EPS file – what is it, and which programs can open it?

What's an EPS File?

If you have ever worked with vector graphics, you might be familiar with what an EPS file format might be and how to use it. If you aren’t well-versed in the Encapsulated Postscript file format (EPS), then it is essentially a graphics format for vector images that Adobe Illustrator uses, much like a photographic image file format is a JPEG. Today you'll learn exactly what is an EPS file and how to work with it. Open your EPS file here now!

Open & Convert EPS file format Free

Drag & drop .eps here

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  • EPS
  • JPG
  • PNG
  • TIFF
  • PDF

Steps to use EPS Converter to open an EPS file:

  • Find your EPS File on your Computer Hard drive
  • Click on the EPS File and drag it into the field above
  • Alternatively, open our EPS Converter here
  • It opens automatically
  • It converts in the background via our EPS converter
  • Click on the button to open it in a new window
  • Done – you can download your open EPS File

Note: There are also multiple free and paid tools to convert EPS files into other file formats.

What is EPS and What Is Its Purpose

EPS, which stands for “Encapsulated Postscript,” is a file format created by Adobe in the late 1980s to serve the needs of designers and printers. Originally it was compatible with Adobe Illustrator only, but now there is a lot of free software to open documents with EPS file extension, as well as to convert an EPS file into a different file type or to view EPS files without Illustrator. Whether you're a Mac or PC user, you are not short of choice in terms of software for opening an EPS file in your operating system.

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EPS is a vector format. A vector file uses a mathematical equation to store the information of each pixel in an image individually, thus allowing you to take your image and make it as large as a billboard you see on the side of the highway without it losing its dimensions and resolution.

EPS files contain bitmap data with codes for color and size for every single pixel. This is why you can scale them up or down without restriction or possible pixelation. And this is also why you can edit isolated objects without affecting the rest of the image.

Vector files are great when you need large format images, as you can blow them up to any size you want, no matter how big, without affecting quality.

While EPS was once conceived as a standard graphics file format, today, it's an old format that has been long surpassed by various other formats for Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, drawing applications, and more. However, postscript program files are still around and still useful as a legacy format compatible with some software and with modern printers, for example.

While there is much more we could write about EPS, the internet is an excellent resource for learning about the difference between an EPS and JPEG file, and plenty of stock photo agencies that have affordable vectors.

Stockphotos.com, for example, has great annual Club subscriptions to download high-quality vectors and stock photos at affordable prices. One of the best offers is Club Easy, with 200 downloads in one year for $99. And now an exclusive Stockphotos.com coupon gives you 10 free images in your first year!

Subscribe to Stockphotos.com's Club membership today and enjoy a bonus of 10 free image downloads!

Speaking of image sizes, see our guide on the standard photo sizes for marketing materials for reference! Vectors are used for large-scale printing like billboards or building decal wraps, and the EPS file format is commonly used Stockphotos.com offers its vector files in EPS format that can be opened in Adobe Illustrator. For more info about this agency, check the Stockphotos.com review.

We have recommended you check out our free SPS Converter software, which you can test here to open your EPS files! You can use it as an EPS viewer, too.

Please contact us here to let us know how it works for you. Keep in mind that it is still in BETA (Preview) mode, and it's not finished software.

SPS Converter - EPS Software - BETA Version - Try now!

If you like to use Desktop software, check out Corel Draw Software here to open and edit your EPS file! And how could we not mention the industry-standard vector editing tool, Adobe Illustrator?

If you're a fan of Adobe products, here you can learn how to download Adobe Illustrator for a very low price and even for free!

TIP: Adobe Illustrator now includes some interesting generative AI features resulting from the integration of Adobe Firefly technology. It's worth exploring!

Illustrator Free Download Free Trial Adobe Illustrator > EPS file - what is it, and which programs can open it?

Of course, many of your designers do not work with Adobe Illustrator. However, the EPS file format is compatible with many other vector editing programs. If you're interested in options for vector editing, check out this great list of the Best Alternatives to Adobe Illustrator. 

If you intend the DIY approach to graphic design, don't miss our guide with 102 expert tips to create visuals!

Click here to learn more about vectors for as cheap as $0.49 per vector file at Stockphotos.com now!

Software To Edit and Open EPS files

Depending on your file needs, EPS might be a format for you to look for rather than a JPEG file. EPS files, if opened in a vector-based program such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw, will have the ability to be resized without loss of quality and will also be able to be easily edited and manipulated. If you open an EPS file in a program such as Photoshop, the file will be  “rasterized” (flattened) and uneditable, similar to any JPEG file.

Illustrator Free Download Free Trial Adobe Illustrator > EPS file - what is it, and which programs can open it?

While most applications can generate EPS files, the only editable benefit you will receive is if the file was created as a vector image instead of a raster image. Therefore, if an EPS is created in Adobe Photoshop and opened in Adobe Illustrator, that won't make the image editable. It will remain flat. However, Photoshop is indeed an alternative to working with EPS files, albeit with some limitations. And you can test it out for free now with this cool Adobe Photoshop Free Trial!

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Depending on what computer system you use, Mac or PC, will determine how easy it is to work with EPS images. If you are on a Mac, then you can use the EPS right away, but on Windows, you need to select Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw to open this file format. This is why graphic designers should look into the pros and cons of different operating systems and different formats.

