Using EPS Files in Microsoft Office for Mac OS X

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[ 2005-March-14 18:09 ]

One thing that I absolutely love about Mac OS X is that every application can natively deal with PostScript and PDF because the Mac OS X rendering system, called Quartz, is based on PostScript. This is very useful if, for example, you need to include OmniGraffle figures in Latex documents. However, the Microsoft Office suite does not use the Mac OS X specific APIs, and thus cannot take advantage of this. The most annoying problem is that you cannot include PostScript images in Office documents, and then print them to PDF. Instead of your image, you get an ugly box informing you that the figure will only appear if printed on a PostScript printer. However, I just recently found a way to allow you to get EPS images included in the PDF. Unfortunately, it is a little convoluted, but it does work.

Adding a PostScript Printer

This hack requires that you have a PostScript printer driver configured in Mac OS X. Most high quality laser printers are PostScript printers, most cheap ink jets are not. Luckily, you can manually configure a PostScript printer, even if you don't own one. If you already have a PostScript printer, skip down to the next section

  1. Open the Printer Setup Utility (Applications → Utilities → Printer Setup Utility).
  2. Click the "Add" button.
  3. Choose "LPD/LPR" in the "Printer Type" pull-down menu.
  4. Type in some descriptive name in the "Printer Address" box, such as "postscript."
  5. Make sure that "Printer Model" says "Generic."
  6. Click the "Add" button. You now should see a new printer in the printer list.
  7. Quit the Printer Setup Utility.

Producing a PDF

  1. Open your Office document with the EPS image.
  2. Select "File" → "Print."
  3. In the "Printer" pull-down menu, select your PostScript printer.
  4. In the options pull-down (the one that says "Copies & Pages"), select "Output Options."
  5. Check "Save as File" and choose "PostScript" as the format.
  6. Click the "Save…" button, and save the .ps document somewhere.
  7. Open the new .ps document in Finder. Preview will automatically convert it to PDF, and you should see the EPS images displayed correctly.
  8. In Preview, select "File" → "Save As…" and save the final PDF.