IMPORTANT UPDATE: Microsoft have disabled this functionality as of April 2017. EPS files are no longer supported. Read this to learn how to use vector graphics in PowerPoint.
A lot of people we speak to are on a constant quest to find the best images for their PowerPoint presentations, but a relative minority of them are used to working with vector graphics. They’re scared off by the prospect of working with vectors, thinking it’s the stuff of professional designers and that they probably shouldn’t go near them.
Using .EPS Files in PowerPoint
This is a huge shame because there’s a massive variety of vectors out that can really help improve the look and feel of your presentations. And they’re actually incredibly easy to work with if you know how.
We asked our PowerPoint designer Liz to give us the lowdown on working with .EPS files in PowerPoint so that you too can produce fantastic visual results using vectors.
How Does an .EPS Differ from a .JPG or .PNG?
Unlike JPGs or PNGs, which are made up of pixels, vectors are drawn using mathematical expressions. What this means is that they can be scaled to any size without loss of quality. The component parts that make up the visual can also be edited individually, recoloured and even removed.
An .EPS is one of the most common file formats for vector graphics. The ‘E’ stands for ‘encapsulated’, which means that everything is self-contained within the file and it’s not necessarily affiliated with a specific computer program. Despite this, people ordinarily associate .EPS files with Adobe Illustrator.
But in fact, you don’t actually need to need to know anything about Illustrator – or even have a copy of it – to take advantage of .EPS vectors in your presentations. You can work with them right within PowerPoint.
Editing an .EPS in PowerPoint
You can insert an .EPS into PowerPoint just as you would any other image file, and at first you might first think that it looks like just like other image types. But it will soon become apparent that there are some distinct advantages to using vectors.
Unlike a Picture (.JPG or .PNG file), which you can only apply certain system edits to in PowerPoint, an EPS becomes a Microsoft Drawing once it is inserted. Simply select the image and choose Ungroup from the Arrange menu and the distinct elements that make up the graphic will become Shapes and Lines in PowerPoint.
Once ungrouped, there will be a black border and white background on your image – simply delete these and your .EPS vector will be ready to use.
Once you’ve taken the .EPS into PowerPoint and ungrouped it successfully, you’ll be able to edit, resize, group, reposition and recolour its elements just as you would any other Shapes or Lines created with PowerPoint’s own Insert toolset.
You can edit the colours of individual elements (Fill and Outline) and even move or delete them to personalise the vector to fit your requirements.
Advantages of Using .EPS Vectors in PowerPoint and Where to Find Them
Being able to use .EPS vectors in your PowerPoint design opens up a whole new world with regard to the types of visuals available to you. It also offers you the flexibility of tweaking the colour and detail of existing assets so that they match your presentation colour palette or branding.
A huge variety of vectors and icons are available from paid stock images libraries like ShutterStock and the Noun Project, but you can also find a respectable selection of freebies from sites like Freepik, FreebiesBug and IconMonstr.
If you find a vector you want to use that’s not in the .EPS format – for example, if it’s an .SVG (scalable vector graphic) or .AI (Adobe Illustrator) file – you can convert it quickly and easily if you have access to Adobe Illustrator. Simply open it up in Illustrator then navigate to File > Save As… then select to save it out as an .EPS. Once this conversion’s complete, you’ll be able to edit it however you like in PowerPoint.
On the advantages of using .EPS vectors in PowerPoint, our presentation design expert Liz commented, “The fact the PowerPoint makes .EPS files easy to edit and manipulate greatly increases the plethora of visuals everyday users can take advantage of. They can quickly reproduce vector icons, logos and graphics to work with the rest of your layouts.
“This is just another example of the deeper functionality that has helped cement PowerPoint’s status as the premier presentation design tool, despite numerous new entrants into the market.”