I've been supplied a bunch of product shots in EPS format. Having seen the shots used in various publications I had a hunch that they had already been isolated.

Simply opening the files in GIMP reveals no path info but nice high-res images.

Placing the file as an image in a Scribus file provides the "Extended image properties" option and I can see a named path to define as a clipping path. I'd be able to use the files as-is in my publications except that the raster info is distinctly low res (this is probably the tiff preview part of the EPS) Choosing the path shows that the raster image size is much smaller than the path anyway.

As GIMP saves path info as svg I've tried opening the files in Inkscape they import like opening a pdf and I get no path info. Simply renaming an EPS file with a .svg extension doesn't work.

Converting an EPS to pdf using various command line tools either gives me a purely raster pdf or one that crashes Scribus on import. I've tried "pstill", "epstopdf" and "imagemagick" with a whole buch of options and switches. Acrobat pro running in a VM doesn't like the resultant pdfs either.

To be clear, I need to use high-res images in eventual pdf output. Usually I'd create the clipping path in GIMP, export a version as TIFF and produce my pdf in Scribus. My OS is Xubuntu and I don't have access to Adobe software (except Acrobat pro for proofing, running in a VM)

In this case it looks like I'll be repeating the job of creating the clipping paths - which sucks!

  • Consider renting Photoshop for a month for 30 € or so. Its probably cheaper than doing all the other work your doing now.
    – joojaa
    Mar 3, 2015 at 9:34
  • Yep, that'd work as I've got access to a Windows VM. For those who run a pure FOSS workflow I'd be interested to discover what trick I'm missing.
    – user19660
    Mar 3, 2015 at 9:44

1 Answer 1


Posting the question prompted one last push. A Scribus mantis report gave me the search string "extract SVG imagemagick" which leads to this ImageMagick board post.

So running identify -verbose "MySupplied.eps" gives me output which includes

Clipping path: 
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="iso-8859-1"?>
<svg width="712" height="877">
<path style="fill:#00000000;stroke:#00000000;stroke-width:0;stroke-antialiasing:false" d="
M 90.2227,594.411
L 92.4067,407.755
L 94.0867,270.492
(Loads more of this type of output)
C 91.2307,207.657 91.2307,206.313 94.7587,206.649 Z

Creating a new file, pasting in the part after "Clipping path:" and saving as svg gives me just the path which I can now import back into GIMP.

Harder than it need be but an answer for now nonetheless. I'd still love to hear of a slicker route if one's out there.

  • its hard to say as i dont have your eps, but ill bet ghostscript can also do this.
    – joojaa
    Mar 3, 2015 at 16:42
  • I tried "epstopdf" in an attempt to create a file Scribus could import with vector info. It didn't work for me. Epstopdf is a Perl script that makes use of Ghostscript.
    – user19660
    Mar 3, 2015 at 17:08
  • Yes but ghostscript is a bit complex piece of work ypu may need to do a bit of postscript to extract the user path.
    – joojaa
    Mar 3, 2015 at 17:33

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