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Definitive way to check legacy EPS version?

Mar 7, 2013 8:07 AM

Tags: #10 #eps #legacy #legacy_format

I work with lots of EPS files every day that are sent to me by users all over the world. As part of my work, I have to check the version of the EPS. They must be saved to version 10 (I review stock logos for GraphicRiver). I know you can open the EPS in a text editor, which I do, but that method does not seem to be reliable.


For example, here is the header info for one file:


≈–”∆  p @p
c ˇˇ%!PS-Adobe-3.1 EPSF-3.0
%ADO_DSC_Encoding: Windows Roman
%%Title: logo_original.eps
%%Creator: Adobe Illustrator(R) 16.0
%%For: Dan


- - - - - - etc. - - - - - -


I still have Illustrator10 on my machine (call me sentimental), and to my surprise, it still works under MacOS 10.6.8.  I was able to open the above EPS file with no warning message, or any problems whatsoever. So this was definitely an EPS 10 file. Clearly, the open-in-TextEdit method is not reliable.




I have tried using "Get Info" on the Mac, but that only works with files that were created by me.  I had a friend send me a test file that he created in CS6 and saved to EPS v.10.





I found this thread, and they don't seem to have a definitive answer:


It's from 2010, so I'm asking now, is there any way to definitively check the legacy version?

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 7, 2013 9:39 AM   in reply to Cheryl Graham

    Looks like the version info is saved to some system dependent meta information that gets lost when transferred through the internet.


    AFAIK the EPS version determines not the content of the EPS part of the file but what is included in the AI part. When you save to EPS version 10, the AI part of the file can be opened in AI 10 (so what you open in 10 isn't actually the EPS, but the AI part). If you save to EPS CS3, it will be opened in AI CS3. If you save to EPS 3, there will be no AI part.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 7, 2013 10:33 AM   in reply to Cheryl Graham

    I think you really need to consider what you want to achieve when demanding EPS version 10.


    Do you want to achieve mostly cross-platform-and-application compatiblity?

    Or just a sensible editability in Illustrator?

    Has anybody even thought about the sense in this version thing?


    A lot of the artworks you can buy in microstock, practically are not editable or it would require very deep knowledge in vector editing. Which many buyers might not have. For many artworks it would make more sense to provide a higher version or no EPS at all, just the source files with live effects. Even when you open AI in Corel Draw (latest versions), it would sometimes make sense to provide AI instead of EPS (any version).


    I have seen some micorstock files (not from your service) that probably have been checked for version compatiblity, but nonetheless make no sense at all. Which leads me to think it might be better to define the goals you want to achieve and not just check for some version numbers.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 7, 2013 11:12 AM   in reply to Cheryl Graham

    Not sure if there's a definitive way out there but what you have been doing by opening the EPS in a text editor seems to be on the right track.

    However, keep in mind that the info you are looking for doesn't necessarily have to show in the first few lines.


    We tested a few files and were able to find the info 3/4 way down the file.


    %!PS-Adobe-3.0 EPSF-3.0

    %%Creator: Adobe Illustrator(R) 10.0

    %%AI8_CreatorVersion: 16.2.0

    It seems like if you can find %%Creator: Adobe Illustrator(R) 10.0, then you are good to go.

    My suggestions is to search %%Creator: Adobe Illustrator(R) 10.0 or %%Creator: Adobe Illustrator(R) in the text file and see what's in the file.


    Please try it out and let us know how it goes

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 7, 2013 11:54 AM   in reply to Cheryl Graham

    Glad to hear that

    Hopefully, someone can come up with a way to simplify the process soon.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 7, 2013 12:19 PM   in reply to Cheryl Graham

    When (batch) changing the file extensions from .eps to .txt, I can imagine that using the Spotlight search could be a practicable way.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 8, 2013 10:13 AM   in reply to Cheryl Graham

    Have you tried to understand my suggestion ?


    Two quotes from your previous posts:


    "I work with lots of EPS files every day that are sent to me by users all over the world."


    "Now the task is to find a way to streamline this process. I can always press Command-F in TextEdit and find the string, but that would mean having it on my clipboard at all times, then pasting."


    That's why I thought a Spotlight search could streamline your task. As Spotlight doesn't seem to handle .eps very well, the workaround is as simple as that:


    Let's assume you've got a folder that contains a greater number of .eps files. You're now going to find a specific text string inside the files. You can try:


    - Copy that folder


    - Take a programme that can batch rename file extensions (for example NameChanger (free))


    - Batch rename the files from .eps to .txt


    - Inside the folder, do a Spotlight search with the desired text string


    - Take a look at the search results


    A quick test tells me that this way apparently works.


