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I can’t image creating blog and social media images and graphics without this technique and the free software available to do it. Since many online editors are limited to either JPG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) or PNG (Portable Graphics Format) file types you’ll want to know how to use this too so keep reading.
What Are Vector Formats?- The Free Graphics Many Ignore
A few online editors can convert or save to generic EPS or Adobe’s AI (Illustrator), PSD (Photoshop), (Reader) PDF formats. There are many other recognizable image formats but you get the point. Let me diverge for just a second to explain why this is important.
EPS, short for encapsulated postscript, is a common universal vector format designed for printing to postscript printers. This format is used in high-resolution printing of illustrations.
Some high-resolution programs create images in a vector file. Vector files are fantastic for certain purposes. However, some free online editors don’t recognize or handle vector files. While these editors are excellent for creating graphics they have limitations on increasing size and resolution of those designs. For 99.9% of what you need, an online editor is perfect to use.
So, why should you care about file format and in particular vector image files?
Because there are really great free vector graphics available for use and that give you a whole set of graphics you can use for free that many others won’t use. You just have to convert them to PNG or JPG and this post is about what options are available to accomplish that.
That’s because most folks who use online editors don’t know how to handle or convert vector files into useable ones but you’re about to know exactly how.
Before you do, it’s important to have a smidgeon of background information. A vector image is flexible. Created using math algorithms rather than colored blocks, vector files (eps, ai, pdf and svg are all vector formats), are resizable without loss of resolution or clarity. This is incredibly useful.
Vector file (graphics) stay sharp when increased or decreased in size.
That’s why illustrations, icons and certain graphic elements are created from scratch using vector editors.
Not true with PNGs or JPGS. Unfortunately, they become blurry when sized up too much.
For online use a jpg or png is perfect and “web friendly”. However if you find a great graphic in vector format that you want to use, your favorite online editor probably won’t be able to use it.
This is exactly why you should care about file format and how to convert the vector to a jpg or png for use with any online editor.
Here are your options for converting a vector into a PNG or JPG file.
Option 1. Use an online file converter website.
Some work but are specific only to certain formats. Online converters are focused on converting only and some focus only on converting one type of vector format.
However, this one has a lot of options. You can always use Google to find others. Just google “___ file to png” where ____ is the file format you’re starting with.
. This site converts a wide range of file types, however its free plan is limited to 25 files before you have to pay. ( I get no commission for recommending this, I just happen to like that they can convert almost any file).
Option 2. Use downloadable software to do the conversion. ( I use Inkscape or GIMP- always free).
You import or open the image in software then export it as a jpg or png file.
Exporting as a jpg will save the background or make it default white.
For transparent backgrounds (no color) then save it as a png. Png files are best for combining this graphic or with others to make a new unique graphic.
I’ve written 2 articles on how to use free downloadable editors (specifically Inkscape and GIMP) to do this.
These 3 options are really the best I’ve found to date and easy to use. If you’re looking for free vector graphics to use in your blog or social media graphics, just subscribe and get my resource list of 57+ image and vector sites that offer free resources.
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