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Inability to use eps graphics in Word 2007 and make a pdf

Community Beginner ,
May 29, 2009

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Hi there …

I work at a small "intellectual capital" company where virtually all of our documents (our products!) depend on embedding eps "pictures" into Word and pdf'ing the result.  While this process works great in Word 2003, it fails miserably in Word 2007 - the "mechanics" work fine and a pdf is produced, but the rendering of the eps images are terrible.  I spent some effort looking into this issue trying to find a solution and came up with the following (thanks in part to this post) ... if anyone has any more details, corrections, or solutions feel free to post!

It appears that, over the years, there have been three flavors of eps import filters for Word ... (for the curious the filter is found in Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Grphflt\EPSIMP32.FLT )

  1. The simplest (and oldest) filter basically embeds the eps code unmodified into the Word doc and will display a raster preview of the image if one is included in the eps file.  if the file is printed on a postscript printer or to Acrobat, the eps code is passed through (so it produces perfect pdfs, and the screen image in Word looks as good as the preview image embedded in the eps file). if the file is printed to a generic printer, no image appears (so it doesn't work for joe user).
  2. The Word 2003-era filter pastes the eps code unmodified into the Word doc, then renders a (very poor) preview image (using an OEM'd eps converter).  if a preview image is in the eps file it is ignored (which is bad).  if the file is printed on a postscript printer or to Acrobat, the unmodified eps code is passed through (so it produces perfect pdfs, though the screen image in Word looks yucky). if the file is printed to a generic printer, the poorly rendered preview image is printed (so it works poorly but better than nothing for joe user - and probably gives joe user a bad impression of eps).
  3. In what might be an attempt to improve things for joe user, the Word 2007 filter immediately interprets the eps code (using a slightly updated eps converter from the same OEM) and pastes the resulting rendered image into Word. It NO LONGER embeds the unmodified eps code in the Word doc. While the rendered image looks better than filter #2, it still leaves A LOT to be desired - in my brief testing, colors are VERY wrong and curves become choppy. if the file is printed on a postscript printer or to Acrobat, the poorly rendered image is used since the original eps code is gone (unacceptable for my purposes). if the file is printed to a generic printer, the poorly rendered image is printed (so it works better than Word 2003 for joe user).

So where does this leave anyone that wants to upgrade to Word 2007, use eps images, and make quality pdfs ??

  • Filters #1 & #2 were interchangeable in Word 2003.  The true eps experts like #1 the best, and it is by far the simplest technically (76k of code vs 400+k), so they merrily swapped and used it with Word 2003.  (Very) unfortunately filters #1 and #2 do not work with Word 2007 - if they did the problem would be nicely solved.
  • Find another graphics file format to work with?  This is undesirable because the "beauty" of #1 & #2 above is the unmodified eps code gets fed to the pdf maker (which itself is native eps) - Word is just a transport (no "transcoding" loss in compression-speak).  if there were an efficient way to convert eps to say wmf (microsoft's proprietary vector graphic format), and the images were able to survive two transcodes (from eps to wmf back to eps for pdf), it might be livable. But of course Adobe Illustrator cannot save as wmv (nor should it IMHO).  Of note - there is another industry standard vector format - svg - which AI can save as but Word does not support. 
  • Stay in Word 2003 doc format while using Word 2007 (don't use docx).  Doesn't work. My testing shows a Word 2003 doc file with embedded eps created in Word 2003 (and pdf's correctly in Word 2003) does not pdf correctly in Word 2007.
  • Use a work-around. As suggested here, "Open the EPS in Illustrator. Select all, and Edit > Copy. In Word, Edit > Paste Special > Enhanced Metafile."  This seems to work for small images such as logos, but not for larger graphical stuff (probably because of the internal transcoding to WMF).
  • Stay with Word 2003.  This appears to be the only workable option for now IF you want to use Word and render eps pictures in pdf's with acceptable quality.

