Adobe Systems is well known for its Acrobat reader and PDF format. However, the company's first major product was the PostScript format. PostScript is a programmable language that sends instructions to laser printers to print documents. However a PostScript file just contains a series of unintelligible codes and so the Encapsulated PostScript format was invented. EPS is a PostScript file that contains an image preview of the document so people can see the document before printing it. Those owning the original document from which the PostScript file was generated do not need this preview. The EPS format caters to those who receive a PostScript file for printing without receiving the original document.
EPS stands for “Encapsulated PostScript.” It is a document format that is widely used for printing documents. EPS software includes programs that both create these documents and view completed documents. EPS has a specific format that gives printers two options for source data. EPS is a variation of the PostScript format.
As Adobe Systems invented the EPS format, they present the most applications that can create this type of file. Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Creative Suite and Adobe Illustrator all create EPS files. However, these Adobe programs only run in the Windows environment. The same is true for Blender, CorelDraw Graphics Suite and FastStone Image Viewer, which also create EPS files. QuarkXpress is the only EPS creating software that is available for both Windows and Mac environments.
The same list of programs that can create the EPS format can also view EPS files. The preview image can be viewed by any image viewing software. Ghostview is another application that can display EPS files. These viewers that are not also editors of EPS files display the preview image, which is in a TIFF image format. Another option is to import the EPS file into a different format of file. This is possible with QuarkExpress, OpenOffice Draw and Corel Presentations.
The purpose of the EPS file is to print a document on a laser printer, and so the most important EPS software is the printer driver. PostScript printers will ignore the preview image and print out the document by following the PostScript instructions. Non-enabled printers will ignore the PostScript and print the preview image. The PostScript version gives a higher quality print than the preview image. Adobe makes a free PostScript printer driver available on their website.
- Photo Credit Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images