WMF Files Are Not Good For Anything!

October 22, 2013

WMF = Evil NodesA couple of weeks ago, I wrote The Evils of Nodes and How to Minimize Them. As part of that post, I shared the evils of WMF files. Since WMF (Windows Metafile) does not support curves, any line that appears to be a curve will be filled with nodes.

Each time I discuss this topic, someone will come to the defense of WMF files. One comment I got on the most recent post was that they are “the only vector art that gets handled seamlessly by Microsoft Office apps.” That would be a good reason to use WMF files if it were true.

Let’s step back and look at WMF. It was created by Microsoft as a vector format to be used in Office applications. That was in the days of Windows 3.0 in 1992. Only a year later they released the EMF (Enhanced Metafile) format which does support native curves. As EMF files are already 20 years old, they are supported wonderfully by Microsoft Office applications (and most other software).

If your goal is to take vector artwork from CorelDRAW to Microsoft Office, EMF is a far superior choice to WMF. For those who feel that importing a WMF file and then re-exporting as EMF will solve the problem, it won’t unless you go through the file and remove all the extra nodes. Once files have been in WMF format, they are a mess so best to just completely avoid WMF completely!

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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    Thank you for the explanation on EMFs — I was not aware the the ‘non-curve’ problem with WMFs.

    This also eliminates another problem some people have had with WMFs not working properly.

    Reply

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Foster D. Coburn III is author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences. His first Web site was built in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013.

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