By Diedre Bastian

Computer graphics applications often offer an option to save designs and EPS is one of those formats that graphic designers and publishing professionals know so well.

However, documents that include vector or raster graphics often feature linked EPS files because the format contains information in a computer language that is compatible with most image setters and printers. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s define what an EPS file format is?

No EPS is not the acronyms for “Eggs, Pancakes and Sausage” nor does it mean “Early Psychological Symptoms”, in fact the acronym represents “Encapsulated PostScript”. Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) is a standard file format for importing and exporting PostScript files. It is usually a single page PostScript program that describes an illustration or entire page. Markedly, these (eps) art files are mainly used by artists and graphic designers with specific configurations and are typically created to use Adobe Illustrator files with non-Adobe applications, and contain vector, text and graphic data. Graphic format EPS files can be created using desktop publishing illustration and page layout software programs like Adobe Illustrator andCorelDraw. These software applications save EPS files with the extension.eps.

Now we are quite aware that .eps files are not robustly used right? Why? Well, the graphics world has been moving beyond the restrictions of Postscript for years, and that trend shows no signs of slowing down. However, many print shops have already moved from Postscript RIPs to direct PDF RIPs using the Adobe PDF Print Engine, which retains transparency and generates no intermediate Postscript code. All the same, EPS files got good grades for high resolution illustration printing and can accurately reproduce digital images through PostScriptprinters which make EPS files look perfect on paper. Notably, EPS files have many advantages which make it appealing. First, you can break eps files apart and take one part of a picture out of the whole. Second, eps files are typically used to combine text and graphics for pre-press use do with an EPS file is IMPOs because eps files are highly scalable and don’t become bitmappy. Equally, the quality of the resulting printed image is definitely superior to printed images based on non-EPS files. In addition, EPS file formatmakes curved lines re-sizable too without degrading the quality. Most EPS files are used to insert images into other pages, such as PDF files or text documents for business presentations or slide shows. EPS files are considered an ideal format for importing if you make composite images or assemble them for use in printed materials. Assorted graphic programmes, such as Inkscape and Adobe Illustrator, allow you to manipulate EPS files and then save them for use in other applications. This benefit is useful to graphic designers who must modify and share decorative designs, logos and design-enhancing graphics. Cross-platform compatibility enables sharing of EPS files between Mac and PC computers. Any file saved as an EPS in Adobe Illustrator, on a Mac, for example, can be opened in the same program on a PC. Remember that inserting PostScript into a file does not make it an EPS file as it has to be specially formatted. Equally, you do not need to OPEN an EPS file in order to USE the EPS file. In most situations, what you should RT the EPS file into a word-processing application such as Microsoft Word or into a page-layout application such as Adobe PageMaker, CorelDraw or QuarkXPress.

Importing an EPS file into Microsoft Word: Click on “Insert” at the top of the Microsoft Word window, then click on “Picture, click on “From File.”

You’ll get the “Insert Picture” dialog box, Choose “Encapsulated PostScript(.eps)” for “Files of type.”

Navigate to the directory that contains the EPS file, and double-click on the filename of the EPS file that you want to import. (You’re done).

As a final point, EPS is rapidly becoming an outdated file format and it’s pretty safe to say that EPS and Postscript based, is soon to be pronounced an obsolescent format.

Why? Because it’s long been overtaken by PDF and AI. Actually, EPS has almost no place in a modern graphics workflow and is best avoided except invery specialised cases.

So what’s next for the EPS file format? Well, it’s a file that we will probably not see much on our computers and may just be considered a legacygraphic file format.

However, even though EPS has served the design world well, let’s say...it has done its time and all efforts are now focused towards PDF as there are many capabilities in PDF which are not available in EPS. Until we meet again, fill your life with memories rather than regrets. Enjoy life and stay on top of your game!

NB: Columnist welcomes feedback at deedee21bastian@gmail.com

Ms Bastian is a professionally trained graphic designer who has qualifications of M.Sc., B.Sc., A.Sc. She has trained at institutions such as Miami Lakes Technical Centre, Success TrainingCollege, College of The Bahamas, Nova Southeastern University, LearningTree International, Langevine International and Synergy Bahamas.


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