How to Open .Eps Files in Inkscape

Written by deborah lee soltesz Google
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The current version of Inkscape (0.47) uses Ghostscript as a helper application for opening and importing Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) files. Installing Ghostscript is not difficult, but it does require a little more effort to configure than the typical application. Instructions for installing Ghostscript in Windows are provided here. Inkscape and Ghostscript are also available for several other operating systems. Refer to the Resources section for instructions on installing Ghostscript on other platforms.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Inkscape 0.47 or higher
  • Microsoft Windows

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    Install Ghostscript

  1. 1

    Download the Ghostscript installer. Save the file to your desktop.

  2. 2

    Double-click the Ghostscript installer icon on your desktop to launch the installer.

  3. 3

    Click "Setup" to start the installation. The "GPL Ghostscript Setup" window will open. The default settings will work for most people, but you can change the "Install to directory" and "Add shortcuts to" settings if desired.

  4. 4

    Click "Install" to perform the installation. The installer will list the files in the log window as it installs them. When finished, a window will open showing the shortcuts installed to the Start menu. Close the window.

  5. 5

    Open the Start menu and select "Run" (Windows XP and earlier) or click in the "Search" box (Vista and later).

  6. 6

    Type "sysdm.cpl" and press the Enter key. On Windows Vista and later, click "sysdm.cpl" in the Programs list. The "System Properties" window will open.

  7. 7

    Click the "Advanced" tab.

  8. 8

    Click the "Environment Variables" button near the bottom of the window.

  9. 9

    Click on the line with the term "Path" (or "PATH") in the "Variable" column under the "System Variables" section.

  10. 10

    Click the "Edit" button in the "System Variables" section. The "Edit System Variable" window will open.

  11. 11

    Place your cursor at the very end of the "Variable value" box. Type a semicolon followed by the complete path to the Ghostscript "lib" folder (the folder containing the "ps2pdf" batch file). For example, the default "lib" path for Ghostscript 8.70 is:

    C:\Program Files\gs\gs8.70\lib

  12. 12

    Click "OK" on each of the three open windows to make the changes and close the windows.

  13. 13

    Restart your computer.

    Open an EPS File in Inkscape

  1. 1

    Launch Inkscape.

  2. 2

    Select "Open" from the File menu. A standard file chooser window opens.

  3. 3

    Find your EPS file. Click on it to select it. Click "Open." The "PDF Import Settings" window opens with a preview of the file on the right side of the window. This may take several seconds, and a Command Prompt window may appear and close automatically.

  4. 4

    Set the clipping, text handling, font replacement, and precision as desired.

  5. 5

    Click "OK." Inkscape imports the file and displays it.

Tips and warnings

  • Inkscape plans to add built-in support for opening and importing EPS files in the future. If you are running a version higher than 0.47, check to make sure EPS files are not supported before installing Ghostscript.
  • Be careful when editing the system path to make sure you add the Ghostscript paths to the very end of the current variable value, with semicolons between each path. Errors in the system path can cause other applications to run incorrectly.

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