I'm looking for an editor for WMF files to run on Windows XP. I'd like to see both a graphical view ie. the current image, and the list of commands that WMF contains that created that image.

My problem is very large WMF files generated by exporting from AutoCAD which seem to contain some problematic features which causes most WMF viewers to hang for a long time or crash completely. I think the problematic features are large embedded bitmap objects or some object with tons of detail, although in one case there was a line which went off the side of the page and I think had a bad end co-ordinate.

I don't mind paying if its reasonable and there's no free alternative.

  • Questions seeking product, service, or learning material recommendations are off-topic. See On Topic. Try softwarerecs.stackexchange.com
    – DavidPostill
    Nov 4, 2014 at 8:55
  • This question was posted before softwarerecs existed - at that time, there was only Stackoverflow, Server Fault and Superuser, and this was the best fit. If it is now Stackexchange policy to move questions to more suitable sites when they get created, I don't mind if this question is migrated. Better to migrate than close.
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    Nov 4, 2014 at 9:15
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    – DavidPostill
    Nov 4, 2014 at 9:22

2 Answers 2


You need a vector image editor.
Some of the best-known ones are :


Inkscape (requires wmf2svg - part of libwmf, use Edit path nodes [F2])


Xara Xtreme ($89)
Adobe Illustrator ($599)

  • Thanks for the suggestions, I have tried Inkscape and it crashed with these problematic WMF files. Ideally I'd like something that wasn't graphical primarily, or allowed the graphical view to be switched off, with a simultaneous view of the commands. I'll try trial versions of the commercial apps you mentioned.
    – Martin
    Oct 5, 2009 at 9:49

Microsoft's Expression Design can import these images correctly.

  • 1
    I'll have to try the trial of this, but am not too hopeful, since Wikipedia states "Expression Design 4, released as part of Expression Studio 4 added the ability to import Windows Metafile (WMF), Enhanced Metafile (EMF), and Enhanced Metafile Plus (EMF+) files into your Expression Design project." I'd only count this as useful if it allowed me to save back as the original file type, effectively editing in the native format. On the face of it, a graphical editor with WMF import isn't what I am looking for.
    – Martin
    May 23, 2011 at 7:35
  • Expression Design is now freeware, but it does not open WMF correctly.. i tried one and it was totally screwed..
    – Peter
    Feb 22, 2013 at 9:46

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