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I am looking for a free software program to allow me to convert a PDF file into an EPS file.

The converter should retain the image quality as much as possible.

I was able to do this with GSView, but the result was always of the shape of a portrait A4 image, while my image is a landscape A4.

(Sorry if this was asked already, I was only able to find EPS to PDF questions, but not the other way around.)

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7 Answers 7

up vote 8 down vote accepted

You can use the tool pdftops with the --eps switch. This is installed on most Linux systems together with the xpdf package.

This also can be installed on Windows. See for the links http://gnuwin32.sourceforge.net/packages/xpdf.htm

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Thanks (does it work with windows) –  Tal Galili Aug 30 '10 at 6:15
    
@Tal Yes it does. See also gnuwin32.sourceforge.net/packages/xpdf.htm –  Peter Smit Aug 30 '10 at 7:17
    
I liked your solution the most - thank you –  Tal Galili Aug 30 '10 at 18:06

There are several options that I have found: The first is an online solution where you upload the file and then download it as a zip file. The second is a piece of software where you purchase it and then download the software. Hope that these lead you in the right direction.

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Adobe lets you download a free postscript driver:

http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/product.jsp?product=pdrv&platform=win

Frankly, I used to use that quite a while ago, but it used to work fine back then.

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Thank you, but I wasn't able to make it work as a virtual printer (I found tutorials for it, but it looked as too much of a pain) –  Tal Galili Aug 30 '10 at 18:05

Ghostscript also can convert PDFs to EPS:

gswin32c.exe ^
  -o output.eps ^
  -sDEVICE=epswrite ^
  d:/path/to/input.pdf

If Ghostscript's default media size (which is letter) doesn't match your needs, you can specify any other one like that:

gswin32c.exe ^
  -o output.eps ^
  -sDEVICE=epswrite ^
  -sPAPERSIZE=a5 ^
  d:/path/to/input.ps

A list of PAPERSIZE-values known to Ghostscript is here. Even more fine-tuned control you can gain by using -dDEVICEWIDTHPOINTS=w -dDEVICEHEIGHTPOINTS=h like this:

gswin32c.exe ^
  -o output.eps ^
  -sDEVICE=epswrite ^
  -dDEVICEWIDTHPOINTS=175 ^
  -dDEVICEHEIGHTPOINTS=267 ^
  d:/path/to/input.pdf

Width and height are given in 'points' (72 pt == 1 inch). OK, but now you have multi-page PDFs and EPS inherently is a 1-page format only? Additionally, you want to shift images to the left and to the top? Try this:

gswin32c.exe ^
  -o input_page_%03d.eps ^
  -sDEVICE=epswrite ^
  -dDEVICEWIDTHPOINTS=227 ^
  -dDEVICEHEIGHTPOINTS=354 ^
  -dPDFFitPage ^
  -c "<</PageOffset [-72 100]>> setpagedevice" ^
  d:/path/to/input.pdf

For each PDF page Ghostscript will create a separate EPS file, named input_page_001.eps, input_page_002.eps, etc.


Update

While the above was the best answer that was available (when it comes to Ghostscript usage for the task at hand) during the time of writing in 2010, this is no longer true today, in 2015.

Today the current Ghostscript is 9.16/9.17. The epswrite output device is no longer available. The new eps2write device replaced it. (epswrite generated PostScript Level 1, which can lead to rather large file sizes; eps2write generates Level 2 PostScript, which is far more efficient, sizewise.)

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Thank you for very nice answer. Is there a way to set the resolution to 300 dpi and make the width/height calculate automatically? –  nimcap Mar 14 '11 at 13:45
1  
@nimcap: You can use gswin64c.exe -o inputpdf-page_%03d.eps -sDEVICE=eps2write -r300 -dPDFFitPage input.pdf and just accept the page size it outputs... –  Kurt Pfeifle May 22 at 23:42

In Adobe acrobat standard / pro, you can save as .eps file.

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I think that the best method to convert PDFs to eps files is to use a conventional PDF reader (Acrobat or Okular) to print the PDF to a file with the extension eps. I tried it and it works very well and conserves to a large scale the quality of the document.

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In Windows, you may also use GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) software for this. It is a free software. Just export the pdf to eps. Very easy to use.

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