The XCF file format is an image file created by the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP), a freely distributed image editing program. XCF files are similar in makeup to a Photoshop PSD, supporting layers, channels, transparency, paths and guides. The XCF file format is backward compatible (all versions of GIMP can open earlier versions' files) and in some cases, forward compatible. Using XCF as for data interchange is not recommended by the developers of GIMP, as there may be format changes in future versions and XCF reflects various internal data structures for GIMP.
The XCF format is designed to store the entire part of the state of the Gimp that is specific to one image, apart from undo data. An XCF file is a sequence of bytes which describes a stack of layers and channels on a canvas, which is effectively just a rectangular viewport for the layers and channels. It contains a series of data structures with the main image structure coming at the very beginning of the file. The first 9 bytes of an XCF file are the ASCII string "gimp xcf "
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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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