Getting the best out of vectors in Microsoft Word

by - Wednesday, October 6, 2010

We’ve just finished a massive rebrand; we’ve got a new website, new business cards as well as a cracking logo. What’s missing? Stationery.

Not the most exciting of topics; I know. But I wanted to make a post talking about the best way to deal with vectors in Microsoft Word. More specifically when saving as a .PDF from Word. We do this alot, all of our proposals, specs & briefs are produced in Word and then emailed to clients as .PDF, so it’s important that they look their best.

We’re primarily a Digital company, infact we do very little work in print (or print related stuff). We know people who can do a much better job than us & tend to recommend them first. One thing we do, do very well however is solve technical problems; it’s our bread & butter. So when this issue arose & Google was no help we jumped on it.

Failed Attempts

First of all we tried saving as a .eps from illustrator. This produced some squaring off of round corners in the pdf & the images didn’t look great when viewing them in word either. Small text appeared ‘blotchy’.

Vector -1a -eps _word


Vector -1b -eps _pdf _100


Vector -1c -eps _pdf _300

Next we tried File > “Save for Microsoft Office”. This only allows for the production of .png files which look great in word but fall apart at a high zoom level.

Vectors -2-png _pdf

The Solution

The solution was to export from Illustrator as an Enhanced Metafile (.emf). File > Export.

Vector -3a -emf _word


Vector -3b -emf _pdf _100


Vector -3c -emf _pdf _300

It’s not perfect, but it’s certainly alot better than using .eps files.

Notes:

Word likes scaling images down, to get you image back to it’s original size, open the picture format dialogue, switch to the size tab & click on “Reset”.

Vectors -4-resize _dialogue

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