how to deal with them? | Candid.Technology
The same EPS file in word. Note the script

Aforementioned, .EPS files require specialised software to work with. Here’s a list of software you can use to work with EPS files:

  • Adobe Photoshop (Windows/Mac)
  • Adobe Illustrator (Windows/Mac)
  • Adobe InDesign (Windows/Mac)
  • Microsoft Word (Windows/Mac)
  • Scribus (Windows/Mac/Linux)
  • CorelDraw Graphics Suite (Windows)
  • Corel Paintshop Pro (Windows)
  • QuarkXpress (Mac)
  • Apple Preview (Mac)

Also read: Top 8 free alternatives to Adobe Photoshop

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