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I use the statistical programming software R from The R Project to create graphs and figures that consist entirely of vector graphics elements (i.e. points, lines, polygons, text). R permits you to save your figure in various formats including various raster formats, as a PDF, or as a Windows meta-file.

I usually save my images as PDFs and print them. This renders the images exactly as I intended them on paper, in the highest quality. I avoid raster formats for printing as inevitably the quality is poorer.

However, I need to make a large multi-page document using Microsoft Word 2007, and therefore using PDFs is not an option. When I import my figures from meta-files, or copy and paste directly from R into Word both the screen and print rendering of the image changes slightly (e.g. polygons and their fills become slightly misaligned).

I tried using Word 2003 compatibility mode, un-grouping the image, and removing the bounding box, but this created additional artifacts both on screen and in print.

Given that I want to retain high vector quality (and not use raster formats), what can I do to make R vector graphics work with Word?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I asked this question on StackOverflow, and there is a satisfactory solution. See here.

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