What Is an EPS File?

An EPS graphics file is saved in the Encapsulated PostScript format, and works in lots of programs

What to Know

This article explains what EPS files are and how they're different than other image types, which programs are able to open one, and how to convert one to another picture format like PNG or SVG.

What Is an EPS File?

A file with the EPS file extension is an Encapsulated PostScript file. They're typically used by drawing applications to describe how to produce images, drawings, or layouts. They can contain both text and graphics to describe how the vector image is drawn, but they also usually include a bitmap preview image "encapsulated" inside.

EPS is what early versions of the AI format was based on. Encapsulated PostScript files may also use the .EPSF or .EPSI file extension.

EPS is also short for terms that have nothing to do with a file format, like emergency power system and electronic payment system.

How to Open an EPS File

Open or edit EPS files with vector-based image editing applications. Other programs most likely rasterize, or flatten the file upon opening, which renders any vector information uneditable. However, like all images, EPS files can always be cropped, rotated, and resized.

Photopea is an online image editor that's probably the fastest way to view the file online, from any web browser on any operating system. Google Drive also works, but only as an online EPS viewer.

EPS file open in Photopea
Photopea viewing an EPS file.

EPS Viewer, Adobe Reader, and IrfanView offer fast and effective tools for opening and resizing EPS files on a Windows PC. You can also view EPS files in Windows, Linux, or macOS if you open them in OpenOffice Draw, LibreOffice Draw, GIMP, XnView MP, Okular, or Scribus.

Ghostscript and Evince work for either Windows or Linux, while Apple Preview, QuarkXpress, and MathType are EPS openers for Mac, specifically.

Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft Word (v2010 and older, through the Insert menu), and Affinity Designer also support the format, but they aren't free to use.

If a program that you don't want to use the EPS file with, opens the file when you double-click it, you can change the default program that opens that file extension in Windows.

How to Convert an EPS File

One easy way to convert it is to use Zamzar. It's a free file converter that runs in your browser to change the format to JPG, PNG, PDF, SVG, and various other. FileZigZag is similar, and can save it to document file types like PPT, HTML, ODG, etc.

EPS conversion at Zamzar

EPS Viewer converts EPS to JPG, BMP, PNG, GIF, and TIFF. Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator can convert an open EPS file through their File > Save As menu. Photopea is a good option if you want to change the format to PSD file or a number of other formats, like ICO, TIFF, PPM, RAW, or DXF.

Filestar is yet another offline EPS converter you can use. See the EPS Skills page for a list of all the export formats it supports. This program runs on Windows and macOS.

Still Can't Open the File?

Verify that the file you're using really is an Encapsulated PostScript file. You might have searched for the wrong file extension, which can happen if it's spelled a lot like EPS.

For example, ESP looks very similar to EPS, but is instead the suffix used for plugins in The Elder Scrolls and Fallout video games. You'll most likely get an error if you try opening an ESP file with the EPS openers and editors from above.

EPP files are similar and are associated with several file formats, but none of them are related to an Encapsulated PostScript file.

Some others you could be confusing for this one are EPM and EAP.

  • Are EPS files vector files or bitmap files?

    EPS files can contain bitmaps or vectors (or both), while traditional vector file-formats only contain vector files.

  • Can you edit EPS files?

    Yes, but you'll need a program capable of editing vector files such as Adobe Illustrator, or you can download the Inkscape freeware. While Photoshop is best for images, vector files work differently from traditional images and are best suited to more specialized applications like Illustrator.

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