Difference Between AI and EPS in Adobe Illustrator (With Table)

Adobe Illustrator’s AI and EPS engines both offer powerful tools for creating vector artwork, but their differences are subtle.

AI stands for Adobe Illustrator Application. EPS stands for Adobe PDF extension Set. The first is a set of tools that work across all the different applications in which the program runs, and the second is a way to create PDF files that can be viewed on a computer or printed out at home. 

AI vs EPS in Adobe Illustrator

The main difference between AI and EPS in Adobe Illustrator is that AI is Adobe’s own unique Illustrator format. On the other hand, EPS is a file format that maintains graphic components made using Illustrator and allows for reopening and editing of the files. AI files are smaller than other file types; however, EPS files are more significant.

Difference Between AI and EPS in Adobe Illustrator 1

AI is a vector-based format that requires no rasterization, meaning it can be printed and presented in any resolution without distortion. It is simple to edit in Illustrator and has limited support for other applications. Still, Adobe also maintains a suite of tools for manipulating it available to all users. It’s also possible to publish directly from Illustrator to the web with slight modification, although there are some limitations in how the file format works.

EPS is a page format that supports vector graphics. In contrast to bitmap images, which use pixels to represent colours and shapes, EPS graphic documents use shapes and lines. EPS supports multiple file formats and has a vast array of uses. For example, the electronic book Adobe InDesign artwork was created in EPS format. The graphic design sector also uses EPS for many different applications. In particular, designers use it to create illustrations and logos and infographics.

Comparison Table Between AI and EPS in Adobe Illustrator

Parameters of Comparison AI format EPS format
GraphicsOnly vector graphics, not bitmap graphics, are supported by Graphics AI.Both vector and bitmap graphics may be handled by EPS.
Code in its original stateIn AI format, there is no source code.In EPS format, you may get the source code.
Formatting typeAI is a format that is only available to AI users.The EPS file format is free to use.
TransparencyTransparency is possible with AI.Transparency isn’t available in the EPS format. 
UsesLogos, symbols, icons, and print media are commonly created in AI format.The EPS format is mostly used for printing high-resolution graphics.
File ExtensionThe extension ‘.ai’ is used to store files.The suffix ‘.eps’ is used to identify EPS files
StorageCompared to other file formats, AI files are smaller.Files in the EPS format are more prominent than those in the AI format.
Launched inOn March 19, 1987, it was released in AI format.Around 1985, the EPS format was introduced.
Form in its entiretyAdobe Illustrator Artwork is the complete form of AI.Encapsulated PostScript File Format is the full name of EPS.

 What is AI?

Adobe Illustrator Artwork (AI) is a unique document format developed by Adobe Systems for communicating single-page vector-based drawings in EPS or PDF formats. It is intended to be used primarily to exchange artwork in print/web layout scenarios.

AI has become a de facto standard for visualizing and sharing its work with people in the digital arts. It’s a vector-based drawing format that can be used to create drawings, illustrations, and vector graphics that can be displayed by almost any application on your computer.

The primary goal of this file type is to improve collaboration, enhance user satisfaction and reduce the cost involved in design, illustration and printing workflow. It is also meant to provide an easy way to share artwork between designers, designers’ assistants and production staff in a fast and efficient manner, without the use of an intermediate file format.

The main advantage of AI is its portability — print as many pages as you want on one page, save anywhere and print the next page with no loss of resolution. 

One of the cool things about AI is that you can take vector-based artwork and easily copy it to another document format, like PDF. It’s also an excellent format for print publishers because they can easily manage the sizes of their pages without having to worry about file size.

What is EPS in Adobe Illustrator?

EPS is a vector file format for bitmap drawings. It’s compatible with Adobe Illustrator and CorelDraw, but other applications such as Inkscape can also be used directly. EPS files are stored in the EPSF or EPSi formats, both open standards.

Adobe developed the EPS format. It supports two data styles — Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) and Encapsulated Postscript (EPSi) — and can use either, depending on whether you’re storing vector or bitmap information. The former is mainly used for vector graphics and the latter for bitmap graphics; it’s up to you to know which data type your image has.

EPS is a vector format that can contain both bitmap and vector images. EPS files are commonly used to store line art, such as logos and simple text. Vector graphics are more accessible to edit than bitmap graphics, making them ideal for page layouts, such as web pages or books.

EPS files support layers and bitmap transparency, making the format ideal for creating vector artwork. It also supports transparency masks, which can create drop shadows and other effects. Even with complex designs, the file size remains small because each layer uses compression techniques to reduce the file size without degrading the image quality.

Main Differences Between AI and EPS in Adobe Illustrator 

  1. The AI format is often used for logos, symbols, icons, and print media, but the EPS format is usually utilized for printing high-resolution images.
  2. Graphics AI only works with vector graphics, not bitmaps. Vector and bitmap graphics, on the other hand, are both supported by EPS.
  3. The source code is not available in the AI format; however, it is available in the EPS format.
  4. The AI file format is exclusive to AI users, but the EPS file format is open to everyone.
  5. AI can provide transparency. The EPS format, on the other hand, does not support transparency. EPS can work with graphics.
  6. The suffix ‘.eps’ is used to identify EPS files, whereas the extension ‘.ai’ is used to save them.
  7. AI format was first released on March 19, 1987, and then in EPS format about 1985.
  8. Adobe Illustrator Artwork is the full version of Adobe Illustrator. The entire name of EPS, on the other hand, is Encapsulated PostScript File Format.

Conclusion

The main difference between AI and EPS in Adobe Illustrator is that EPS files are raster images (pixel-based) and can be directly incorporated into a web page. In contrast, AI files are vector (curved) images and can only be used within Illustrator. This means you have to use Google’s free online converter service to turn EPS files into AI or SVG first.

If you’re using either of these two extensions with Illustrator, your artwork will look different depending on whether you’re using AI or EPS. However, there are a lot of similarities between the two sets of features, and you’ll get most of what you need out of one or the other.

References

  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10503300500268490
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0952197604001058