I am exporting .eps images from ArcMap using the "Export" tool.

By looking at the exported images properties, all exported with a 600 DPI, I see some of them have the size of some MB, while others some hundreds of MB. The images I am talking about have include large sets of GIS data.

Why does this happen and how can I prevent exporting excessively large images using export --> .eps this way?

My aim is to avoid loading times in the PDF paper I am inserting these images in (at the moment, some of the PDF pages including the images require approximately 1 to 3 seconds to load)

  • EPS is a vector format, right? So the final file size would depend on how many layers you export and their sizes. Could this explain the difference?
    – Martin
    Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 10:44
  • Ok, in this case is there any function to change reduce the size of the image, or should I just reduce the dpi? Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 11:28
  • Unless you have rasters in your map, changing the dpi won't likely change the file size.
    – Martin
    Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 11:35

1 Answer 1


The size of a EPS file does not depend on the DPI settings. DPI only apply for raster graphics such as PNG, GIF, JPG or BMP.

The problem you are facing is that the vector image depends on the amount and details of object it is required to contain. So it is highly dependant on the layers you want to display and the amount of objects on these layers. The amount of information that need to be stored in the image also depend on the amount of details on every single object.

EPS stores every path node of every object you want to export. Also it may store any text labels and it will contain the embedded fonts required to display the labels. All that will increase the size of the file.

So it reduce the file you should try to reduce the area you want to export, reduce the amount of labels, reduce the amount of objects by hiding layers and so on.

If all that fails you should think about switching formats. For very wide views on a area, it may be better to use a raster image, such as PNG or JPG. You will not be able to zoom into those images lossless as you are able with the EPS files and it may a quality drop with very small objects, but the size is not as much dependant on the area you are showing as EPS is.

  • This answer contains lots of good advice however the first sentence is not correct. In ArcGIS changing the DPI setting will change the quality (and size) of vector formats: according to ESRI. A map I'm currently working with in 10.2 exports to a 9MB .eps at 300 DPI, and 3MB .eps at 150 DPI. It is strange to specify a DPI setting on a vector format, but that is the way is has been implemented in Arc.
    – Alexander
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 13:21

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