Difference between svg and eps and how they work in InDesign & Illustrator

Contributor ,
Apr 10, 2022 Apr 10, 2022

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Hi,

 

I have a subscription to vecteezy, which has many vector images for downloading. The zip file contains a jpeg, pdf and eps file. I find the eps filesalmost impossible to work with in InDesign, and if I open in Illustrator, I can't seem to select different objects in the image, say a group of music notes. If I convert to an svg file online, then I can work with the individual elements(music notes in this case). 

 

I am very confused as to which vector files I can use, especially in InDesign. What process do you recommend. Thanks in advance.

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Adobe Community Professional , Apr 10, 2022 Apr 10, 2022
Use the PDF would be the best advice. EPS is an old deprecated format and SVG support is somewhat buggy in InDesign sometimes.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 10, 2022 Apr 10, 2022

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Use the PDF would be the best advice. EPS is an old deprecated format and SVG support is somewhat buggy in InDesign sometimes.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 10, 2022 Apr 10, 2022

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SVG in InDesign should only be used for electronically supplied formats like EPUB but never for print.

EPS is an old outdated file type which should not be used with InDesign any more,

JPG is not good for vectors, if you have a PDF use that.

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 10, 2022 Apr 10, 2022

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All as noted. Use the PDF.

 

If you need to edit it, Illustrator will open and edit most PDF documents. You can then resave as PDF or as AI, which InDesign will import directly.

 

SVG has one and only one real use: simple vector illustrations for web and HTML-based publication such as EPUB. Never use it for any other purpose.

 

|| Word & InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): a Professional Guide (v2 now on Amazon!)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 10, 2022 Apr 10, 2022

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Hi @sheana2014 , is the .EPS a vector or image file? It could be either—it’s possible to save an image out of Photoshop as an EPS. If it is a image, that would explain why you cannot open it into Illustrator and select vector paths. Can you share a sample of the .EPS version?

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Contributor ,
Apr 11, 2022 Apr 11, 2022

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Hi, I've uploaded the file for you to examine.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 11, 2022 Apr 11, 2022

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We would like to see the .eps file, not the .svg...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 11, 2022 Apr 11, 2022

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I can see why the .svg would be difficult to edit unless you are an advanced Illustrator user—the paths are fairly complex and there is only one document layer. You can direct select the notes and move them, but changing color wold be work

 

Screen Shot 8.pngScreen Shot 9.png

 

 

You also might consider saving as .ai format over PDF, which will allow you to edit the original after you place in InDesign.

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 11, 2022 Apr 11, 2022

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Other than the point that SVG (like PDF) can actually represent a raster image in a vector package, I don't think the SVG format matters much here. It's not the right one to include for print, and SVG editing is... one of those things that's just not well supported by a good tool set. Since the download package also included the PDF, that's very much the direction to go, both for print and if any editing is needed. Illustrator can edit (most) PDF files quite well, and then save in AI both as an editing master and for direct placement in ID.

 

From there, export to SVG, should it be appropriate for EPUB use, would be the right path. My feeling is that SVG, much like PDF in general use, is an end-format, export, "printed" format, not a live one for development and editing.

 

EPS is both an end format and (largely) noneditable, and as we here mostly know, obsolete. I think it should be thrown out of the options here altogether.

 

IMVHO, YMMV, all that. 🙂

 

|| Word & InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): a Professional Guide (v2 now on Amazon!)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 11, 2022 Apr 11, 2022

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I don’t think there is any indication of the original file format when a document with a placed .SVG is Exported for print. Here is a placed .SVG saved from an Illustrator CMYK document. SVG has no CMYK, or color management support, so it gets exported as document RGB—color with no embedded profile.

 

 

Screen Shot 21.png

 

An Export to PDF/X-4 assigns the InDesign document RGB profile to the paths. AcrobatPro’s Object Inspector lists the vectors as Filled Paths, the same as it would for a PDF or AI file.

 

 

Screen Shot 24.png

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 11, 2022 Apr 11, 2022

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Hi sheana2014,

if the SVG file is working for you best, open the SVG file in Illustrator and save it as an Illustrator file.

If you have to convert the color to CMYK do that in Illustrator, save and place either the Illustrator file in InDesign or save it as PDF/X-4 and use that in InDesign.

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 11, 2022 Apr 11, 2022

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"SVG in InDesign should only be used for electronically supplied formats like EPUB but never for print."

Willi Adelberger can you explain why?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 11, 2022 Apr 11, 2022

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I don’t think you have to completely avoid .SVG for print, but it has significant color limitations—it can only be saved as RGB color and cannot include a profile, which is needed for accurate RGB conversions to the final printer color space.

 

It would work if your InDesign document had sRGB as its assigned RGB profile and you exported the ID doc as PDF/X-4, which requires RGB profiles to be embedded

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 11, 2022 Apr 11, 2022

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One caveat about the PDF version you received: The PDF, depending on how it was saved and from what program, may have lost some file structure the creator used, e.g. Layers, etc. especially if it was saved in an older PDF version that flattens effects. If the file was saved from Illustrator, and they used the "Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities" option, this is your best possible situation as this will open back in Illustrator, structure intact.

Look at the Document Properties > Description and this will suually show what application created it and PDf version.

But don't discount the EPS yet. Depending on how the creator of the graphic prepared that file, it may actually contain the original Illustrator file structure as well, despite the fact the EPS part of the file may be flattened/compromised and not something you should use when there are much better formats to use in this era. So my advice is to Open both files and use the one that seems the most "intact". If it's the EPS, immediately save it as .AI to use as your working file going foward... do you edits/etc, and then save as either .AI or .PDF as necessary for placing in InDesign. Just NEVER save as EPS from now on.

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 11, 2022 Apr 11, 2022

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Can you share a sample file> Ideally both EPS and PDF.

I suspect the EPS file is the best place to start. Yes, EPS is a dead format and, apart from a few edge cases, has no place in a print workflow. But EPS was, for a long time, the native format for Illustrator files. A Lot of people still use it to save Illustartor artwork. It might be the format that best preserves the structure of the original file, if it was made in Illustrator.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 12, 2022 Apr 12, 2022

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Strongly disagree on EPS! As mentioned there is also a PDF file, best to use that.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 12, 2022 Apr 12, 2022

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ONLY if the PDF was saved with the right settings, and depends on what program created the PDF. Some programs make REALLY poor PDFs. Since there is no indication how these files were saved, it's best to look at both.

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