EPS - Adobe Encapsulated PostScript File

What is a EPS file

EPS is short for Encapsulated PostScript. Created by Adobe Systems in 1992, it is one standard format for the import and export of text and images. Due to the compatibility of an EPS file with all operating systems, this file extension is regularly used by publishers. The self-contained, DSC conforming PostScript documents enable the sending and receiving of graphics which can be placed within other PostScript documents. Along with the EPS file the user can send and receive a low resolution image preview within the document. Early editions of Adobe Illustrator Artwork were based off of EPS files with DCS’s Open Structuring Conventions. You can convert your image files to EPS here.

In order to lay out the page with or without the ability to render the PostScript inside the file, the EPS file will contain a BoundingBox DSC comment giving information on the containing image within the EPS file. BoundingBox comments (found within the two DCS header comments) define the resolution and file size. File previews may be TIFF or WMF files if they start with the four bytes containing the characters C5 D0 D3 C6, which produces a group of characters that looks vaguely like the word “Adobe.” Other EPS files must begin with [%!PS-Adobe-a.b EPSF-c.d] where the lowercase letters need to be one digit numbers.

Here's a small, but not exhaustive list of programs that can open EPS documents:

  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Photoshop (later versions)
  • Ghostscript
  • GIMP (requires Ghostscript)
  • OpenOffice