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Questions regarding: 1) Photoshop and Illustrator softwares 2) .eps file formats.

Nov 27, 2012 12:49 PM

I'm using a DELL PC running Win7. I have Adobe Photoshop CS (i.e. the first CS version from 2003).

I do not yet have Adobe Illustrator.


I'm creating images for a science publication. It includes graphs, chemical structures, color photos of lab

equipment. I use ChemBioDraw (Cambridgesoft, to draw chemical

structures and schematics. I've been using MS Powerpoint to draw graphs, make composites of photos, label

panels, and add annotation.


1) The publishing company wants line drawings to be in .eps format. I can copy and paste ChemBioDraw

and Powerpoint figures into Photoshop and then save them in .eps format. They look identical to me when in

.eps format. Will this be suitable for publication?


2) The ChemBioDraw figure file size increases more than tenfold when converted to .eps format. Is this



3) I have used Photoshop a lot in the past but not for my recent work. My coauthor uses Adobe Illustrator on

a PowerMac G5-9.1. He creates .eps files for line drawings. Are the drawing tools in Illustrator much

better than those in Photoshop? If I get Illustrator will I be able to manipulate photo images (create

composites, add annotation etc.) as I have with Photoshop in the past?


4) My coauthor has sent me some .eps line drawings. When I open them with Photoshop there is a gray and

white checkerboard pattern in the background. I believe this is because the background layer has been

eliminated (the image is in layer 1). Can such a file be opened in a way that the background is solid white?

5) Is there a Windows-compatible software for viewing .eps files that is simpler than Photoshop or Illustrator  (i.e. no editing




Thomas C.

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    Nov 27, 2012 1:20 PM   in reply to Thomas Crowley



    1) No. Photoshop does not create true vector files. Anyone asking for an EPS more than likely wants a true vector EPS file.


    2) No way of telling without seeing the results. But it could be perfectly normal. Increased file size in an EPS does not automatically mean there is a problem.


    3) Illustrator is a drawing tool. The tools in Illustrator are designed for object-oriented vector drawing. In many respects they are better than Photoshop's tools for those type of projects. And No, you can not edit photographs easily with Illustrator. While you can include photos or raster items within an Illustrator file, Illustrator is not inherently designed to edit iamges at a pixel level.


    4) Just add a new layer and fill it with white (or whatever color). Vector EPS files have no background.


    5) If you have Photoshop or Illustrator you have Bridge. You can view files in Bridge. I wouldn't know of any other Windows software. It may exist, I simply wouldn't know.

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    Nov 27, 2012 1:46 PM   in reply to [scott w]

    Scott, 2) is because the OP uses Photoshop. No better way to inflate any vector drawing than to save it as a bitmap. (Also, no better way to destruct any and all of the inherent scalability features of a vector image.)


    On 5): there are no "general" EPS viewers -- at least, simple ones -- because EPS is a very generic type of file. It can even contain a full PostScript program, requiring nothing but a full PostScript parser to be "viewable". Most cheap/free viewers assume there is a half-decent preview embedded in the file. (GhostScript is one that doesn't, but that's because it's a full PostScript parser. Then again, GhostScript is free but far from "simpler than Photoshop or Illustrator".)

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    Nov 27, 2012 4:11 PM   in reply to Thomas Crowley

    The first Bidge release was with CS2. You won't have it if you are still using CS1.

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    Nov 27, 2012 5:44 PM   in reply to Thomas Crowley

    You will be able to carry over some of your drawing skills into Illustrator, especially the pen tool and manipulating anchor points.  Most bitmap graphics are "Placed" into Illustrator and are either linked to the file or embedded ( embedded they become part of the file ).  Both applications are complex and comprehensive at what they do best.  Illustrator is not something you go to Burger King and order at the drive-up window.  Both applications require a solid education and even then users, experienced users, can still run into problems.  That said, the sooner you become familiar with Illustrator, the better.  But beware, learning these applications takes time.  If you haven't yet, see if there are any classes in your area that offer courses in the two applications.  The advantage is learning how one compliments the other, especially in your workflow.

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    Nov 27, 2012 8:25 PM   in reply to Thomas Crowley

    Although I personally like Illustrator you might consider Canvas which might give you the kind of features you need for your particualr purposes.


    I am sure they have trial version that you can download and try also Corel Draw both are windows based. You should compare as you cdan also ty Illustrator free for one month.


    if you like Illustrator and you use photoshop you might consider subscribing to the Cloud.

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