Does Photoshop EPS Have Layers?

The long answer short is yes… but you can’t edit the layers of a Photoshop EPS file in Photoshop. So here’s what else you need to know.

Published Categorized as Photoshop, UX & Design

Not everyone knows that they can export their Photoshop designs as vector images, in the so-called Photoshop EPS format. (A vector image exported in the Photoshop EPS format has the same .eps extension that all files of this type have.)

Since you’re here reading this because you asked a question about the Photoshop EPS format, I take it that you very well know what it is. In fact, you also know that .eps images can have layers that you can edit in any vector-editing program, be it Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape.

So let me see if I got your question right… If your Photoshop design has layers, you want to know if those layers will be preserved when you export it as a Photoshop EPS file.

To make a long story short, they will. But you won’t be able to edit those layers if you open the .eps file again in Photoshop.

Yes, Photoshop can export .eps files with layers. However, Photoshop also rasterizes and flattens .eps files when opening them, so those layers are only editable in Illustrator, Inkscape, or some other vector-editing program.

That’s a real mind-bender when you come to think of it!

You can use Photoshop to create a layered vector, but you can’t edit the layers of that vector in Photoshop where you created it in the first place.

For you: Can You Stop Photoshop From Rasterizing?

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s take about what you can do to keep your designs workable—and your mind sane.

If you work in Photoshop and Illustrator, familiarize yourself with the best ways to move your files between these two Creative Cloud apps. This guide from Adobe is a great starting point.

But if you work in Photoshop and a non-Creative Cloud app—say, the free and open-source Inkscape—you will ned to do a bit of planning. Always keep a .psd copy of your design and only export it as an .eps file when you no longer need to make changes to it in Photoshop. (Remember, you can edit the layers in the vector editor without problems.)

Once you’re done making changes to the .eps file in another app, import it back into Photoshop if you need to. Just remember that Photoshop will rasterize and flatten the file.

By Dim Nikov

Editor of Maker's Aid. Part programmer, part marketer. Making things on the web and helping others do the same since the 2000s. Yes, I had Friendster and Myspace.

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