How to open EPS file in Inkscape

Inkscape is powerful freeware. You can make cool vector drawing in it. Same powerful as Photoshop Illustrator. I have several vector photos for microstocks market that sales, using only Inkscape. Amazing isn’t it that you can do with free software.

Beside that you can edit existing EPS file in Inkscape and make Inkscape as EPS viewer and editor. In example, you need to create a design for your customer, you then buy some design from Shutterstock, iStockPhoto or other microstock sites, the downloaded files usually comes in EPS extension file. If you already have software like Corel Draw, Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, you can easily open using that software. Default Inkscape installation cannot open EPS file. You need other trick to open. Then, it comes Ghostscript.

You can open this EPS file in Inkscape with the help of Ghostscript. You only need to install Ghostscript then Inkscape will have capability to open EPS files from other microstock sites.

Steps to enable Inkscape to open EPS file

Follow below steps to enable Inkscape to open EPS file.

Install Inkscape

Make sure you have the latest Inkscape installed in your computer. Go to official Inkscape site to get the latest installation.

Install Ghostscript

You need to install latest Ghostscript from official site.

https://www.ghostscript.com/download/gsdnld.html

Follow Ghostscript installation wizard

Choose Ghostscript installation folder

Wait until installation process finished

Ghostscript installation done

Add Ghostscript binary to environment

The important part is you have to make Ghostscript can be accessed anywhere in your environment. So, you have to add variable environment to you existing PATH.

I already install Ghostscript in my Windows environment in C:\Program Files\gs\gs9.26. And inside it you will get several folder. you need to add anything in folder lib and bin, add it to your Path environment.

C:\Program Files\gs\gs9.26\libC:\Program Files\gs\gs9.26\bin

Add Ghostscript library to environment variables

Then you need to add this to the system Path in Environment Variables:

  • In Win XP, Vista or 7, go to the Start button > Control Panel > System > Advanced > Environment Variables. Scroll through the System variables in the bottom panel, and select Path, click Edit. In the ridiculously small edit box provided, add a semicolon to the end of whatever is there at the moment, and then add C:\Program Files\gs\gs9.26\lib (or whatever it is on your machine). Note — There should be no space between the semicolon and C (the start of the path).
    You will also need to add the Ghostscript bin directory after another semicolon to the system Path. (This will be the same as the lib directory, but ending in bin rather than lib — for example: C:\Program Files\gs\gs9.26\bin)
  • In Windows 8.1/10, open Explorer, right-click on This PC, choose Properties > Advanced system settings > Advanced tab > Environment Variables. Scroll through the System variables in the bottom panel, and select Path, click Edit. This produces a list of existing paths. Click the “New” button, and you’ll see a place at the bottom of the list to add your path.
    Add C:\Program Files\gs\gs9.26\lib (or whatever it is on your machine) to the list.
    You will also need to add the Ghostscript bin directory, which will be the same as the lib directory, but ending in bin rather than lib — for example: C:\Program Files\gs\gs9.26\bin.
    In Windows 10, for some reason, Inkscape sometimes doesn’t like the paths at the bottom of the list. Near the “New” button are “Move Up” and “Move Down” buttons. So if you still can’t open EPS files after installing Ghostscript, you can try moving the 2 paths up in the list. Try moving them up halfway or more.

Note that updating Ghostscript to a new version will install to a new \gs directory, but will not erase the old version subdirectory or update the Environment Variables. You will have to delete the old directories and adjust the Environment Variable paths if you want to make use of the newly installed version (with the new directory and paths). Also note that if you have a 64-bit system, and you install the 32-bit version of Ghostscript, the paths will be C:/Program Files (x86)/…etc., instead of C:/Program Files/…etc.

Try to open EPS file

If you already done steps above, try to open EPS file. If Inkscape get you an error, try to restart your computer, maybe Windows doesn’t apply your Path environment variables yet. If you still get an error about opening EPS file, try to follow above steps carefully. If you have any question, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

Summary

You will enable your Inkscape software to open EPS file and also allow you to edit it.

Happy editing!

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