What is an EPS file, and how do you open one?

Maxim Cherednichenko / Shutterstock.com

There are many different file types in design word: PNG, JPG, PSD, SVG, and more. An EPS file is another file you’ll usually find. Here’s what an EPS file is and how to open it.

all about vector

All of the above and other file types fall into two categories – raster and vector. Raster-based applications — and the associated file types — use pixels to create images. When you zoom in, you can literally see individual pixels.

Vectors, on the other hand, create shapes that contain ‘nodes’ and ‘points’. Points and nodes can be moved to change the shape, and they can be resized to any size without losing quality, unlike a raster-based image.

raster vs vector
raster vs vector

Think of it like a canvas. Raster like using paint. It may look clean from certain distances, but as you get closer, you can see all the irregularities in the brush strokes. A vector is like cutting a shape and pasting it on a canvas. It kind of “floats” on top and the edges are clean.

Photoshop creates bitmap images, while Illustrator creates vectors, such as EPS, AI, and SVG files. An EPS file is a vector file that contains all the information needed for vector-based applications.

Related: What is the difference between Illustrator and Photoshop?


SVG logo on a blue background

EPS and SVG are both vector-based file types, but they exist separately for a reason. EPS is an old standard used primarily in printing. SVG is newer and more convenient to use on the web.

On a technical level, EPS is based on PostScript while SVG is based on XML. The differences really lie in print versus the web. An EPS file can be used to print something, while logos and graphics on a website are more likely to be SVG.

Related: What is an SVG file and how do I open it?

How to open an EPS file

EPS files are slightly different from other types of vector files. The SVG file can be viewed in a standard browser such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Firefox. However, EPS files cannot do this.

To open the EPS file, you will need a dedicated application. Adobe Illustrator can open EPS files without problems. Photoshop and open source alternative They can also import EPS files, but they convert them to bitmap fonts in the process.

If you’re using the open source alternative to Illustrator—Inkscape—You will need to use a workaround to upload the EPS file. It’s actually quite simple, though. All you have to do is Convert EPS file to PDF file. All vector points and nodes will be properly stored as a PDF file.

In short, an EPS file is simply another specialized file that works with compatible computer applications. They are still commonly found if you download vector images online.

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