EPS

Stands for "Encapsulated PostScript."

EPS is an image file format that includes a vector image defined using the PostScript language, as well as a raster preview image that represents the file when placed in another document. The EPS format has long served as an industry-standard format for vector graphics that helps graphic designers create illustrations, logos, and page layouts. Modern image formats like PDF have gradually replaced EPS files in day-to-day use. While it still serves as a legacy format for professional applications and printers, it is not as widely supported as it once was.

Since EPS files contain vector images, they maintain a high level of detail and crisp edges when printed at large sizes and are ideal for saving complex digital artwork, logos, and text. EPS files support both RGB and CMYK color, allowing accurate color representation on screen and in print. They use a form of lossless image compression that preserves detail while reducing file size. Graphic designers can create EPS files using most vector illustration applications, including Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW. However, you cannot edit an EPS file once it has been created — instead, you must edit the original vector artwork file and export a new EPS image.

Adobe created the EPS file format in the 1980s to allow graphic designers to embed high-quality vector graphics in desktop publishing page layouts. Computers of the time were not powerful enough to be able to quickly draw these images on screen, which made it difficult to see how an image would look next to other elements on the page. To solve that problem, EPS files "encapsulate" a low-resolution bitmap image in a separate data fork that applications can use as a preview image on the screen. When sent to a PostScript-compatible printer, the printer ignores the preview bitmap and instead uses the PostScript data to print at the highest possible quality.

File Extension: .EPS

Updated October 11, 2023 by Brian P.

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