IMHO the best solution would be to have the very simple 76k filter #1 ported to Word 2007 (those who need the capability can swap the filter files) or (not as optimal but does not require swapping filter files) add the option in filter #3 to still embed the eps code.  Microsoft is the right place to do it, or (politics aside), Adobe could and should do it (given some support from MSFT).

I am surprised this issue has not caused more rumblings from users - perhaps it has, the symptoms are just worded differently.  Or maybe everyone is just staying with Word 2003 (which is what I have done until now).  The problem is most companies are being forced to upgrade now, so I think this will become a bigger issue for Adobe / Microsoft going forward.

Thanks for listening.  I look forward to your comments.

Andy

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Inability to use eps graphics in Word 2007 and make a pdf

Community Beginner ,
May 29, 2009

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Hi there …

I work at a small "intellectual capital" company where virtually all of our documents (our products!) depend on embedding eps "pictures" into Word and pdf'ing the result.  While this process works great in Word 2003, it fails miserably in Word 2007 - the "mechanics" work fine and a pdf is produced, but the rendering of the eps images are terrible.  I spent some effort looking into this issue trying to find a solution and came up with the following (thanks in part to this post) ... if anyone has any more details, corrections, or solutions feel free to post!

It appears that, over the years, there have been three flavors of eps import filters for Word ... (for the curious the filter is found in Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Grphflt\EPSIMP32.FLT )

  1. The simplest (and oldest) filter basically embeds the eps code unmodified into the Word doc and will display a raster preview of the image if one is included in the eps file.  if the file is printed on a postscript printer or to Acrobat, the eps code is passed through (so it produces perfect pdfs, and the screen image in Word looks as good as the preview image embedded in the eps file). if the file is printed to a generic printer, no image appears (so it doesn't work for joe user).
  2. The Word 2003-era filter pastes the eps code unmodified into the Word doc, then renders a (very poor) preview image (using an OEM'd eps converter).  if a preview image is in the eps file it is ignored (which is bad).  if the file is printed on a postscript printer or to Acrobat, the unmodified eps code is passed through (so it produces perfect pdfs, though the screen image in Word looks yucky). if the file is printed to a generic printer, the poorly rendered preview image is printed (so it works poorly but better than nothing for joe user - and probably gives joe user a bad impression of eps).
  3. In what might be an attempt to improve things for joe user, the Word 2007 filter immediately interprets the eps code (using a slightly updated eps converter from the same OEM) and pastes the resulting rendered image into Word. It NO LONGER embeds the unmodified eps code in the Word doc. While the rendered image looks better than filter #2, it still leaves A LOT to be desired - in my brief testing, colors are VERY wrong and curves become choppy. if the file is printed on a postscript printer or to Acrobat, the poorly rendered image is used since the original eps code is gone (unacceptable for my purposes). if the file is printed to a generic printer, the poorly rendered image is printed (so it works better than Word 2003 for joe user).

So where does this leave anyone that wants to upgrade to Word 2007, use eps images, and make quality pdfs ??

  • Filters #1 & #2 were interchangeable in Word 2003.  The true eps experts like #1 the best, and it is by far the simplest technically (76k of code vs 400+k), so they merrily swapped and used it with Word 2003.  (Very) unfortunately filters #1 and #2 do not work with Word 2007 - if they did the problem would be nicely solved.
  • Find another graphics file format to work with?  This is undesirable because the "beauty" of #1 & #2 above is the unmodified eps code gets fed to the pdf maker (which itself is native eps) - Word is just a transport (no "transcoding" loss in compression-speak).  if there were an efficient way to convert eps to say wmf (microsoft's proprietary vector graphic format), and the images were able to survive two transcodes (from eps to wmf back to eps for pdf), it might be livable. But of course Adobe Illustrator cannot save as wmv (nor should it IMHO).  Of note - there is another industry standard vector format - svg - which AI can save as but Word does not support. 
  • Stay in Word 2003 doc format while using Word 2007 (don't use docx).  Doesn't work. My testing shows a Word 2003 doc file with embedded eps created in Word 2003 (and pdf's correctly in Word 2003) does not pdf correctly in Word 2007.
  • Use a work-around. As suggested here, "Open the EPS in Illustrator. Select all, and Edit > Copy. In Word, Edit > Paste Special > Enhanced Metafile."  This seems to work for small images such as logos, but not for larger graphical stuff (probably because of the internal transcoding to WMF).
  • Stay with Word 2003.  This appears to be the only workable option for now IF you want to use Word and render eps pictures in pdf's with acceptable quality.

