written by: Laura Jean Karr•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 5/31/2010
Being able to convert image files is a great asset when it comes to desktop publishing. Check out some ways to convert those JPG files over to EPS files using free open source software.
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Why Convert a JPG to an EPS File?
In desktop publishing there is a need to work in many different formats for different uses. Taking images through from web development to printing isn't always a smooth transition and this is where the ability to work with and manipulate different graphic image files comes into play. Two very different file formats that get a lot of use in desktop publishing are that of JPG/JPEG and EPS files. With JPG/JPEG files the main use comes in online advertising, web site logo creation and other forms of web development. EPS files are mainly used for printing purposes such as flyers, brochures, full page style design and other forms of printed advertising.
Your reason to convert JPG/JPEG files over to EPS files will depend on the project being worked on. If a project calls for computer graphics creation but will mainly be used for printing purposes then it would be best to convert to an EPS file format. If a project calls instead for web based design that will be published or distributed online then staying with a JPG file format or converting to SVG files would be best. For more information on conversion from JPG to SVG, see How to Convert JPG to SVG Files.
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What are JPG Files?
A JPG/JPEG file is a format that is used to compress primarily photographs. Seen all over the web, these files show landscapes, portraits and various still life images that are taken from their original large file size and compressed to a smaller file size. Named after the Joint Photographic Experts Group that created the file format, their lower image quality is not normally noticed by the human eye.
The need for compression of these images stems from the inability of web based information to show the larger file size in a speedy manner. When these image files are zoomed in on though, the pixelation of the image from file compression is more noticeable. For example, you can see in the image to the left a comparison of a JPG image at both its original state and then in a zoomed in state. For a better view of this example, click on the image and a new window will open with the larger image.
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What are EPS Files?
An EPS file is a Encapsulated PostScript format, developed by Adobe. In order for an EPS file to work it must conform to Adobe's Document Structuring Conventions (DSC) which are a set of basic standards that tells a PostScript file how to behave and work in-line with Adobe products such as Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe PageMaker and more.
EPS files contain a grouping of information such as graphics, text and illustrations within a rectangle that presents all the design information needed when creating a page layout. Because the graphic information within the EPS file can be displayed as a layout, each file also contains a preview of the file content for easy computer screen viewing. The main usage of EPS files is for full illustrations from a graphic style block that can be previewed before printing. To the left is an image example of what an EPS file looks like.
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Converting JPG to EPS Files
Having the ability to convert a JPG over to an EPS file can be an important asset when working on desktop publishing projects. For example, if you have a great photo image of the Grand Canyon and are working on a brochure for the Grand Canyon then you want a clean and polished looking end result. Using a JPG into the creation of the brochure will cause the image to lose quality and appear pixelated in a printed brochure. To avoid having a JPG image break up during printing, you'll want to convert it to a EPS file format for a clean overall finished result.
There are various methods that you can use in order to convert JPG/JPEG image files over to EPS files. The simplest way is to convert using the Adobe created software such as Adobe PageMaker, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. If you do not have an Adobe software package there are other ways to convert JPG to SVG through free desktop software.
Inkscape is one of the best free software packages available. The software is able to generate and save many file extensions used in desktop publishing and web development, including SVG, EPS and XML which makes the images created through this application in-line with Adobe DSC. Being an open source based software there are updates and patches to the application on a continual basis. Through Inkscape, graphic image files can be manipulated by paths and operations of paths which makes vector file creation easy and fun to do. You can learn more about the Inkscape application and how to start using the program through,Top 5 Free Vector Graphics Software Applications.
Ghostscript is another free and open sourced software application that can be used for converting JPG over to EPS files. Created by software developer L. Peter Duestch for GNU Project in 1988, the fully updated release was made public in February of 2010. The basis of Ghostscript is that it is a group of applications that act as an interpreter/user set both for Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF) and Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) files. This application can be used across platforms like Mac, Windows and Unix operating systems. The main application under Ghostscript for use in EPS use is called Ghostview and can be accessed for free at: www.ghostscript.com
*images used are royalty free and have been manipulated by the author using picknik online