Vector graphics in Word?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by savar, Apr 23, 2005.

  1. savar macrumors 68000

    savar

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    #1
    Hey all--

    I'm using GraphViz to generate some visualizations of complex graphs. I'm including the visualizations in my thesis (a Word file). GraphViz can output high-res bitmaps or vector formats. The bitmaps are huge files that make it hard to transfer my document as a PDF, but it seems that Word doesn't support any vector formats natively. (I.e. it rasterizes any vector format that you have.) Any tips? Any vector format I'm overlooking? I've tried .ps, .eps and .pdf. Word doesn't import .ps or .eps and the .pdf just gets rasterized and prints out really badly.

    I'm using the most recent version (forget what its called, 2004 maybe?) with all the available updates.

    thanks,
    Mark
     
  2. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #2
    How about maybe taking a screenshot of the graph with Grab.app while you are using GraphViz? It'll look as good as it does on your screen. At least that is my experience.

    I would tell you the key combo so you don't have to open Grab.app, but I can't remember what it is at the moment ...
     
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #3
    Windows Metafile (WMF) is the principle vectored 2D format that Word uses. I believe the format it calls "Picture" is also a vectored format, although I don't know what the correspond file is (I've only used it as a paste special option).
     
  4. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #4
    Funny... my Word (2004) imports .eps files (insert>picture>from file) although I can't tell you what they print like as I don't have a printer at home. I do see the lo-res preview similar to what you see in Quark, though.

    'Printing' to PDF from the Word file gives a clean, sharp file without embedded fonts although that could be easily ironed out by converting them to outlines.

    What printer/printer description are you using?
     
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #5
    Oooh, I had to jog my memory about what Graphviz is, but now I'm at least 100% more interested in this thread than I used to be. ;) The last time I looked at this software, it was nowhere near as nice and cocoa as it is now. Neither, for that matter, was <R>. Are you using this with <R>'s SEM package? Do the two play nicely together, taking into account this issue?

    I've been using LISREL, and not playing with <R>'s SEM, because I need polychoric correlations and asymptotic covariance analyses, but I have a long term goal to try and publish more with <R>. :) I am doing an analysis now with the matchit and optimatch packages.
     
  6. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #6
    Are you actually using Word 2004 or are you using some version of Word for Windows? If you stick with the Mac, you can insert vector graphic PICT, EPSF, and PDF files into your Word documents. They print beautifully. I have no idea why you are having problems. Now, if you are creating your documents on the Mac, but trying to use them in Windows, then you will need QuickTime installed on your computer. Microsoft does not support such obscure formats as PICT and TIFF on Windows.
     
  7. savar thread starter macrumors 68000

    savar

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    #7
    Yep, I just checked: Word 2004 v11.1 for Mac OS X. I should add that I do not have a printer accessible from my computer, so I have been printing to PDF from Word and then printing out from a Windows computer in a lab. I don't think that should affect the graphics quality but correct me if I am wrong.

    I think I may be getting closer to figuring it out. When I dragged my .eps files into Word before, Word would pop up a dialog with a progress bar saying "Converting: file.eps" and then when it was done it would show a blank white square, leading me to think that it was trying to rasterize the file and botching the rasterization. I should add at this point that I've been exporting ps from GraphViz, then using the macps2pdf tool (included in MacGhostView) to convert to eps. (It does a lot more conversions than its name implies.)

    Anyway, I tried converting ps to eps, then using the "eps2eps" function...when I load that file into Word, it shows a gray box with a message saying that the eps file has no preview but will print on a postscript printer. I tried printing to a PDF and unfortunately the error message shows up in the PDF, not an image of the graph...I thought PDF acted like a PS printer but I guess not.

    I did try inserting a PDF into Word, but it shows a grainy preview and then prints out even worse.

    I'm going to try taking it into a lab and printing directly from Word. Only problem is that I don't think the two macs are configured for printing, and opening it in Word for Windows will probably screw up the formatting and pagination. I'll report back but if anybody has more suggestions please reply.
     
  8. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #8
    Upon review, it appears that Word 2004 indeed converts PDF files to raster images when it imports them. When printed, they are clearly "stairstepped." However, Word handles EPS files correctly. There is a suite of compiled AppleScripts that converts PostScript and related formats beautifully, albeit without EPS preview. Download PS2PDF and Friends from this Web page. In the Other Conversions folder is a compiled AppleScript named PS2EPS. Drag your PostScript file from Graphvis to PS2EPS to generate an EPS without preview. It will print perfectly from Word 2004. If you print your Word file to PDF, your PDF should print perfectly from Windows.

    Update: The EPS file created by PS2EPS will not appear properly in a PDF generated by the MacOS X print to PDF facility. You will need Adobe Acrobat Distiller to generate a PDF which properly displays the image.
     
  9. savar thread starter macrumors 68000

    savar

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    #9
    Yep, got the problem solved.

    As I said in my 2nd post, it seems that MacGhostView doesn't generate a preview when you convert to an eps. So when I import to Word and it shows a blank square, I mistakenly assume it is Word's fault. I took the file to a lab and printed on a laserjet, and those white squares turned into beautiful drawings.

    And yes, "Save as PDF..." for some reason does not emulate a PS printer like Distiller does.

    Thanks for all the replies,
    Mark
     
  10. tophe macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    #10
    making word print postscript correctly

    word seems to frequently take whatever crummy preview it has and use that instead of the beautiful vector graphics in an eps (and i suspect pdf too)

    i have successfully forced it to look good even on my lowly inkjet by following the three steps below:
    1. print to postscript file
    2. distill postscript to pdf
    3. print the pdf to whatever printer.

    if you use print directly to pdf or the adobe toolbar button, it does NOT do the right thing. you must create a postscript file.

    on recent versions of macos x this is under the pdf button on the print dialog. you can also do it by setting up a virtual postscript printer--a lot of adobe apps came with an installer to help you with this.

    tophe
     
  11. mescobosa macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    #11
    Answer

    If you want a real vector file to use in Word, that you can actually see... this is what I did for logos I created as eps files that others wanted to use in Word.

    Open your .eps or vector file in Illustrator, an Adobe draw program (I'm a graphic designer, so you will need Illustrator or know someone with it. Freehand will probably do this as well). Save the vector as a .wmf file.

    The .wmf (Windows Meta File) is a vector file and can be seen and scaled without pixelation in Word.

    It would be much nicer if MS would just get into the real world, but instead users have jump through lame hoops like this.

    ~Marcia
     

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