In my free physics textbook on http://www.motionmountain.net , there are hundreds of images, all made with Illustrator CS 11 (yes, from around the year 2010) in eps format. But the new Illustrator has become unaffordable, even more so for a non-profit organisation. How can one edit such .eps files now?

My attempts in the last days (August 2017) gave these results:

  • Corel Draw: does not seem to exist for OSX
  • Xara Designer Pro: does not seem to exist for OSX
  • Affinity Designer: has a trial version; but one cannot edit the text in the .eps files coming from Illustrator CS; font sizes are wrong.
  • AutoCAD LT: the trial version cannot open .eps files
  • Inkscape: able to edit text in .eps files, but saved .eps files garble the result and the font, wrong when imported back to Illustrator.
  • McGimp: does not seem to be able to edit text from Illustrator .eps

What is the best way to proceed? Is this summary wrong in some cases? Or are there better alternatives?

  • 1
    I was pretty sure Inskcape should be able to do this – what did you try/where did that fail?
    – benteh
    Commented Aug 26, 2017 at 20:56
  • When you edit text, and save it again, it is garbled when opened again in Illustrator CS. And the fonts are wrong. Commented Aug 26, 2017 at 21:23
  • 2
    But it technically works. You can open the files and edit them. That there is a problems with fonts, that would be a separate issue (it might have to do with system fonts etc.). My point being: Inkscape really is the go-to non-Illustrator software.
    – benteh
    Commented Aug 26, 2017 at 21:37
  • You can subscribe to Illustrator for 1 month, then cancel the subscription. This is a cost of $30. Subscribe for 1 year up front and it's $20/month (~$240 total). In fact, you can download the (fully functional) trial of Illustrator and use it for a month free of charge. Non-profit organizations have money for critical business needs... If this is truly a need, the cost is minimal.
    – Scott
    Commented Aug 26, 2017 at 23:38
  • Where exactly can one download a free trial of Illustrator CS (not CC)? Commented Aug 27, 2017 at 10:31

2 Answers 2


if you convert the fonts to paths in Inkscape before export all should be ok


It seems that the problem you are having with Inkscape are misnamed fonts. Try the following:

  1. Open EPS in Inkscape.
  2. Select some text.
  3. Look at the XML of that text (Ctrl + Shift + X).
  4. There will be a font entry somewhere. Change this to a reasonable, installed font (usually the font you originally used). If this works, rejoice and continue. Otherwise despair.
  5. Use some search-and-replace tool to change all similar font instructions in the SVG’s source.
  6. If this does not fix all text, you probably used more than one font. Select a remaining broken text and go to step 3.

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