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I'm trying to create PDF documents with Adobe Acrobat X Pro. I just realized that it can only do forms etc but not basic document editing. So it wants me to import already formatted word file (for example). But how do I use vector grahpics in MS Word files?

It is essential that they are scalable and look good, that is the only reason I use PDF format. Word is supporting some kind of .emf files, but they look crispy and ugly.

Any suggestions?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can use emf or even eps in Word for true vector graphics. It will look ugly because Word uses a poor rasterizer to display them on screen. When you print, Word will actually write vector-based PostScript as opposed to the bitmap you see on screen.

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You are correct. Same applied to even that weird EMF format. It looks ugly in MS Word but when converted to pdf it looks as expected. Thank you. – Badr Hari May 7 '12 at 15:17

I'm adding this as an alternative 'answer' rather than a comment to give myself a little more space...

I've been 'fighting' (or so it has felt) with the conversion of some Word files containing a company logo to PDF. My findings may be helpful to anyone with similar problems.

As states, Word can accept EMF and EPS files. However, I found that when exporting with Acrobat my embedded EMF or EPS files would be rasterised in the generated PDF. Since our logo contained a line of text, this gave terrible results. Frustratingly when using Word 2013's own 'Export to PDF' feature the logo would export perfectly as a vector... but the generated PDF files was four times larger and didn't contain embedded fonts.

After some further investigation, I eventually found that if an EMF file contained either graduated fills or bitmaps then the whole 'picture' would be rasterised when exported to PDF by Acrobat. Interestingly, when a colleague with Illustrator resaved the file as an EPS, the graduated fill became 'banded'... but also no-longer caused rasterisation. It seems that Adobe Illustrator-generated EPS files work better with Adobe Acrobat.

I don't have Illustrator, but I found another workaround. If I save my logo as PDF from the graphics package that I'm using (Xara Photo and Graphic Designer 10) then use Acrobat to convert this file to an EPS, the resulting EPS when added to Word is converted as vector graphics (not rasterised) when exported as PDF by Acrobat. (Again, what was a graduated fill becomes banded - but for my purposes this is a far smaller issue than rasterisation.)

My complete workflow using Xara, Word and Acrobat is:

  1. Create/edit graphics in Xara
  2. Export as PDF from Xara
  3. Open PDF in Acrobat and save as EPS (in sRGB colours)
  4. Add EPS to Word, and crop/position/scale as appropriate
  5. Export Word file to PDF using Acrobat

Since most of the time we're only editing the text in the Word file, once steps 1-4 are done standard Acrobat export 'just works'.

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