Inserting DWG’s into MS Word or PowerPoint

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image Just this evening I received an e-mail from Autodesk letting me know my AU Unplugged session "The Training Trinity: Fundamentals of a Successful Training Program" was accepted.  Thank you to everyone who voted for my session.  If you’re attending AU, be sure to check out the AU Unplugged Schedule.  There you will find the full list of, and information on each of the AU Unplugged sessions.  I do look forward to meeting some of you guys!

Throughout the years, I have seen both high and low-tech ways of inserting AutoCAD DWG’s into Microsoft Office documents.  I believe the most low tech way I have seen included printing each the MS Word file, and the AutoCAD DWG, then using Scotch Tape to insert the DWG onto the printed document.  Run it through a photocopier, and no one will ever know (unless you were a messy Scotch Taper).  But what do you say we jump into the 21st century?

Staying in the 21st century, AutoCAD does actually provide us with a fair number of options for inserting AutoCAD DWG’s into MS Office documents.  Although a Ctrl + C (Copy) and Ctrl + V (Paste) will work, it will insert your AutoCAD DWG just as it looks in AutoCAD – including the black background.  My guess is you would rather have it look similar to the way your DWG plots?

Image Method

image Built into AutoCAD are a number of "Publish to Web" functions.  These tools can be helpful even if you have no clue what HTML is, in fact they can be incredibly helpful for making MS Office and AutoCAD play nice with each other.

AutoCAD ships with three image, or "PublishToWeb" plotters; JPG, PNG, and EPS.  Most people recognize with the JPG format, especially if they own a digital camera.  The JPG format is probably the most popular raster image format.  A raster image is an image comprised of many dots, or pixels.  As the image is enlarged, these dots get bigger, which in turn makes the image look worse.  Both JPG and PNG files are raster image files.

On the other hand an EPS file is known as a vector image file.  Vector image files are much like AutoCAD DWG’s in the way a line is stored as having a distinct start and end point (coordinate).  By comparison, a raster image would create a line by placing many dots close together to construct what appears to be a line.  Since an EPS file is a vector image, that means we can scale it up as much as we want, and it will not loose any visual fidelity.

To create an EPS file from AutoCAD:

  1. Start the PLOT Command
  2. Select "PublishToWeb EPS" as the plotter name.
  3. Set your remaining Plot Options as you would for a normal paper plot.
  4. When prompted, select a filename and location for your EPS file to be created.

imageOnce AutoCAD finishes plotting, you will have an EPS file in your specified location.  By default MS Windows cannot open an EPS file.  But what we can do is from MS Word/PowerPoint go to the "Insert > Picture".  Then simply browse to your EPS file, and insert it like you would any other image.

An alternate way of creating images from AutoCAD is with a free download called PDF Creator.  It will not only allow you to create PDF’s, but also PNG, JPG, TIFF, BMP, PCX, PS, and EPS.  Since the PDF Creator installs as a printer on your computer, you can create image files of anything you can print.  Learn more at www.PDFForge.org.

The DWF Method

While many seem to prefer the image format outlined above, it is also possible to embed a DWF into a MS Word/PowerPoint file.

  1. Start by creating a DWF from AutoCAD.  This can be done using either the PLOT or PUBLISH command.
  2. In MS Word / PowerPoint, go to the Insert Tab and select "Object"
    image
  3. From the resulting dialog, select "Autodesk DWF Document".  Older versions may say "Autodesk DWF Viewer".
    image
  4. Select your DWF file from the resulting Open Dialog.
  5. Upon insertion you will be able to perform some basic functions using the toolbar which displays.  If you need to get back to this toolbar later on, simply double-click the DWF.
    image

Both the EPS and DWF options use vector based formats.  What this means is you can shrink/enlarge the DWG as much as you wish, and never experience any degradation issues.  Regardless the format you choose (EPS or DWF), both will give you results far superior to more popular formats like JPG and EPS.

 

**EDIT (1/23/2008): Apparently recent releases of AutoCAD (namely 2008) do not ship with the EPS PC3.  In fact after looking at our EPS PC3, it has a last modified date of 2002.  No less, I have uploaded our EPS PC3 for your use. 

Since this is not something inside of the current AutoCAD product, I share this PC3 without warranty.

Download PublishToWeb EPS.pc3

50 thoughts on “Inserting DWG’s into MS Word or PowerPoint

  1. The only way now to get objects which are properly editable, from AutiCAD into Word, and which does NOT break all the drawing objects into tiny lines, is to make sure that all line widths are zero, all linetypes are continuous, set limits so that they enclose just the area you want to see in Word, and then use copy paste. EPS breaks everything into tiny bits.

  2. What ever happened to copy vectors in ACAD? We are going backwards 5 steps with every step forward with these tools. ACAD was at one time simple, copy paste vectors into MS office or adobe applications with Ctrl C Ctrl V. Simple is not always a bad thing. Please don’t suggest copy screen in png or jpeg. If you would rather do that then I might as well stick to ms paint

  3. THanks…very useful information….the .pc3 file was of great help…..but be prepared with large file size on powerpoint when you insert the eps file….jpg files are very easy to work with…..

