Hi there …
I work at a small "intellectual capital" company where virtually all of our documents (our products!) depend on embedding eps "pictures" into Word and pdf'ing the result. While this process works great in Word 2003, it fails miserably in Word 2007 - the "mechanics" work fine and a pdf is produced, but the rendering of the eps images are terrible. I spent some effort looking into this issue trying to find a solution and came up with the following (thanks in part to this post) ... if anyone has any more details, corrections, or solutions feel free to post!
It appears that, over the years, there have been three flavors of eps import filters for Word ... (for the curious the filter is found in Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Grphflt\EPSIMP32.FLT )
- The simplest (and oldest) filter basically embeds the eps code unmodified into the Word doc and will display a raster preview of the image if one is included in the eps file. if the file is printed on a postscript printer or to Acrobat, the eps code is passed through (so it produces perfect pdfs, and the screen image in Word looks as good as the preview image embedded in the eps file). if the file is printed to a generic printer, no image appears (so it doesn't work for joe user).
- The Word 2003-era filter pastes the eps code unmodified into the Word doc, then renders a (very poor) preview image (using an OEM'd eps converter). if a preview image is in the eps file it is ignored (which is bad). if the file is printed on a postscript printer or to Acrobat, the unmodified eps code is passed through (so it produces perfect pdfs, though the screen image in Word looks yucky). if the file is printed to a generic printer, the poorly rendered preview image is printed (so it works poorly but better than nothing for joe user - and probably gives joe user a bad impression of eps).
- In what might be an attempt to improve things for joe user, the Word 2007 filter immediately interprets the eps code (using a slightly updated eps converter from the same OEM) and pastes the resulting rendered image into Word. It NO LONGER embeds the unmodified eps code in the Word doc. While the rendered image looks better than filter #2, it still leaves A LOT to be desired - in my brief testing, colors are VERY wrong and curves become choppy. if the file is printed on a postscript printer or to Acrobat, the poorly rendered image is used since the original eps code is gone (unacceptable for my purposes). if the file is printed to a generic printer, the poorly rendered image is printed (so it works better than Word 2003 for joe user).
So where does this leave anyone that wants to upgrade to Word 2007, use eps images, and make quality pdfs ??
- Filters #1 & #2 were interchangeable in Word 2003. The true eps experts like #1 the best, and it is by far the simplest technically (76k of code vs 400+k), so they merrily swapped and used it with Word 2003. (Very) unfortunately filters #1 and #2 do not work with Word 2007 - if they did the problem would be nicely solved.
- Find another graphics file format to work with? This is undesirable because the "beauty" of #1 & #2 above is the unmodified eps code gets fed to the pdf maker (which itself is native eps) - Word is just a transport (no "transcoding" loss in compression-speak). if there were an efficient way to convert eps to say wmf (microsoft's proprietary vector graphic format), and the images were able to survive two transcodes (from eps to wmf back to eps for pdf), it might be livable. But of course Adobe Illustrator cannot save as wmv (nor should it IMHO). Of note - there is another industry standard vector format - svg - which AI can save as but Word does not support.
- Stay in Word 2003 doc format while using Word 2007 (don't use docx). Doesn't work. My testing shows a Word 2003 doc file with embedded eps created in Word 2003 (and pdf's correctly in Word 2003) does not pdf correctly in Word 2007.
- Use a work-around. As suggested here, "Open the EPS in Illustrator. Select all, and Edit > Copy. In Word, Edit > Paste Special > Enhanced Metafile." This seems to work for small images such as logos, but not for larger graphical stuff (probably because of the internal transcoding to WMF).
- Stay with Word 2003. This appears to be the only workable option for now IF you want to use Word and render eps pictures in pdf's with acceptable quality.
IMHO the best solution would be to have the very simple 76k filter #1 ported to Word 2007 (those who need the capability can swap the filter files) or (not as optimal but does not require swapping filter files) add the option in filter #3 to still embed the eps code. Microsoft is the right place to do it, or (politics aside), Adobe could and should do it (given some support from MSFT).
I am surprised this issue has not caused more rumblings from users - perhaps it has, the symptoms are just worded differently. Or maybe everyone is just staying with Word 2003 (which is what I have done until now). The problem is most companies are being forced to upgrade now, so I think this will become a bigger issue for Adobe / Microsoft going forward.
Thanks for listening. I look forward to your comments.