Three ways to add EPS graphics into Microsoft Office

Three ways to insert or import an EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) graphic into Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Outlook. There are two a ‘quick and dirty’ options and a way that allows some editing.

Microsoft Office did support EPS files for many years but dropped them in 2017/2018 because the EPS format is a security risk. EPS can run code (scripts) which could be used by hackers.

But EPS is a popular format with graphics designers so you might get EPS files for company logos or drawings.  It’s also a common format from graphics sites.

Source: Freepik.com

We’ve chosen this example from Freepik.com which supplies nice EPS graphics and it’s almost Valentines Day with Microsoft Word.

Method 1: use the preview

EPS files aren’t always supported and are complex so they often come with a preview image as a JPG or other more common format.

Look in the ZIP file or other package that has the EPS.  There’s likely a JPEG or other image version.  Even though it’s called a ‘preview’, the image is usually a good resolution and enough for most needs including Office documents.

Method 2: Screen Shot

If you just want an image and need it now, take a screen shot of the graphic and paste the image into the document or slide.

How to display the EPS file so you can get the screen shot?

If you downloaded the EPS from a web site, check the web page because it’ll probably have a preview image there.  Either take a screen shot of the image on the page or right-click on the web page picture and choose ‘Copy Image’ (or similar in your browser).

Or try double-clicking on the .EPS file to see if there are any compatible apps on your computer. You might get a pleasant surprise, like we did.

Open the EPS in whatever app you have then take a screen shot of it.  In short:  Windows Win + Shift + S  Mac:  Command + Shift + 4

Failing that, there are online EPS viewers such as epsviewer.org which are really EPS to JPG etc converters.  Not only can you see the EPS graphic, you can grab the converted image from the web page (again, right-click and choose ‘Copy Image’).

However, you get the screen image, paste it into your Office document.  This works for any version of Office because they all support JPG images and images pasted from the clipboard.

Method 3 and the best : Convert to SVG

EPS files can be converted into Scalable Vector Graphics SVG format very well because they are similar in some ways.  Both are text descriptions which can be seen in a text editor like NotePad.

SVG graphics are supported in Microsoft 365, Office 2021/LTSC and Office 2019.   SVG has many advantages over regular images.

It’s possible to convert EPS to SVG while keeping a lot of the elements separate and available for individual editing.  That’s a powerful option if the original EPS isn’t exactly what you need.

Once you have an SVG version, Office can let you hide or change any of the shapes or drawings that make up the graphic. Four SVG editing choices for Office 365/2019/2021

There are several web sites that convert EPS to SVG:

among many

Once you have an SVG version of the EPS, Insert | Picture into your Office document.

There are some basic graphic tools available for SVG graphics but those tools apply to the entire graphic, not just one part. 

Convert to Shape then Selection Pane

For more control, select the SVG then Graphics Tools | Format | Change | Convert to Shape . That converts the SVG into Office’s own Shape format which has many more tools.

At Shape Format | Arrange | Selection Pane you can see all the different elements (Freeform: Shape) that make up the Graphic.  Just for starters, you can hide elements by clicking the little eye icon next to any part of the graphic like this.

We’ve hidden two whole parts of the original image (bottom left and right). Also some small parts within the remaining graphic; there’s no bubbles on the glasses, the words and two lines from the letter.

Or select parts of the shape to move, copy, recolor or change.

Four SVG editing choices for Office 365/2019/2021
Make simple changes to SVG graphics
Converting SVG code into a graphic for Office
Better Icon, illustration or SVG editing trick in Office

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