15 Replies Latest reply on Aug 17, 2011 6:55 AM by bluebrit

    Scaling of imported eps drawings

    bluebrit Level 1

      I use InDesign CS4, and place illustrator eps files into the documents and scale them in InDesign to fit on the page.

       

      Is there a way to show how much an illustration has been scaled by in InDesign, from its original illustrator size? I see the scaling percentage when doing the actual scaling, but not anything for previously-scaled drawings when you click info for example.

       

      If I know the overall scaling that has been applied, I can go back to illustrator, scale the original, and place it in InDesign at 100%. The line widths will then be consistent, having set it all up in illustrator.

       

      I seem to remember that PageMaker could show the overall scaling applied, but I could be wrong.

       

      Thanks for your help,

      Steve

        • 1. Re: Scaling of imported eps drawings
          BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          Select it with the direct select tool and look in the control panel...and stop using EPS. It's an archaic file format. Save as AI and place that.

           

          Bob

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Scaling of imported eps drawings
            Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

            When you select the content of the frame with the direct selection tool you will see the scale factor of the image.

             

            BTW.: You should not use EPS any more. When you work with Illustrator save the file as AI-file and you will get the best results, when you save a Photoshop file use PSD to place in InDesign, but no EPS!!!!

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Scaling of imported eps drawings
              Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              PDF would be better to save as instead of PSD,

               

              IN PSD and TIfF, the vector masks, shapes and text layers are output as raster. With PDF for Photoshop the file remains fully editable, including layers, and it retains it's vector for output. Which is preferable.

              • 4. Re: Scaling of imported eps drawings
                bluebrit Level 1

                Thanks Bob,

                  but if I click on the drawing in InDesign and look at the control panel, it seems to show only the last scaling that was applied, and not the overall scaling.

                 

                The good news is that I think the overall scaling shows up in the links menu under the links info area.

                 

                Thanks also for the tip about the eps files, I will try using .ai files.

                 

                Best regards,

                Steve

                • 5. Re: Scaling of imported eps drawings
                  John Hawkinson Level 5

                  One day I bet all this anti-EPS fervor is going to come back to bite you guys.

                  EPS is a fine format if you don't care about color management and don't have raster images.

                   

                  The recent Mathtype thread reminds me of why EPS is so nice. It's easy to programatically generate and easy to look at and understand with standard tools.

                   

                  I do kind of wonder what file format you guys would recommend for tools that have to generate vector paths. I suppose you would say "SVG", but I'm under the impression that it does not give you a consistent appearance from renderer to renderer [but maybe I'm wrong]. I realize this is not the original poster's situation.

                  • 6. Re: Scaling of imported eps drawings
                    BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                    There is no way any format that doesn't support color management and/or transparency can be categorized as nice.

                     

                    As for which format, we've already said that AI or PDF would be the preferred format.

                     

                    Bob

                    • 7. Re: Scaling of imported eps drawings
                      Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                      If you wanted one format that could handle any graphical format for either direct viewing or printing as well as for repurposing (such as placement into InDesign documents), PDF is currently your only real, viable choice due to its ability to support the full Adobe imaging model including full ICC color management and live transparency.

                       

                      I know of very few professionals or even software engineers who would agree that EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) is “easy to look at and understand with standard tools.” PostScript is a programming language, not a page description language and to fully interpret what some EPS really is doing, you need to fully process the EPS from the start to wherever you have concerns/issues. Also, EPS is not necessarily expressed as ASCII! It is very easy to generate binary encoded PostScript that is anything but “easy” to decode!

                       

                                - Dov

                      • 8. Re: Scaling of imported eps drawings
                        Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        You must have a red phone on your desk that rings anytime EPS is mentioned on these forums lol.

                         

                        Nicely explained.

