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Quality of figures in PDF from EPS in Word 2016

New Here ,
Nov 25, 2017

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Hello,

I used to work with Office Pro Plus 2013 and Acrobat XI Pro. I worked a lot with EPS figures (from MATLAB) placed in Word documents and exported in PDF with a superb quality.

Recently, I changed to Office Pro Plus 2016 and Acrobat DC 2017 (because XI Pro not compatible with Office 2016). It appears that, with the same settings, the resulting quality of my figures in the PDF document (same procedure) is way worst. The picture is in low resolution despite the settings for "high quality". I did a strict comparison of both with my old and new laptop. Funny thing, if I convert the EPS figure to PDF directly with Adobe Acrobat (not using Word), the quality is great.

Can someone help out with this issue? Is there a way to also get a superb quality with Office 2016 and Acrobat DC 2017 like before? Could it be related to 32/64 bit version of either Office or Acrobat?

This is crucial for my finishing the writing of my PhD Thesis...

Thank's in advance for your help,

Matthieu

The cause of the problem is fairly simple. Saving PDF directly from any Office application (including Excel and PowerPoint as well as Word) doesn't support the high quality PostScript aspect of EPS artwork placed into Office documents, but rather, only the low resolution TIFF preview of an EPS file. Thus, the cruddy results you see. The high quality aspect of EPS artwork is only available via printing to PostScript printers. This is not something under Adobe's control, but rather, internal to Office's internal graphics engine. And it has nothing to do with 32-bit versus 64-bit.

One workaround would be to create PDF by printing to Adobe PDF which creates PostScript from the Office document (with Office cooperating and passing through the PostScript aspect of the EPS through the driver) and subsequently converts the PostScript to PDF via Acrobat Distiller. This method generally works well but may have other limitations (no live transparency or color management, for example). Use the High Quality Print joboptions for best results.

Another workaround that you might try would be to create MATLAB output in .emf format instead of .eps. This can be accomplished by using the '-dmeta' format option on the print command. (See Print figure or save to specific file format - MATLAB print  for more details.) Disclaimer: I am not a MATLAB user much less an expert on that application.

Let us know if either of these workarounds helps resolve your issues.

          - Dov

PS:     Quite frankly, I am surprised you ever were able to get “superb quality” from EPS placed artwork in Word unless you were creating PDF by printing to AdobePDF or were using some older versions of Word that attempted to internally convert EPS to WMF or EMF.

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Quality of figures in PDF from EPS in Word 2016

New Here ,
Nov 25, 2017

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Hello,

I used to work with Office Pro Plus 2013 and Acrobat XI Pro. I worked a lot with EPS figures (from MATLAB) placed in Word documents and exported in PDF with a superb quality.

Recently, I changed to Office Pro Plus 2016 and Acrobat DC 2017 (because XI Pro not compatible with Office 2016). It appears that, with the same settings, the resulting quality of my figures in the PDF document (same procedure) is way worst. The picture is in low resolution despite the settings for "high quality". I did a strict comparison of both with my old and new laptop. Funny thing, if I convert the EPS figure to PDF directly with Adobe Acrobat (not using Word), the quality is great.

Can someone help out with this issue? Is there a way to also get a superb quality with Office 2016 and Acrobat DC 2017 like before? Could it be related to 32/64 bit version of either Office or Acrobat?

This is crucial for my finishing the writing of my PhD Thesis...

Thank's in advance for your help,

Matthieu

The cause of the problem is fairly simple. Saving PDF directly from any Office application (including Excel and PowerPoint as well as Word) doesn't support the high quality PostScript aspect of EPS artwork placed into Office documents, but rather, only the low resolution TIFF preview of an EPS file. Thus, the cruddy results you see. The high quality aspect of EPS artwork is only available via printing to PostScript printers. This is not something under Adobe's control, but rather, internal to Office's internal graphics engine. And it has nothing to do with 32-bit versus 64-bit.

One workaround would be to create PDF by printing to Adobe PDF which creates PostScript from the Office document (with Office cooperating and passing through the PostScript aspect of the EPS through the driver) and subsequently converts the PostScript to PDF via Acrobat Distiller. This method generally works well but may have other limitations (no live transparency or color management, for example). Use the High Quality Print joboptions for best results.

