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Opening EPS files in GIMP

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Jul. 14th, 2017 | 12:19 pm

A quick GIMP tip: if you're using GIMP 2.8 and trying to import an EPS file, you may get a message saying "Could not interpret Postscript file" (this happened to me with a plot generated in R):

GIMP uses Ghostscript under the hood to import Postscript files; this error is caused by the bundled Ghostscript version being outdated.

To fix this:

  1. Close GIMP, if you haven't already;
  2. Rename libgs-8.dll to libgs-8.dll.OLD or so in your GIMP program directory, e.g. C:\Program Files\GIMP 2\bin\;
  3. Download and install a fresh copy of Ghostscript;
  4. Find the gsdll64.dll file in your Ghostscript program directory, e.g. C:\Program Files\gs\gs9.21\bin\;
  5. Copy that file to your GIMP program directory (same as above) and rename it to libgs-8.dll.

Importing EPS files should now work. (I also hope that when there's a new major release of GIMP, this will be fixed properly and the above won't be necessary anymore.)

NOTE: these steps are for Windows, obviously. If you're on Unix/Linux, GIMP (probably) isn't bundling its own copy of Ghostscript, so as long as you're keeping your system up to date you should be good already. And if you're on OS X... good luck. We're all counting on you.

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