I worked on a couple of vector images in Illustrator CC, and saved them both as EPS and SVG. For some reason, the EPS files are around 2 MB and the SVG files are around 30 kB. It is the same exact graphic, saved without changing the artboard size, etc. I know that EPS also saves a bitmap within itself, but then making the artboard smaller did not result in a change in the size. Is it due to the bitmap bundled with EPS? If so, can I change the compression on the bitmap, or remove it completely?

Unfortunately I cannot use the SVG, because I will be embedding these images into LaTeX. But I would like to make the EPS files as small as the SVGs. What causes the drastic difference in size?

2 Answers 2


You're using two separate languages.

SVG code is written in XML. EPS is written in postscript. XML has always been cleaner and less complicated than postscript. I don't know that there's any way to compare the two in terms of file size generated. Postscript will simply always be larger.

There may be ways to reduce your EPS file though... combining shapes, eliminating unnecessary anchor points, clearing out all unused swatches, brushes, disabling the PDF compatibility (may or may not be a good idea for LaTeX).

  • Ok, thanks. The good thing is that when the processor of latex embeds them, it converts them to pdf, which makes them much smaller again. Jun 11, 2015 at 17:59
  • Also be aware that there is also application metadata saved with the files. While this metadata doesn't add much to the file size, I do know that some web-saving algorithms strip this metadata out which can lead to differences of file size. This is not likely the reason for the file size discrepancy in the OP's case though.
    – bemdesign
    Jun 12, 2015 at 2:49

With such a huge differences in file size, I would strongly guess that your graphics contains elements with properties that are contained in the SVG standard but not in the EPS standard, such as transparency. Thus, when exporting, your program rasterises thes elements and thus blows up the file size.

I suggest exporting to export to PDF instead, as I am aware of nothing that is contained in the PDF and not in the SVG standard. And embedding PDFs into LaTeX is no problem (unless you cannot use PDFLaTeX or similar for some reason).

  • Some of them do contain transparent elements. But there are some that don't. What's even weirder is that I had saved a graph using MATLAB as EPS, but when I save the same graph with Illustrator as EPS, again I get the same huge size difference. Jun 12, 2015 at 2:03

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