EPS stands for Encapsulated PostScript. Files of this format have an .eps extension. The file extension was developed by Adobe Systems in 1992. It is a standard format used to import and export a single page of formatted text, images and graphics. EPS files can be placed with another Postscript file. Commonly used in the publishing industry, an advantage of .EPS is that they are Operating System independent, meaning that the file type can be used to send image and graphics to another recipient regardless of OS. Most EPS files contain a bitmap preview. This allows applications that cannot interpret postscript code to render a low resolution version of the file.
An EPS file must contain at least two DSC (Document Structuring Conventions) header comments. One that confirms that the file conforms to Version 3.0 of the EPS format and also a Bounding Box comment. The Bounding Box comment defines the values that indicate the size of the image to the application reading the file. A number of optional DSC comments can be added depending on the nature of the EPS. For example the %%Begin(End)Preview denotes the bitmap preview section of the file. Another common optional comment is the %%Extensions: comment. This is used to define language extension requirements. The comments section is also used to denote specific font requirements. Note that including multiple extensions limits the portability of the file and therefore where possible an EPS file should be self contained.
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The GIF file format is a type of bitmap image and has become popular due to the growth of the internet. This file format supports up to 8 bits per pixel therefore giving an image the ability to contain 256 distinct colours chosen from the 24-bit RGB colour space. It also supports animations and whenever you see a logo or other sharp edged line art then you are probably dealing with the GIF format. It uses the lossless data compression technique which reduces the file size without any impact on the quality.
The GIF file format was invented by Compuserve for their online service, but they made the specifications publicly available. GIFs are able to hold multiple bitmaps of up to 256 colors each, using LZW (Lempel Zev Welch - a simple form of file compression that removes inefficiencies in the data storage without losing data or distorting the image) compressed raster data to minimize file sizes. The idea is to lessen the amount of colours in a GIF image to the minimum number necessary and to therefore remove stray colors that are not required to represent the image. A GIF graphic is unable to have more than 256 colors but it can have fewer colors, down to the minimum of two (black and white). Images with fewer colors will compress more efficiently under LZW compression.
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