What's an EPS File?
If you have ever worked with vector graphics then you might be familiar with what an EPS file format might be, and how to use them. If you aren’t well-versed in the Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) file format, then it is essentially a graphic format for vector images that Adobe Illustrator uses, much like a photographic image file format is a JPEG.
A vector is an image with a mathematical equation that allows you to take your image and make it as large as a billboard you see on the side of the highway. The vector images contain bit maps that tell each pixel in the image what size and color they should be so that you can make an image into nearly any size without restriction or possible pixelation. Vectors are used for large-scales printing like billboards or building decal wraps, and the EPS file format is a commonly used, in fact, Stock Photo Secrets offers its vector files in EPS format that can be opened in Adobe Illustrator.
Of course, many of you designers do not work with Adobe Illustrator. However, EPS file format is still compatible with many other vector editing programs. If you're interested in options for vector editing, check this great list of the best Alternatives to Adobe Illustrator.
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, 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.
While most applications can generate EPS files, the only editable benefit you will receive is if the file was originally created as a vector 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.
Depending on what computer system you use, Mac or PC, will determine how easy it is to work with an EPS images. If you are on a Mac then you can use the EPS right way, but in Windows, you need a graphic software like Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw to open this file format.
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 a Mac and PC users. If you have trouble opening, you may have to select a program for the image to open in. 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 will need to convert the color space to CMYK (cyan-magenta-yellow-black) for print. You could also use Pantone colors.
Free EPS Software
Luckily, 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 walk through of Gravit
Another free software to edit EPS files is Inkscape – but admittedly, it’s not the easiest one to navigate and use. Also, I recommend EPS Viewer, which is an easy EPS to JPEG converter. There is also a pretty good online converter called Convert EPS to JPG that also works quite well.
When should I consider an EPS file rather than a JPEG?
Some stock image agencies, like Stock Photo Secrets, offers both illustrations (vectors), photos, and fonts. 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. Having the EPS file will allow you to change colors, move things around and customize it to be what you want.
For example, if you found a pattern you want to use, but you really 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.
An EPS file format 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 would like to ultimately control the size of the image without pixellation problem, and also when you want to make global changes to sizes, colors, and changes to your image.
The Stock Photo Secrets Shop offers over 700,000 vector EPS files in its image collection, and is great place to buy, especially if you want to pay as low was $0.49 per vector image.
We do recommend to buy from Stock Photo Secrets, as we are very cheap if you signup for one of our stock photo subscriptions like our 99club subscription that gives you 200 XXL royalty free stock photos, vectors, and fonts for only $99 a year. Or our Low Volume subscription that gives you 600 XXL images, vectors, and fonts for just $199 a year.
The Purpose of EPS
The EPS format created by Adobe Illustrator is a graphics file format that is great for designers who need to create large billboards, or need to make a dry large graphic for some other printing need.
EPS is an old format that can be opened with a lot of free software, whether you are a Mac or PC user, mentioned above. The benefit of buying a vector is that you can resize it basically to any size you might want, no matter how big you need it to be.
While there is much more we could write about EPS, the internet is an excellent resource for learning about what the difference between an EPS and JPEG file is, and plenty of stock photo agencies that have affordable vectors.