IMHO the best solution would be to have the very simple 76k filter #1 ported to Word 2007 (those who need the capability can swap the filter files) or (not as optimal but does not require swapping filter files) add the option in filter #3 to still embed the eps code.  Microsoft is the right place to do it, or (politics aside), Adobe could and should do it (given some support from MSFT).

I am surprised this issue has not caused more rumblings from users - perhaps it has, the symptoms are just worded differently.  Or maybe everyone is just staying with Word 2003 (which is what I have done until now).  The problem is most companies are being forced to upgrade now, so I think this will become a bigger issue for Adobe / Microsoft going forward.

Thanks for listening.  I look forward to your comments.

Andy

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May 29, 2009 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
May 29, 2009

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I don't know if it will work any better (Acrobat does what I need) but you might try the Microsoft plugin for Office 2007

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=4D951911-3E7E-4AE6-B059-A2E79ED87041&displa...

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May 29, 2009 0
LEGEND ,
May 29, 2009

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Could you post an example of the graphic (the EPS file)?

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May 29, 2009 0
Participant ,
May 30, 2009

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Not that many people use .eps anymore (old format). For use in the Office Suite try to use PNGs. They seem to be supported much better than eps ever has been in Office products.

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May 30, 2009 0
Community Beginner ,
May 30, 2009

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S.D.A.: I don't think so ... eps is a vector format and will be around as long as postscript is around as eps provides a" wrapper." for postscript (as does pdf, but the wrapper is different).  PNG is a bit-map format that was designed to replace GIF - both have their place, but are used for different things.

Andy

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May 30, 2009 0
LEGEND ,
May 31, 2009

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How about the PS and PDF files? You have not posted them yet.

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May 31, 2009 0
Participant ,
May 31, 2009

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Not in MSFT Word -- eps is a useless format for a Word processor -- It also is a very old format not used very much now days.

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May 31, 2009 0
LEGEND ,
May 31, 2009

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It may not be that great for WORD, but it is not obsolete in terms of having little use (no I don't use them). A lot of folks still do EPS graphics when doing LaTeX documents. Many publishers also want graphics submitted in EPS form. There may be better formats today, but can we try to help him with his issue. Changing to a different graphics format would be one alternative, but there are still issues of what the problems are with the EPS conversion. EPS and PS are the basic formats used by Distiller in transferring files to PDF. So, every time you create a PDF with Acrobat, you are basically going through the PS process to get to the PDF.

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May 31, 2009 0
Community Beginner ,
May 31, 2009

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Attached are three pdf's from the same eps graphic embedded into a Word doc (insert > picture) ... the first is generated from Word 2003 (doc), the second is the Word 2003 doc opened by Word 2007 then generated (but staying as a .doc file), the third is saving the doc as a Word 2007 docx file then generating the pdf.

The word03-doc.pdf file is correct.  the other two are similar to each other - the colors are off (lighter), there are white bands thru the objects, and the smoothness of the curves has gotten much worse.  i believe this is due to the poor internal interpretation of eps by Word 2007 (which is then processed by acrobat), whereas Word 2003 simply embeds the original eps and passes it to acrobat untouched.

Please PM me if you need the original eps file as it is a little large (and i don't really want it freely available).

Andy

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May 31, 2009 0
Participant ,
May 31, 2009

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As I suggested before try to use PNG yes raster images when importing to MSFT Word. It doesn't play nicely with .eps format files. Trust me I've been doing this for sometime. Also Word isn't a colour managed application and Acrobat is; so it's quite possible for the image to look different in Acrobat if it's been tagged other than sRGB.

