Enhanced Metafiles (EMF) are one of the metafile formats supported in Microsoft Windows. These files are the primary, native vector format for Microsoft Office and other Windows applications as well as the core display formats of the Windows operating environment. While WMF is the long-standing 16-bit version prevalent across all 16-bit and 32-bit Windows platforms, EMF is an enhanced 32-bit format update that was designed for the newer operating systems. When you copy a drawing to the Windows clipboard, it is stored as a metafile. Developers use metafiles to render application output to the screen or send it to the printer. Most Windows applications read and write WMF; less support EMF. Although ubiquitous on the Windows platform, Metafiles are generally not supported in XML, UNIX, CAD, Web and PostScript/PDF print environments.
Frequently Asked Questions
WMF files can be created in several ways on Microsoft Windows systems:
- Most applications support WMF and/or EMF in their Save As or Export menus.
- Ever since Office 2003, you can select graphics, in an application right-click on them, choose Save as Picture… and then select Windows Enhanced Metafile.
- In earlier Office versions, you could copy graphics to the clipboard and use VBA routines to save them as WMF or EMF disk files.
- If you are a software developer, you can feed your GDI display or print code directly to the META FLY library or save them as WMF or EMF files first.
There are two basic formats for graphics – vector and image. Vector graphics are made up of objects, lines, curves and text while images are made up of a collection of dots or pixels. Images are also referred to as bitmaps or rasters.
Visual Integrity can convert most PDF files into either vector or image formats. It’s important to know which is best for the job you are doing.
If you need to break a PDF file down into objects and text for editing, then you want to choose a vector format. The vector formats supported in our software are DXF, PDF, PS, EPS, SVG, WMF, EMF, CGM, HPGL and MIF.
If you do not need to edit the file and simply want a sharp copy to insert into a document or to publish on a web-site, you’ll want to go with image formats. The image formats that we support are TIFF, GIF, PNG, JPEG and BMP. If you will be printing the graphic on a laser or ink-jet printer, convert at 150 or 300 dpi (dots per inch) resolution. If publishing to a web-site, use 96 or 72 dpi is best for screen display. Keep in mind that the higher the dpi (resolution), the larger the file size. It’s best to use the lowest resolution which achieves the level of quality you want.
Note! Scanned images can not be transformed by vector mode into lines, text and other vector objects because they are not vector source files. Instead, you will get an exact replica of the PDF as an image that can be used as a tracing layer which aids in the duplication effort. To convert scanned images into vector objects, you need a special class of software called “raster to vector”.
The Enhanced Metafile (EMF) format is a superset of [intlink id=”2989″ type=”post”]WMF[/intlink]. While WMF is a safe choice and supported consistently in virtually all graphical Windows applications, EMF offers more. It can be customized, is extensible and has any more features. All of these benefits also make it a riskier choice since they can introduce incompatibilities between EMF files and applications that support EMF. Gains from EMF include support for scaling, Bezier curves, cropping, improvements in color support and device independence. It also includes support for meta-data which allows built-in descriptions that are saved with the file. Developers can modify the original EMF specification to add functionality or to meet specific needs. This modification is what leads to incompatibilities between different types of EMF pictures.
- EMF is the enhanced 32-bit metafile format while WMF is the well-established 16-bit format and excellent application support at all levels within the 16-bit and 32-bit Microsoft Windows platforms
- Application support for reading EMF is not well established yet but is gaining momentum. It adds support for curves, cropping, extremely large drawings
- WMF and EMF both support vector graphics, raster images, text and fonts
- Visual Integrity software can overcome inherent limitations of the WMF format including no support for curves, cropping, extremely large drawings by emulating these features in the output
- META FLY can convert both 16-bit WMF and 32-bit EMF to other file formats.
- If you have a choice and do not require the advanced graphical features that EMF supports, using WMF as your input format is a safer choice.