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

Adobe Illustrator is a software program. It is required to create vector-based designing and drawing purposes. It is an efficient tool for designers as they can use it for designing a single element as well as a full project. It helps in creating logos, posters, icons and fonts.

It was launched in 1985 by Adobe Inc. since then it has gained popularity among designers and has become the industry standard requirement for graphic designing.

Adobe Illustrator(AI) and Encapsulated PostScript(EPS) are two formats used in the program. User can use these file formats to save the work he/she does in the program.

AI vs EPS in Adobe Illustrator

The difference between AI and EPS in Adobe Illustrator is that AI is the very own Illustrator format designed by Adobe for the representation of vector-based drawings of a single page in EPS and PDF formats. EPS is a format that preserves graphic elements created with Illustrator and the files can be reopened and edited.

Comparison Table Between AI and EPS in Adobe Illustrator

Parameters of ComparisonAI FormatEPS Format
Type of FormatIt is a proprietary format. Source code is not availableIt is an open-source format. Source code is available
TransparencyAI format supports transparencyEPS format does not support transparency.
SupportAI format supports more complex object types.EPS format comparatively supports less complex object types.
UseIts is mostly used for logos, symbols, icons and print mediaIt is mostly used for printing high-resolution images in graphics format
GraphicsAI can handle only vector graphics and not bitmap graphics.EPS can handle both vector and bitmap graphics.
File NameFiles are stored with the extension of ‘.ai’Files are stored with the extension of ‘.eps’
SizeAI files are comparatively smaller.EPS files are larger than AI files.
FutureAI format is futuristic. It is the native Illustrator format in Adobe IllustratorEPS format is dying and is mostly used for creation of old vector graphics.

What is AI Format?

Adobe Illustrator Artwork (AI) is an exclusive document design created by Adobe Systems for speaking to single-page vector-based drawings in either the EPS or PDF designs. The extension used to save this file is ‘.ai’. The AI format file was initially a local arrangement called PGF.

Graphics made using AI format can be used with utmost precision because these graphics retain their details at the maximum zoom level. AI files contain rich and editable information. Logos and Print media are the primary preference for graphics designer when they use this format.

AI files are a lot like EPS files except they have restricted and compact syntax.Rather than utilizing bitmap picture information, this format uses vector. Due to this reason, the designs created never lose their quality whenever amplified. This format previously existed as document design called PGF, which has an extraordinary similarity with AI records.

AI can contain only one page while this one page can contain multiple artworks. It is a proprietary format which supports transparency and to its credit has a smaller size. It cannot handle Bitmap graphics. AI files are usable in almost every software, be it a paid, free or open-source software.

What is EPS Format?

Encapsulated Postscript (EPS) file format, is used by Adobe Illustrator as a graphics format for vector images. It is a Document Structuring Conventions–adjusting (DSC) PostScript record design usable as an illustrations record design. The extension used to save this file is ‘.eps’.

An EPS record is a PostScript program. EPS file projects can show a preview on the screen. Because of its capacity to utilize inserted contents, Microsoft eliminated uphold for EPS records in Microsoft Office programs in May 2018. It is usable in most other text editing and layout applications.

An EPS document can contain any blend of text, designs, and pictures. Since it is a PostScript document, it is one of the most adaptable records. EPS-documents

EPS is an open-source program which can support both vector and bitmap graphics although it does not support transparency. Its files are comparatively bigger than AI format files.
EPS records are also known as EPSF documents. EPSF represents Encapsulated PostScript Format.

Main Differences Between AI and EPS Formats in Adobe Illustrator

  1. AI is proprietary software. While EPS is open-source software. Subsequently, the source code for AI is not available while the source code for EPS is available.
  2. AI supports transparency. While EPS does not support transparency.
  3. AI supports comparatively more complex object types than EPS.
  4. AI is the preferred file format for creating logos, icons, symbols and print media while EPS is the preferred file format for printing high-resolution graphics
  5. AI supports only vector graphics. While EPS supports both vector and bitmap graphics.
  6. AI format files are stored by the extension name ‘.ai’ while EPS format files are stored using the extension name ‘.eps’
  7. AI Format files are comparatively smaller in size as compared to EPS Format files. This result in AI being efficient files compared to EPS files.
  8. As far as the future is concerned, the AI format has a brighter future as compared to EPS format. As EPS format is mostly used for old vector graphics while AI format has become the native Illustrator format in Adobe Illustrator.


AI and EPS are popular formats used in Adobe Illustrator. While the AI format only supports vector images, the EPS format supports both vector and bitmap images. AI format is proprietary hence its source code is not available while EPS is open-source subsequently its source code is available.

On comparing the two, the AI format proves to be more efficient. It is comparatively smaller in size and is supported by more software which includes various paid, free, and open-source software. Due to these reasons, AI has become the industry standard in design and printing and the preference for most design firms. Also, AI is more futuristic and is the native Illustrator format in Adobe Illustrator while EPS is dying as it is only useful for creating old-vector graphics.


  1. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-60384-6_3
  2. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=
  3. https://community.adobe.com/t5/illustrator/eps-vs-ai/td-p/1758034
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