How to edit vector components of an imported eps image

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Further information.

I tried this convoluted workflow, with partial, but unsatisfactory success

  1. Open EPS in preview

  2. EPS converted to PDF automatically

  3. Drag as pdf Image to Omnigraffle

  4. Select object

  5. Export as SVG in a folder containing a .pdf and .svg

  6. (Open File … the folder (Opens in new Omnigraffle file)

  7. The pdf object is imported as ungrouped object that can be manipulated! But the .SVG is a blank square.

This sometimes works… but not reliably. Wrong colours. Missing elements.

Exported SVG appears correct, but re-imports as blank.

Similarly, at Step 4 above, COPY AS .SVG and PASTE presents a blank square.

It’s a mystery … I feel so close!


  1. The first thing to understand is, PostScript is a dog, and EncapsulatedPostScript is a mangy dog.

    • Which is why simple drawing tools such as OG (note the price) do the simple thing and read it as PDF.
  2. Second, you are attempting to work with the finished object (eg. a vectorised graphic in a EPS or PDF file), and copy-pasting the finished object. That is not the definition in the EPS/PDF file, that is the displayed object.

    • Yes, you can, but no, it will be very difficult
    • You have to get the operative software (OG) to recognise the finished object as a vector image, and capture the definition.
  3. You would be much better off working at the definition level (rather than the finished object level). So either:

    • Edit the EPS/PDF file, grab the definition, use AppleScript to import it into OG, or
    • Convert the EPS/PDF file into something useful, or
    • Use a heavy duty drawing tool, such as Adobe Illustrator (mega bucks), that provides direct editing of an EPS file

You may find this webpage useful: 8 Methods to Edit an EPS File


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In principle SVG is the standards-based one and so should be good. In practice… :-( :-)

Apparently, the former is a Mac-Inkscape-Ghost specific known issue, as per the same thread I reported earlier.

The workflow advised, which worked for me perfectly with Inkscape is… slightly involved…

  1. Open .EPS in Preview.

  2. Preview autoconverts to PDF

  3. Save as .pdf

  4. Open the .pdf image with Inkscape

  5. SAVE AS .svg

  6. Place or open the .svg in Omnigraffle

  7. Ungroup placed object and manipulate as required!


"There’s a hole in my bucket’

What I don’t understand is why I can’t just place the .pdf (from Preview .eps conversion) direct into Omnigraffle and Ungroup that .pdf object, rather than go via Inkscape or Convertio to produce the .svg. Though @GraffleGuru has answered that question, I think!

I guess that’s another question!

Because that workflow retains the grouped object, not discrete objects.

(What we need is a CopyAsPDF in Preview.)

Because that workflow results in the grouped objects being ungrouped, and thus available, accessible.

Yes. Sort of. There are swings and round-abouts in each meandering path.


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