Inkscape AI compatible EPS exporter

Edit 2015-03-21: I updated the script to support Inkscape 0.91. It should work with the older Inkscape version too, but in any case, here is the old script.

This script converts an Inkscape SVG to Adobe Illustrator 7 compatible EPS. The generated EPS file uses custom Illustrator PS operators, and includes PostScript processes that stands in place of said operators when the file is not opened with Adobe Illustrator.

The script exports layers, groups, paths, clones, clipping paths, fill, stroke, gradient fill into a format that Illustrator understands.

Warning

This script is not extensively tested. Since its dual nature, it is possible, that the result looks different in Illustrator than in other programs.

I wrote it to upload clipart to microstock sites: I’ve already uploaded a dozen images exported with this script and they were all accepted.

Installation

Download this file, and unzip the contents into the Inkscape extensions folder:
Windows C:\Program Files\Inkscape\share\extensions
Linux /usr/share/inkscape/extensions

Known limitations:

  • Text is not supported: convert them to paths, then ungroup them.  You can regroup them afterwards, but without ungrouping, my script may think they are invisible.
  • Path node types are not retained.
  • Circles and elliptical arc segments in paths are converted to bezier curves.
  • Layer names lose non 7 bit ASCII characters.
  • Radial gradients cannot be elliptical, all radial gradients will be converted to circular. (Although I think it is possible to save elliptical radial gradients, but it seems that it might not be compatible between different Illustrator versions.)
  • Outline gradients are not supported. (Illustrator 7 does not support them.)
  • Clones are exported as copies.
  • No transparency: everything is exported opaque. (EPS does not support transparency.)
  • Filters (including radial blur) are not exported.
  • Path effects are not exported, only the result of the effects.

Features:

(It’s not a bug, it’s a feature!)

  • Automatically closes all paths that are filled. It makes visual difference with unclosed paths that have fill and stroke.
  • Invisible objects are not exported (invisible layers and objects, objects with neither stroke nor fill, stray points)

17 Comments

  • Debspoons (Debra) says:

    Thank you for providing this. I have downloaded and will try this..I am always amazed at some of the art work that can be done with programs I can not afford. This Inkscape eps file will get me a step up on the ladder. I hope that you will let me ask some questions, if I have any problems.
    Thank you again,
    Debspoons

  • Debspoons (Debra) says:

    This is my experiment..It has been accepted as an eps file..

    http://www.canstockphoto.com/red-chickens-22295593.html

  • Debspoons (Debra) says:

    I just got a new laptop and I can not install this program on to it…
    because of windows 8?

    C:\Program Files (x86)\Inkscape\share\extensions\

    can not open ….2 errors

    • Prim András says:

      Sorry, that I did not reply, but I was ill.
      I cannot really help you with that (maybe next week I can find a windows 8).

  • Jan says:

    Hi, I would if I was being counseled. I downloaded and installed the script, but unfortunately my script gradients cancel out. I OpenSuse 13.1 I tried Inkscape 0.48 and 0.91.
    thank you
    Jan

  • George says:

    It works although there’s a small visible white line which appeared as an artifact in the image I tested.

    • Prim András says:

      The script automatically closes filled objects, maybe that caused the white line?

  • john says:

    Hello,

    How does this script work?
    I have copied the files in the folder as described in “Installation”.
    Now what?
    I can not find the ai extension in the save dialog, nor in the extensions section.

    • Prim András says:

      It should appear in the save dialog’s type dropdown menu as Encapsulated PostScript – AI compatible (*.eps). If it doesn’t, then unfortunately I do not know, what went wrong.

  • Feuerbach says:

    Thanks for the great plugin! It helps beginners who start to sell stock illustrations a lot. I’ll put a link on my website. ;)

  • Ibnu says:

    Thanks million for this amazing work! very helpful, I spend many days for searching this solution, and finally arrived to this website. Great work!

  • mike says:

    Wonderful! Unfortunately, AI8 specs is not available in order to export gradient meshes too…

    • Prim András says:

      Thanks. Actually, I didn’t even know, that inkscape can do gradient meshes.

      • mike says:

        Yes, since 0.91 it was implemented (probably not yet fully) the SVG v2 gradient mesh specification. The 0.92 nightly builds support exporting to EPS, Illustrator seems to read these, but it behaves as in case of simple gradients exported by Inkscape in EPS. Adobe cheats. Last time I’ve checked, they were saving even in svg their code, so if somebody edits the svg in other tool, the Illustrator don’t parse that, it reads only what it put in the svg, his format, so the file appears unchanged.

        • Prim András says:

          Earlier versions of inkscape also had EPS export, but they saved gradients as EPS gradients, and Illustrator (at least the version I used) opened those rasterized.

          • mike says:

            I confirm, Illustrator CC 2015.3 (the latest to date) behaves the same.

  • ceeg says:

    Thank you very much for this! I spent hours breaking my head over the problem where layers from Inkscape’s EPS weren’t correctly opening in AI and your extension was the solution!!

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