And in terms of using eps did you think I just made up the fact that it's an old format ?! For reference please the following; citation: Please note the words of a rathe famous Adobe engineer around these parts.

The future of the EPS file format

EPS is rapidly becoming an outdated file format which is being replaced by PDF just like PostScript itself is also being phased out and replaced by PDF. Don’t just take my word on this. Here is what Dov Isaacs from Adobe said in a discussion on a PrintPlanet forum about the future of PostScript: “ …Adobe will continue to support EPS as a legacy graphics format for import of non-color managed, opaque graphical data into Adobe applications (such as InDesign and Illustrator). Although we certain do not recommend that new graphical content be stored in EPS format (except to satisfy the need to import data into page layout programs that aren’t quite PDF-centric — no need to mention names here!), our user base should feel comfortable that there is no need to worry about a need to convert their very sizable libraries of EPS-based graphic assets.”

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May 31, 2009 0
Community Beginner ,
Jun 01, 2009

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to quote the last part ...

... (except to satisfy the need to import data into page layout programs that aren’t quite PDF-centric — no need to mention names here!), our user base should feel comfortable that there is no need to worry about a need to convert their very sizable libraries of EPS-based graphic assets.”

... that is me - both the "page layout programs that aren't quite PDF-centric part" and the "sizable libraries of EPS-based graphic assets".   The quote says I have no need to worry ...

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Jun 01, 2009 0
LEGEND ,
Jun 02, 2009

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OH! this is a different aspect. I have found WORD 2007 do some strange things to graphics. In fact it has replaced the text in a vector graphic with outlines, deleting the text as such. OFFICE 2007 seems to be doing some manipulation to graphics and does NOT retain the original form. It sounds exactly like the problem you are having. Another test would be to use the WORD 2007 plugin to create a PDF directly (MS download). If that does it correctly, then it may be the way that OFFICE is handing the results off to Acrobat. I did some experiment with that and had mixed results. In some cases, graphics (bitmaps in this case) would be split into parts and not be embedded as a regular graphic. It was definitely an OFFICE 2007 issue (PPT in the test case). If you work from the basis that OFFICE is the part that is screwing things up, you are likely on the right track.

I am not sure if the OFFICE issue is one that MS did not purpose or not. Anyway, I get mixed results and if I play around a bit, I can often get good results. This does not help a lot, but may lead you toward a reliable solution. Try both the Adobe PDF printer and PDF Maker (though one is a preprocessor for the other, there seems to be some difference).

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Jun 02, 2009 0
New Here ,
Jun 30, 2009

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Ahhhh, sorry to resurect a post that has been dormant for a month, but these are the exact issues I've been trying desparately to figure out and the fine Microsoft forums I've been using don't give NEARLY as detailed and technical answers as these!

So after figuring out that PDF as an importable format only seemed to be working in Word 2008 Mac (and our client needs Word PC), I went back to trying EPS again. On a previous project, we had gotten around this by creating EPS files with WMV previews from a trial version of Corel Draw on our token PC. But that trial ran out, and we're not about to purchase that software JUST to convert graphics for Word. And it wasn't a perfect solution anyways.

For this project the end result will need to be PDFs that anyone can download from a website and print on any number of different printers (most likely NOT postscript). So we want the graphics to look good, but they can't be postscript data.

In my testing here, the EPS files that were imported into Word 2008 on Mac look/print/export to PDF perfectly. But then again, so do PDF files. But when these files are opened in Word 2007 on our PC, the graphics are now bitmapped. So they print and export to PDF OK, but nowhere near as nice and crisp as if they were still vector.

So then I tried replacing the picture in Word 2007 with the original EPS file. But when we print it to our high-end postscript printer, it has a thin hairline around it. And when we made the PDF, a tiny bit of the bottom is getting cutoff! So I put an empty box around the graphic in Illustrator and resaved the EPS (I use CS2 as format, with TIFF preview - no fonts). But the hairline is still there.

Next, I tried saving the Word document for 2003 and opening in Word 2003. I placed the same EPS here, and now it seems to print OK (without hairline). Unfortunately, I don't have Acrobat Pro on this machine, so I can't export a PDF from 2003.