Layout applications, such as PageMaker, Quark, or Microsoft Word, will only be able to place an EPS file, not open it. EPS is a format that is available to both Mac and PC users. If you have trouble opening it, you may have to select a program for the image to open. You will also want to note the color space the file is in. While scanners and digital cameras generate RGB files (red-blue-green), you must convert the color space to CMYK (cyan-magenta-yellow-black) for print. You could also use Pantone colors.

Free EPS Software

Here you can test this cool Converter software to open your EPS files! Keep in mind that it is still in BETA (Preview) mode.

And there's more good news: one of the best software tools to edit EPS vector images, Adobe Illustrator, has a 7-day free trial you can benefit from to test their service and edit your EPS files for free. More information is in our complete guide to downloading Adobe Illustrator.

Then, there is some great and free software that can help you edit EPS vector images. The newest free software tool is Gravit. With Gravit, you can create a free account that allows you to create and work on graphic images, including EPS files online to make all kinds of different-sized images.

Here’s a video walkthrough of Gravit

Another free software to edit EPS files is Inkscape – but admittedly, it’s not the easiest one to navigate and use.

If you are ready to give EPS files a try but have not yet spent money on them, go for one of these awesome stock vector-free trials! 

And even more free tools, we have merged in a brand-new post for you: The Best Free Graphic Design Software Tools in 2024.

When should I consider an EPS file rather than a JPEG?

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Some stock image agencies, like Stockphotos.com, offer illustrations (vectors) and photos. When you seek an illustration, unless you are in love with it as-is, you will want to be sure you are receiving an EPS download. The EPS file allows you to change colors, move things around, and customize it to be what you want.

For example, if you find a pattern you want to use but you don't like the colors, you can swap out the colors to be exactly what you want. Additionally, you might purchase the rights to an illustration if you like an element within the file. If it is editable, you can pluck out what you want to use quickly and easily.

A Postscript document offers your vector graphic image a lot of customization and room to work with your image to change it without really destroying any image information or having to flatten the image. You should use an EPS vector file when you want to ultimately control the size of the image without pixelation problems and also when you want to make global changes to sizes, colors, and changes to your image.

Where can I buy Affordable EPS Files?

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Stockphotos.com offers over 700,000 vector EPS files in its image collection and is a great place to buy, especially if you want to pay as low as $0.49 per vector image.

We recommend buying from Stockphotos.com, as it's very cheap if you sign up for one of our stock photo subscriptions like the Club, which gives you 200 XXL royalty-free stock photos and vectors for only $99 a year. Or the Club Plus offer that gives you 600 XXL images, vectors, and fonts for just $199 a year.

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EPS File: Frequently Asked Questions

Is the EPS file the same as the PDF?

No. PDF (stands for Portable Document Format) is a versatile file format created by Adobe, but it is not the same as an EPS, as it's more adaptable and compatible with more software. PDF files can also be opened, viewed, and shared with all their elements locked so the content isn't affected.

Is an EPS file the same as a PNG file?

No. While EPS is a vector format, PNG (short for Portable Network Graphic) is a raster file. Plus, PNGs can be opened with pretty much any software, unlike EPS which requires specialized software. It's one of the most popular file formats for web use because it provides lossless compression –the file maintains all its image data– and lets you display photos in high resolution while reducing file size.

Is JPEG an EPS file?

No. JEPG (or Joint Photographics Experts Group) is an image file format with lossy compression, meaning that it makes the file size smaller but losing some of the details in the image, albeit in a clever way where resolution is decreased but the human eye cannot see any details missing. It remains the most popular format for digital images. But it's not the same as EPS, which is a format that contains vector information and thus, is usually large.

Amos Struck
Amos Struck

Amos Struck, a renowned expert with over two decades in the stock photography industry, is known for his profound expertise in both stock imagery and artificial intelligence (AI). He is the founder of StockPhotoSecrets.com and a driving force behind the innovative AI-driven platform, Stockphotos.com. His pioneering work in visual AI is marked by co-founding Ximilar AI. Amos also established the Microstock Expo Conference, a key event in the stock photography sector. As a regular speaker at major industry conferences like DMLA and a prominent member of CEPIC, he consistently contributes to the industry's growth and evolution through a blend of technological innovation and market insight.

17 Comments
  1. Hi,Amos
    Thank you for the insights.You mentioned free software to open the .eps files.Can you recommend free option for editing them?

  2. Reply Avatar of ‪Yiska Fattal‬‏
    ‪Yiska Fattal‬‏ December 15, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    I tried the Gravit SW and it is imposible for working. Almost not responsive for clicks, seems like very very heavy SW. Not recomended.

    • Works fast and fine here. Maybe it uses a lot of ressources in your browser – go check it out with another browser maybe.

  3. Inkscape sucks in my opinion. Amos, are you saying that it’s better than Gravit?

    • I only worked with Inkscape for a limited time and I think it has a deeper learning curve than Gravit. Gravit is way more limited than Inkscape at this point.

  4. Thank you for the video walking through Gravit! This is my first time working with EPS files and you were informative and clear in your explanations. Thanks!

  5. for the eps file that you used in this video, can I extract; for example the bulb as a transparent png using Gravit.io?

    thanks!

  6. I want to express my gratitude to stockphotosecrets, for the online EPS converter. It just got me fixed.

  7. Wouldn’t a PDF be better nowadays than an EPS?

  8. I can open EPS files using IRFANVIEW with the correct add-ins. IRFANVIEW is also free.

    • Hi TL, thank you for mentioning this. Unfortunately, most people are not familiar with installing software plus plugins into that software just to open EPS files. But we keep it in mind for the next update.

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