I read somewhere that it is possible to save an illustrator file as a .eps file and have no layer editing options? So the art is scaleable but not editable?

I have tried but can't seem to find anything? Did I misread and this isn't possible and all .eps single layer files are editable i.e. change colour scheme and alter original vector design.

I don't know if i'm am missing something really obvious but if someone could help explain the process and offer any help, I would greatly appreciated it. Thanks.

Just to clarify I am currently working in Illustrator CS5.

  • Changed the question to make it more specific and the link above doesn't answer the question, But would really appreciate an answer.
    – Hunter
    Apr 4, 2013 at 21:07
  • I think what you heard about is locking a layer before saving (in Illustrator, click the space by the layer so it shows a padlock). It's not a security thing - not all software respects it and any anyone can turn it off and unlock the layers very easily. It's more of a way of discouraging editing, e.g. helping people to not accidentally edit the wrong thing when editing a template. Or, as a way of saying "No, seriously, DON'T mess around with this logo" :-) Apr 7, 2013 at 16:45

2 Answers 2


You can not "lock" Illustrator files. Any vector art is always edit able to a degree. You can purposely expand and flatten artwork to make editing difficult, but you can not prevent all editing.

  • So in the scenario of selling vector artwork would it better to use EPS10 a single layered file and expand everything so its harder to edit or should I try and make it as easy as possible for people to edit. (I know its a bit off topic but would really appreciate a response, i'm pretty new at all this)
    – Hunter
    Apr 4, 2013 at 21:26
  • @Hunter I don't think it's offtopic. It's something lots of designers face, so I'd actually consider changing the question to something in the lines of "Should I block my vector art for selling?"
    – Yisela
    Apr 4, 2013 at 21:34
  • @Hunter it is entirely up to you what you sell. From a marketing standpoint, this would be something a company tests. They would offer both options (unknown to customers) and then see which files sell better and which customers return to purchase more. From an artists perspective, I always my my vectors as difficult as possible to edit. I sell art, not infinitely editable vector files.
    – Scott
    Apr 4, 2013 at 21:51
  • As I've posted before, I think you're simply reinventing the wheel. No matter how talented you are no one will find you without you spending thousands on advertising. You'll be competing with well established artist all over the world selling at both major and micro-stock sites. But it's your venture :)
    – Scott
    Apr 4, 2013 at 21:53
  • Thanks for the response. So glad I found this site. I have noticed you have commented and answered a few of my questions so thank you very much really helps me out. thanks.
    – Hunter
    Apr 4, 2013 at 21:54

I know this doesnt answer you question about EPS, but you can prevent editing in PDFs! In my opinion its the best format to hand over artwork anyway.

enter image description here

  • Yeah but I was hoping to keep it vector, so that I could still scale the art but it not be editable but if I didn't need the scaling aspect this would have worked. Thanks for pointing this out. is this screenshot from CS6? Does CS5 have all these options as well??
    – Hunter
    Apr 7, 2013 at 19:05
  • @Hunter PDFs are usually vector (except where raster graphics are placed in them). PDFs can also be placed as embedded vectors in other artwork, so they're ideal for cases where you're sending wholly finalised graphics and you don't care about them being easy to edit (e.g. they're the standard for sending something to print, or sending an advert to be placed in a magazine layout). They're less common for stock vectors in my experience because people usually buy stock vectors in order to edit them, and PDFs aren't designed to be easy to edit. Apr 8, 2013 at 10:07
  • PDF might not be a good format for stock assets tough. Besides its pretty easy to circumvent the editing restriction, just dump the data to a virtual printer then let ghostscript rebuild it to eps.
    – joojaa
    Mar 23, 2015 at 7:02

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