There are so many hundreds of file types and extensions out there floating around. It can be daunting trying to understand what some of them are and what to DO with them. How in the heck do you open something you have never heard of? We all know what a JPEG is and usually spot an RTF file a mile away. However, many pieces of software have their very own proprietary file types. Some of them can only be opened using that particular program while others can be viewed by downloading something else. Insane… right?
Honestly, it is not. I get it: why not just use a set of standard file types? Think of it this way: if you created an amazing piece of software and were selling it, wouldn’t you want the files created in it to be opened with only your product? After all: if it could be opened by anyone using any old thing, you would not sell very many copies.
Today, we are going to discuss the EPS file. I will explain what it is and show you how to open it.
What is an EPS File?
EPS is short for Encapsulated PostScript File. An EPS file is used by drawing software. It explains how the images and drawings are produced. These files can hold both text and photos to describe how that particular vector image has been drawn. The cool thing is they also include a BMP (bitmap) preview image inside!
In case you are already confused, let me briefly explain what a vector is. It’s an image that contains a math equation. This piece of information lets you take your image and blow it up to the size of a billboard! The vectors have bitmaps (images) that tell all the little pixels inside the image what size and color they have to be so that your image can be manipulated into any size you choose. Vectors are always used when printing anything huge like those billboards I mentioned so that the images turn out crisp and clear.
Many types of programs can create an EPS image, but only a few can be used to actually edit them. For example, you can create an EPS image using Adobe Photoshop. However, if you then open that file in Adobe’s Illustrator, it will be flat and not editable. Therefore, you need the right software to use these images!
How to Open and Edit an EPS File
Thankfully, you are not only limited to using Adobe’s Illustrator to manipulate EPS files. While that is a great program, most of us like to have more options at our fingertips.
There are two decent free programs available to work with EPS files: Gravit and Draw Freely. Both can be difficult to navigate and should likely be used by someone already familiar with these types of programs or else watch the tutorial videos before starting!
Some of the professional paid options (other than the Adobe alternative) include Corel Draw and Affinity Design Pro.
Using other Programs to Open and Crop, Resize or Rotate EPS Files
If all you want to do is crop, rotate, resize or view an EPS file without worrying about the quality of the image at the end, you can use any number of programs that are likely already on your computer or tablet, including Microsoft Word, IrFanView or Gimp.
How to Convert an EPS File
Again, if you wish to open the file to simply view it or perform a simple change or two, you can use one of several free converters to change the EPS file into a JPEG or PNG. Check out the free web-based converter Zamzar or use FileZigZag to convert the EPS into a PPT file.
All in all, an EPS file is not terrifying. It is quite powerful and is used by graphic designers and architects on a daily basis. People like you and me will rarely create or use them, but it is always good to know what to do with them when you come across them!
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