An EPS file may contain a "preview" version of the image, intended to be used, for example, by document editors when displaying the image on the screen. This has a surprisingly large effect on the format. The varieties of EPS are best categorized based on the type of preview image.
Also, be aware that some image viewers may display only the preview image, instead of the full-quality main image.
We'll call an EPS file with no preview image a "plain EPS" file, to distinguish it from the other EPS varieties.
Plain EPS is a subformat of PostScript. It is a plain text file.
EPSI (Encapsulated PostScript Interchange) is the same as plain EPS, except that it has a preview image inside it. The preview uses a simple raster image format. EPSI format can be identified by the presence of a line beginning with "
This is a wrapper format containing an embedded TIFF or WMF file, and an embedded plain EPS file. It is sometimes called DOS EPS Binary. It begins with a 30-byte or a 32-byte binary header. In most cases then the EPS text comes and finally the preview image. For the variant with the TIFF preview image sometimes the file extension
ept is used.
Files with a TIFF or WMF preview image begin with signature bytes
C5 D0 D3 C6.
All other EPS formats begin with ASCII text "
%!PS-Adobe-x.x EPSF-x.x" (where each
x is a single digit).
- Ghostscript: A free PostScript interpreter
- Ghostview and GSview: Viewers based on Ghostscript
- ImageMagick (requires Ghostscript)
- XnView (requires Ghostscript)
- EPS Viewer
- Die PostScript- Acrobat-Bibel by Thomas Merz, 1996, ISBN 3-9804943-0-6
- Information about '.ept' on File-Extensions.org