    Of course, that approach might be too philosophical as well …

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 8, 2013 3:08 PM   in reply to Cheryl Graham

    %%Creator: Adobe Illustrator(R) 10.0 simply means the file was creating using Illustrator version 10, which is why I also suggested you to do a search for %%Creator: Adobe Illustrator (R) so you can identify the exact version of the software used to save the file.


    If the EPS was created in Corel Draw, then searching for %%Creator: Adobe Illustrator(R) would not work since it's made by a different creator. I don't have a Corel Draw file with me but I am guessing searching for %%Creator: Corel Draw(R) might work..?

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 8, 2013 10:50 PM   in reply to Cheryl Graham

    Hi Cheryl, I just put this script together, tested with illustrator and corel eps files on windows


    open your eps file before running


    // = getEPScreator.jsx; 
    // script.description = that, it gets the active EPS document's Creator Property;
    // script.requirements = an open EPS document;
    // script.parent = CarlosCanto // 03/08/2013;
    // script.elegant = false;
    #target Illustrator
    if (app.documents.length>0) {
        var idoc = app.activeDocument;
        var afile = idoc.fullName; 
        var fname = afile.fsName; 
        fname = fname.replace (' [Converted]', ''); // legacy files append 'converted'
        var epsfile = File(fname);
        if(fname.indexOf (".eps") != -1) {
            if (epsfile.exists) {
                 var found = false;
                 while(!epsfile.eof) {
                      var eline = epsfile.readln();
                      if(eline.indexOf ("%%Creator:") != -1) {
                          alert (eline.substr (2));
                          found = true;
                          //break; // it could be more than one 'creator' property
                 if (!found) alert('Could not find a Creator Property in this document');
            else alert(' file does not exist, was it deleted?');
        else alert('Open an EPS file and try again');
    else alert('No document to process');
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 9, 2013 2:17 AM   in reply to Cheryl Graham

    Cheryl Graham wrote:


    Just to clarify, it is not important to know which software was used to create the file, just if it was saved as version 8, 9 or 10 EPS. Thanks again!


    This shows the EPS export dialog box from CorelDraw:


    There's no such thing as 8, 9 or 10 in it. Only PostScript compatibility (and version 3 is the last - little over a decade ago). "Version 8, 9 or 10" only exists in Illustrator and only determines the compatiblity  of some private data embedded by Illustrator and only readable in Illustrator. Don't know if CorelDraw (or Inkscape or any other vector software) also embeds private data in its EPS files, but maybe they won't and so you won't be able to find any reference of it in the file.


    The EPS part of Illustrator EPS of any version should actually be readable by any vector software that can open EPS (and that was created after PostScript version 3). "Version 8, 9 or 10" should only matter if you want to open the file in Illustrator, because only Illustrator will look for this special private data and use it if it is there. Maybe CorelDraw (or Inkscape or any other editor) will look for other private data and use it ...


    BTW: Illustrator only looks for private data when you open the file in. When you place it instead, Illustrator will use the EPS part of the file.


    Perhaps this helps understand my questions in post #3

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 9, 2013 10:39 AM   in reply to Cheryl Graham

    - copy the script from previous post

    - open Adobe ExtendScript Toolkit (or a text Editor of your choice)

    - paste the copied script

    - save the script with a meaningful name (getEPScreator.jsx)


    to run double click on the script.



    if you want to run it from within Illustrator -> File -> Scripts Menu


    - save the script here:

    C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator CS5\Presets\en_US\Scripts\


    - restart Illustrator

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 9, 2013 11:14 AM   in reply to Cheryl Graham

    Cheryl Graham wrote:


    So if someone purchases a logo and they only have Corel Draw, or Freehand, or Inkscape, they'll be able to open and edit it.

    FreeHand users will only be able to edit it, if it was saved as version 8 EPS,

    while CorelDraw X5 users will be able to open .AI (up to CS4) files - some objects will get lost, but a lot of stuff stays editable.

    I have seen a file (probably from Inkscape) that contained a simple shape with a gradient consisting of an awful lot of clipping mask that practically needed to be re-created in order to simply recolor the gradient.


    The whole concept of editability needs a deeper understanding of file formats and software functions than most users of these files have (otherwise they might perhaps be able create the stuff themselves). The promise of compatibility and editability  leads people into believing that everything is possible. But that  isn't  the case.


    If you could raise awareness with the responsive people for a rethinking of editability, you would do the downloaders a big favour in my opinion.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 9, 2013 12:09 PM   in reply to Cheryl Graham

    you're welcome

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