Thursday, January 2, 2014

Open SVGs In Microsoft Office (Using Inkscape)

The SVG file format is an open standard for vector imagery, supported by many apps and practically all browsers. Strangely, Microsoft Office apps like Word, Excel, and Powerpoint don't. I've got no idea why.

Now, many places like OpenClipArt and Clker deliver public domain (free, no copyright) vector artwork that you can use for any purpose. You might also have done some vector designs yourself and want to include it in your work.

Some might say that you can simply render the SVG as a PNG (raster) file and dump it into your docs. However, SVG files are lossless vector graphics. No matter how large you enlarge them, the quality remains exactly the same. They won't ever split into pixels, as demonstrated in the image below.

Vector vs. PNG (Raster) Image
Vector vs. PNG Image

Microsoft apps accept the EMF vector file format, and its rather simple to use Inkscape to convert the SVGs. There's also a portable version if you don't want to install anything. It's simple - I'll use this OpenClipArt image as an example.

Open the file in Inkscape...

Save it as an EMF, and check the "Convert text to paths" box...

Open it in Microsoft Office. You're done!
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