Lastly, I opened this file saved from Word 2003 (with the EPS placed in 2003) into Word 2007. The file appears to print OK. And when I use the 'Save to PDF' plugin for Word 2007, the PDF looks fine and the graphic is still vector.

- So wondering if I should place graphics in Word 2003; then open in Word 2007 to finish any layout issues; then save to PDF from Word 2007 (using the plugin instead of Distiller)?

- Or is there a way (or should I try) to get the EPS import filter from Word 2003 and put it into Word 2007 to save me a step or two?

THANKS!

* On a side note, I did try the 'convert everything to a PNG file' method so strongly recommended on the last project. I was going to give up on vector and just make a hi-res PNG instead. But even though the PNG files were pretty small (maybe 150k-250k), once I imported them into my Word doc it ballooned up to 5MB+ file size! I know the client won't want to manage 100's of files of that size. And having the graphic be linked instead of embedded is even more dangerous if it's a large corporation with many departments. Way too easy to 'misplace'.

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Jun 30, 2009 0
Community Beginner ,
Jun 30, 2009

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It'sNotMyFault wrote:

- Or is there a way (or should I try) to get the EPS import filter from Word 2003 and put it into Word 2007 to save me a step or two?

This doesn't work - i wish it did!  Apparently there is a change in the inner workings (technical term) between how the EPS import driver works in Word 2003 and Word 2007 so the drivers cannot be simply swapped.  What we need is an EPS driver that can embed the postscript code into Word (doesn't try to render it or better yet use the preview image if one is in the eps code) that simply passes the code to Acrobat when the pdf is made.  This is what Word 2003 did and it worked great!  Can Adobe provide this please?

Work around for now: I have been opening the eps files in Adobe Illustrator, selecting and cutting the graphical objects I want then pasting them into Microsoft Visio, then saving as an Enhanced Windows Metafile (.emf), then inserting the .emf picture into Word 2007.  Works "OK" ... this adds two (unnecessary) conversion / rendering steps (eps > emf > pdf) so some weird distortions can happen.  Also requires extra steps, saving .emf versions of all of my .eps files, not to mention software licenses for AI and Visio.

I have not had good luck working with Word 2003 documents in Word 2007 - the crappy EPS driver in Word 2007 is pretty quick to do a horrible job of rendering any embedded EPS code it finds in Word 2003 files.

AndyNils

PS - yes please feel free to keep this topic alive!

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Jun 30, 2009 0
New Here ,
Jun 30, 2009

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Well here's what I tried and the results I got:

1) Opened file in Word 2003 on PC

2) Replaced graphics with same EPS files

3) Saved and opened in Word 2007 on PC

4) Used filter to save as PDF (Publish a copy of the document as a PDF or XPS file).

5) Opened in Acrobat Reader on PC & Acrobat Pro on Mac. File looks fine on screen and prints perfectly to our Doc 12 (postscript) and Brother ('emulated' postscript) printers. Also preflighted in Acrobat Pro to make sure graphics were still vector - they were.

So those are my results using a trial of Word 2007 on a PC running XP and no Acrobat Pro (or Distiller), only Acrobat Reader.

And files print perfectly from Word 2007 or Acrobat to both of our printers (postscript and 'emulated' postscript).

Now the only issue is that the graphics are all messed up when I open the Word files in Word 2008 on Mac. It's like there is a small preview image on top of a larger preview image. Oh well, can't win them all when dealing with Microsoft products...

My only concern now may be whether our tests are skewed because we have a decent and proper postscript printer driver installed on this PC. Not sure if that is used in any way when using the 'Save as PDF' filter from within Word 2007. We'll have to have our client try it on their end and hope for the best.