Another workaround that you might try would be to create MATLAB output in .emf format instead of .eps. This can be accomplished by using the '-dmeta' format option on the print command. (See Print figure or save to specific file format - MATLAB print  for more details.) Disclaimer: I am not a MATLAB user much less an expert on that application.

Let us know if either of these workarounds helps resolve your issues.

          - Dov

PS:     Quite frankly, I am surprised you ever were able to get “superb quality” from EPS placed artwork in Word unless you were creating PDF by printing to AdobePDF or were using some older versions of Word that attempted to internally convert EPS to WMF or EMF.

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Adobe Employee ,
Nov 25, 2017

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The cause of the problem is fairly simple. Saving PDF directly from any Office application (including Excel and PowerPoint as well as Word) doesn't support the high quality PostScript aspect of EPS artwork placed into Office documents, but rather, only the low resolution TIFF preview of an EPS file. Thus, the cruddy results you see. The high quality aspect of EPS artwork is only available via printing to PostScript printers. This is not something under Adobe's control, but rather, internal to Office's internal graphics engine. And it has nothing to do with 32-bit versus 64-bit.

One workaround would be to create PDF by printing to Adobe PDF which creates PostScript from the Office document (with Office cooperating and passing through the PostScript aspect of the EPS through the driver) and subsequently converts the PostScript to PDF via Acrobat Distiller. This method generally works well but may have other limitations (no live transparency or color management, for example). Use the High Quality Print joboptions for best results.

Another workaround that you might try would be to create MATLAB output in .emf format instead of .eps. This can be accomplished by using the '-dmeta' format option on the print command. (See Print figure or save to specific file format - MATLAB print  for more details.) Disclaimer: I am not a MATLAB user much less an expert on that application.

Let us know if either of these workarounds helps resolve your issues.

          - Dov

PS:     Quite frankly, I am surprised you ever were able to get “superb quality” from EPS placed artwork in Word unless you were creating PDF by printing to AdobePDF or were using some older versions of Word that attempted to internally convert EPS to WMF or EMF.

- Dov Isaacs, Principal Scientist, Adobe

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New Here ,
Dec 01, 2017

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Dear Dov,

Thank you very much for your answer. It confirms my understanding of the process. I am currently writing my PhD and already handled more than 200 figures this way (Office 2013 + EPS created from MATLAB + Adobe Acrobat Pro).

Believe me, the quality is really superb (and I am hard to please). The problem is that I had to replace my computer and ended up with Office 2016 (instead of 2013). I installed Adobe Acrobat, like I did before, but I had to choose a more recent version to work with Office 2016. Of course, I used the same settings ("High quality print"). But it does not work. The quality that I get with the same method is just comparable to saving Word to PDF the classical way.

Kind regards,

Matthieu

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 02, 2017

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Unfortunately, as I indicated, there is nothing that Adobe can do here to assist. As I indicated, you might want to try generating the MATLAB output with the alternative method that I provided.

BTW, it is indeed possible that earlier versions of Office tried internally to convert EPS to EMF but abandoned that in Office 2016. If I recall correctly, that EPS converter was pretty poor in many circumstances.

          - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, Principal Scientist, Adobe

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New Here ,
Dec 03, 2017

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I know, of course, that this might not be strictly related to Adobe. But for some reasons, Office 2016 and Adobe cannot work together on that aspect. So I was hoping for a clue to resolve this. As I said, I spent countless days elaborating my MATLAB scripts to generate EPS figures and reached a very good result. Of course, I tried EMF(PNG, JPG, PDF, etc.), but encountered plenty of other artefacts (fonts, colors, positions of elements, ...) and my figures are quiet complex. So changing the way I produce my figures is not really an option.

Given the really good results that I obtained previously and the big names that Office and Adobe are in the field, it is hard to believe that this is not possible anymore.

Indeed, Office disabled the use of EPS figures for security reasons, but it is possible to re-enable that by working in the registry. The view of an EPS figure in Word on the screen is indeed the result of a conversion, but normally, the high quality is only reached when printing it with a PS printer.

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