                        • 9. Re: Scaling of imported eps drawings
                          Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                          PDF is the best general purpose choice for interapplication data placement from Photoshop to either Illustrator or InDesign unless the only content you have is pure raster. Placing PSD content into Illustrator and Design results in all content being rasterized whereas text and vector content is maintained with PDF. For pure raster content in Photoshop, ICC-profile tagged .ZIP compressed TIFF is probably your best bet if you have any background transparency. JPEG is acceptable if (1) there is no background transparency within the image to concern yourself with and (2) you have an image for which JPEG imaging artifacts from lossy compression won't be a problem (such as for photographic images for which JPEG was actually designed).

                           

                                    - Dov

                          • 10. Re: Scaling of imported eps drawings
                            John Hawkinson Level 5

                            Dov: I'm not just being silly here, I am actually being somewhat

                            serious. I have a backburnered project to replace some reptitive black

                            and white line art that our staff edits twice a week in Illustrator

                            with an automated tool, and I'm seriously trying to think about what

                            an appropriate future-proof easy-to-generate format is, and the die

                            keeps coming up EPS.

                             

                            I know of very few professionals or even software engineers who

                            would agree that EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) is "easy to look at

                            and understand with standard tools."

                             

                            Well, it's sure easier to understand than PDF! I mean. Let's suppose

                            we have a simple vector image, expressable in PostScript as:

                             

                            %!PS-Adobe-3.0 EPSF-3.0
                            %%BoundingBox: 0 0 300 200
                            newpath
                            100 100 moveto
                            0    10 rlineto
                            10    0 rlineto
                            0   -10 rlineto
                            100   0 rlineto
                            currentpoint
                            stroke
                            /Courier findfont 8 scalefont setfont
                            moveto
                            (end of line) show
                            

                             

                            Draw a line and add some text. It's fast and easy to generate, once

                            you know what the graphics primitives do, its easy enough to modify

                            the generation code. You can single-step through the drawing process

                            if you have an interpretter like Ghostscript (or break out the NeXT

                            and use Display PostScrpt, I guess...).

                             

                            Now, if I want to express this in PDF...well, honestly I'm at a loss.

                            One way would be to write the PostScript and convert it (either

                            pstopdf or Acrobat Distiller). That does make my program run a lot

                            slower. I suppose the users could wait a second or two, it's not the

                            end of the world.

                             

                            And if I look at the PDF, well, I'm not sure what tools will give me

                            something that I can wrap my head around. I mean, the PDF will look

                            something like this:

                             

                            q 0.1 0 0 0.1 0 0 cm
                            10 w
                            1 i
                            0 G
                            1000 1000 m
                            1000 1100 l
                            1100 1100 l
                            1100 1000 l
                            2100 1000 l
                            S
                            0 g
                            q
                            10 0 0 10 0 0 cm BT
                            /R7 8 Tf
                            1 0 0 1 210 100 Tm
                            (end of line)Tj
                            ET
                            Q
                            Q
                            

                             

                            except it'll have 34 lines of prologue and 40 lines of trailer.  I'm

                            sure I can find a library for perl or python that will help generate

                            this stuff, but it won't feel terribly clean, and I'll forever feel

                            like it's a lot more inscrutable. I realize that 'Tj' is well defined,

                            but...

                             

                            And when the PDF is is FlateEncoded, then I need to find something

                            to make it human-readable. There's pdftk which I guess works (but

                            have you ever tried to build it??). I guess Acrobat Pro has a window

                            that will let me see inside the PDF, but it is rather limiting.

                             

                            Maybe I've missed the boat and there is some awesome PDF development

                            tool/environment I am missing...

                             

                            PostScript is a programming language, not a page description

                            language and to fully interpret what some EPS really is doing, you

                            need to fully process the EPS from the start to wherever you have

                            concerns/issues.

                             

                            Well, that's true if it is complicated, but most of the time

                            it is in fact simple. And even most machine-generated PostScript

                            tends to use procedures that at least make a little bit of sense.

                             

                            Also, EPS is not necessarily expressed as ASCII! It is very easy to

                            generate binary encoded PostScript that is anything but "easy"

                            to decode!