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Jun 30, 2009 0
LEGEND ,
Jun 30, 2009

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I think that some of this may have to do with the format that MS has used for docx files. I still need to look at the one that has been posted in PDF, but you might try saving the file as a DOC file first and then importing the EPS file. OFFICE 2007 seems to do some strange processing the the "x" versions of graphics. I have also found a difference when using the create PDF versus printing to the Adobe PDF printer as I remember. I have tried AA8 and AA7 both with WORD 2007 and found problems. When using AA7 with WORD 2003, the results were fine. As I said in a post to another topic, it almost appears as though MS put a hook in OFFICE 2007 for Acrobat - but we are supposed to assume that companies play fair.

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Jun 30, 2009 0
New Here ,
Mar 07, 2010

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I just noticed this problem existed with a bunch of my Word 2007 files and this thread is the only thing I could find on the issue.

As others have pointed out, I think it's the docx format that causes the problem in Word 2007.

To fix my problem I had to do the following:

  1. Save the file as a doc file
  2. Delete the eps graphic
  3. Reinsert the eps graphic
  4. Create the PDF

I can also save the resulting doc file as docx and the eps file still works. If I want to add more eps files or change/update any I'd have to repeat the process above.

I didn't have to do anything with filters.

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Mar 07, 2010 0
New Here ,
Nov 01, 2009

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I faced this EPS import problem in Word 2007 last week. Sometime ago I had a problem with the import filter (EPSIMP32.FLT) in Word 2000 because the installation of Microsoft Visio replaced the original version with a "broken" one, so the first thing I tried was replacing the filter. It didn't work, so I searched for any clues on the internet and find none on this specific issue, but found that I should have not only replaced the file, but also updated the registry with the version of old EPSIMP32.FLT (mine is 98.5.14.0 from Office 2000)

Everything works now, right? Wrong! When using docx, the stupid thing just ignores the filter and converts itself the EPS into some trash! To be able to use the filter, you must save the file in compatibily mode (save as "Word 97-2003 Document") and then insert the EPS. If you save it again in docx, the EPS will be lost.

Summarizing:

  • Replace the EPS import filter (EPSIMP32.FLT).
  • Update the registry (right now I don't have the key, so just search for EPSIMP32.FLT and update the version).
  • Test it:
    • create a new Word document,
    • save it as "Word 97-2003 Document",
    • insert an EPS,
    • print to PDF (the internal converter does not work).

If someone needs more information (such as the specific registry key), I can provide later.

I am surprised this issue has not caused more rumblings from users - perhaps it has, the symptoms are just worded differently.  Or maybe everyone is just staying with Word 2003 (which is what I have done until now).  The problem is most companies are being forced to upgrade now, so I think this will become a bigger issue for Adobe / Microsoft going forward.

So am I! EMF just sucks and the EPS filter in Word 2007 is a bad joke. PNG is not a great option, since it's a bitmap and resolution specific. If Word supported PDF, that would be perfect, as EPS files are easily converted into PDFs.

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Nov 01, 2009 0
LEGEND ,
Jul 04, 2010

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Interesting. The OFFICE 2007 equation editor does not work in doc mode, only docx. Maybe a similar fix for the compatibility mode by bringing the equation editor from OFFICE 2003. Might try it. I am awful tempted to remove OFFICE 2007 and install OFFICE 2003 from my other machine.

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Jul 04, 2010 0
New Here ,
Mar 08, 2010

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Microsoft has released a hot fix that supposedly addresses this issue, it is at

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/977468

I downloaded the fix and tried it; it actually made the problem worse!  Apparently they

are trying to fix their filter rather than bypassing it.  What I am doing is

1.  Making maps in AutoCaD Map and printing (plotting in autocad) them to a pdf file

2.  Opening the pdf file in Acrobat and resaving it as eps

3.  Importing the eps file into a Word 2007 document

4.  Use Acrobat to convert the Word document to pdf

Before the hot fix when I did the process the resolution of the map in the final

pdf file was not as good as in the original made from AutoCad.  Also the colors were

not correct.  After installing the hotfix there are still these same problems but also now

any non horizontal text is not displaying correctly.

Be careful about trying this hotfix.

As others have noted, back in Word 2003 the above steps 1 - 4 worked very well and resulted

in a high quality pdf file with the map as good as in the original pdf.

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Mar 08, 2010 0