I need to convert to PDF a Word document containing embedded vector EPS images (by printing to PDF printer - I use Word 2003). Several years ago I tested some of commercial and free PDF printers and found none, with except to Acrobat Distiller, which embeds in the generated PDF file real PostScript content of the EPS image instead of the preview showed by Word. Has the situation changed from that time? Do you know any free or commercial PDF printer which handles embedded EPS correctly?


Good thread about EPS handling in different versions of Word: link.

Overview of eps filters across different Word version (epsimp32.flt).

Support for EPS in Office 2010 and 2013.

An old post about Word 2003 EPS import filter and an attempt to communicate with its developers: link.

1 Answer 1


Your first mistake is attempting to embed EPS files in Word documents. It's failures at handling EPS files are legendary.

In most cases, by the time the print spooler gets the data, Word has already attempted to render the entire document for the printing subsystem.

Adobe Acrobat works by using a special Word addin along with the PDF printer driver to make sure that extra metadata makes it to the resulting PDF. PDF-T-Maker is a Word add-in that is similar to the Acrobat PDF Maker add-in that Adobe used in older versions of Acrobat. This may get you what you want when used in cooperation with your favorite PDF printer driver or Postscript printer.

However, ultimately you're going to either need to switch to a different application which has better EPS handling or convert those EPS images to a different format that Word will tolerate better. In reality it means switching to a raster graphic format (e.g. PNG, JPEG, TIFF) because there's no good vector formats that Word handles appropriately. Word 2010 still doesn't handle SVG.

  • Does it work correctly with non-English locales? Aug 23, 2012 at 19:37
  • I have no idea, but the site is hosted on a .de domain, so they're more likely to have needed non-English support than a US-based developer.
    – afrazier
    Aug 23, 2012 at 20:04
  • As to your first sentence: "Your first mistake is attempting to embed EPS files in Word documents. It's failures at handling EPS files are legendary." I understand that Word has a very out-of-date EPS filter. But it is the only reliable way to embed high-quality vector graphics into the target PDF file (or just for high quality printing). Many third-paty applications can produce Word-compatible EPS-files. Aug 23, 2012 at 22:21
  • is that still the case for recent versions of Word and the XPS print path in Vista and later though? It's not behavior I'd want to rely on -- there's too many fragile pieces that need to be just so in order for things to work.
    – afrazier
    Aug 24, 2012 at 0:32
  • Do you know better way to embed high-quality vector graphics into Word documents? Aside from EPS I know only EMF format but there is serious limitation with generating EMF files: not every application I use can produce high-quality EMF, by default vector graphics in EMF is sampled at the screen-resolution fidelity resulting in poor quality when zooming in. Aug 24, 2012 at 6:23

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