                             

                            Sure, it's possible to LZW and Flate compress and I guess half a dozen

                            other approaches (can you CCITT fax encode a postscript instruction

                            stream?), but realistically? It does not tend to come up as a problem.

                             

                            It's not as if I debug other people's postscript code on a regular basis,

                            and I suppose a lot of it is prologues that make printers spit out

                            goofy postscript errors, which are a category of their own. But again,

                            I think back to the MathType problem (still ongoing, so maybe it's

                            unfair to count it).

                             

                             

                            But I sort of feel like the writing is on the wall for EPS, at least,

                            based on what people in this forum say. That does make me sad.

                             

                            p.s.: one more reason to not use EPS -- bad unicode support.

                             

                            p.p.s: Sorry to hijack the thread.

                            • 11. Re: Scaling of imported eps drawings
                              BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                              And I thought I was a geek....oy!

                               

                              Bob

                              • 12. Re: Scaling of imported eps drawings
                                John Hawkinson Level 5

                                Oh, right. For those who have forgotten their PostScript, here's the visual translation:

                                eol.png

                                • 13. Re: Scaling of imported eps drawings
                                  Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                                  John,

                                   

                                  I am sorry if you think I'm belittling you in any way. That is certainly not my intent.

                                   

                                  If you know exactly what is in a particular flavour of EPS and you properly handle the EPS file header, yes, you can programmatically manipulate the content of an EPS file. That having been said, this is not true in the general case. Even the EPS generated by Adobe Illustrator is not guaranteed to be the same from release to release of Illustrator. And certainly, the PostScript in EPS generated by various applications and/or drivers is all over the place in terms of content.

                                   

                                  The simple vector example you provide is hardly representative of what real world applications and drivers actually output! 

                                   

                                  In terms of PDF, virtually all PDF manipulation is done via PDF libraries licensed either from Adobe or third parties that deal with the complexity of the PDF format.

                                   

                                            - Dov

                                  • 14. Re: Scaling of imported eps drawings
                                    John Hawkinson Level 5

                                    Huh? Belittling me? Not at all! I'm being completely serious and I thought you were as well.

                                     

                                    My point wasn't really about programmatically manipulating other people's EPS files.

                                    I meant that EPS was a file format that has some real advantages over the other choices, and I can understand why a number of application developers use it, in fact I am quite tempted to use it for many of those reasons. I am also a bit leery of suggesting to people that EPS is an obsolete file format, because I don't see a clear replacement for it.

                                     

                                    The EPS files generated by Adobe Illustrator...well, those are a great example of EPS files that are extremely difficult to read. But that's because Illustrator is a very complex program. EPS files generated by much less general software are likely to be much more readable. At least, that has certainly been my experience when I have tried to debug problems involving them.

                                     

                                    Yes, my example was simplistic. But I guess that's the case for the project I have in mind. I need a way to output some simple vector graphics and place it into InDesign. Licensing serious PDF libraries from Adobe or from 3rd parties doesn't sound like a great solution compared to just generating an EPS file. It sounds like it would cost a lot more money than "free," and not really convey huge advantages.

                                     

                                    Am I off my rocker? It it a bad idea to use EPS in such a case?

                                     

                                    (That said, I'm sure there are some free open source PDF generation libraries... I think my only experience with any of them is Bruno Lowagie's iText. That wasn't really a very pleasant experience, and it also ties one down to Java. But there are probably much better choices for this application, which is simple vector graphics.)

                                     

                                    Thanks for your thoughts.

                                    • 15. Re: Scaling of imported eps drawings
                                      bluebrit Level 1

                                      Thanks for your help everyone! I think I found the answer to finding the overall scaling by looking in the Links menu and the Links info area.

                                      It is very interesting to see your comments about eps files.

                                      The drawings that go into the manuals I am currently working on are very basic vector line art, black and white, no transparency, no gradients, no masks, no blends, and usually no fill. These are eps files from illustrator. The eps format seems to work fine for all that I need, but if .ai is better in some way then I will give it a try.

                                      Thanks again, and best regards,
                                      Steve