  4. DWG is is a binary format used for storing two and three dimensional
    design data and metadata. It is native format for several CAD packages
    including AutoCAD and caddie. It is great that now AutoCAD provides a fair number of options for inserting the DWG into MS Office documents.

  5. thank you now i have some ideas .. but i dont see “Autodesk DWF Viewer”. or 
    “Autodesk DWF Document” in the insert object .. it only has Autocad Drawing .. what will i do to have 
    “Autodesk DWF Viewer” or “Autodesk DWF Document”? .. thanks much .. God bless you more and more!!! …

  6. Amen…. 

    Thanks so much.

    scaling and line/text quality are horrible with DWF, PDF and printscreen of PDF (last is best out of 3)
    but nothing compare to EPS

    even the scale is exact.
    As long as your powerpoint page setup is in landscape and has the same papersize as the printed EPS. Then you can crop and rotate, without losing the right scale. Only after these steps, can the EPS be pasted in a portrait powerpoint.

    Haven’t found a way to insert EPS in a portrait ppt directly, without the ppt shrinking the EPS. Since the EPS prints horizontally.

  7. Hay que seguir tus consejos porque la respuesta es exacta todo bien y estoy haciendo mis pdf’s muchas gracias por todos esos consejos en tu blog yo me pego de la mayoria cia

  8. Right click “copy” the dwg from the word doc, and edit “paste special” in Autosketch. Pasted as a Metafile into AutoSketch(r7) will get you to about 90%. The lines are there, but the program converts everything into individual lines, even the text and some circles. So although it helps, it isn’t perfect. The pasted Metafile in AutoCAD however is worthless. You can’t explode it at all, it is still just a picture.
    TKL this is not a good option for “a lot” though, still looking.

  9. Right click “copy” the dwg from the word doc, and edit “paste special” in Autosketch. Pasted as a Metafile into AutoSketch(r7) will get you to about 90%. The lines are there, but the program converts everything into individual lines, even the text and some circles. So although it helps, it isn’t perfect. The pasted Metafile in AutoCAD however is worthless. You can’t explode it at all, it is still just a picture.
    TKL this is not a good option for “a lot” though, still looking.

  10. I’ve got a problem similar to Bob’s, but with Word. I’ve got a lot of older Word files with AutoCad drawings imported with the “paste special” command. When I try do any editing on them, Word looks for the old AutoCad (Version 14). Is there a way to tell Word to boot up my current version of Autocad instead?

  11. I’ve got a problem similar to Bob’s, but with Word. I’ve got a lot of older Word files with AutoCad drawings imported with the “paste special” command. When I try do any editing on them, Word looks for the old AutoCad (Version 14). Is there a way to tell Word to boot up my current version of Autocad instead?

  12. All – The ctrl-c version pastes the file into excel somewhere and then displays only a gif image of the actual file. I ctrl-c with one version of AutoCAD (=EMBED(“AutoCAD.Drawing.14″,””)), and now with an upgraded version (2008) would like to modify the drawing a bit. The only problem is Excel says it can’t start the source application for this object because it is trying to start the old AutoCAD and the picture can’t be pasted into AutoCAD for editing because it is just a gif file. How can I edit this older version without completely redrawing or reloading the older version?
    Thanks

  13. All – The ctrl-c version pastes the file into excel somewhere and then displays only a gif image of the actual file. I ctrl-c with one version of AutoCAD (=EMBED(“AutoCAD.Drawing.14″,””)), and now with an upgraded version (2008) would like to modify the drawing a bit. The only problem is Excel says it can’t start the source application for this object because it is trying to start the old AutoCAD and the picture can’t be pasted into AutoCAD for editing because it is just a gif file. How can I edit this older version without completely redrawing or reloading the older version?
    Thanks

  14. @Stephen – I haven’t personally run into the issue you describe, however if I were troubleshooting the issue I’d start by looking at Design Review. Go to autodesk.com to download, and then install the latest version. Hope that helps.

  15. more of a MS Word hurdle, i dont have option of ‘Autodesk DWF Document’ in the drop down menu from Insert Object. any solutions on how to add this in? i can insert DWF from ‘Create New File’ on the Insert Object, but this degrades quality of DWF on zooming in… Any suggestions welcome!!!

  16. more of a MS Word hurdle, i dont have option of ‘Autodesk DWF Document’ in the drop down menu from Insert Object. any solutions on how to add this in? i can insert DWF from ‘Create New File’ on the Insert Object, but this degrades quality of DWF on zooming in… Any suggestions welcome!!!

  17. i printed it in .png format using pdf creator. I then inserted it into ms word and rotated it (btw…how the hell to exit the ‘rotate’ mode after?). Cropped it afterwards and did a print out, and it came out pretty decent.
    Thanks for the assist.

  18. i printed it in .png format using pdf creator. I then inserted it into ms word and rotated it (btw…how the hell to exit the ‘rotate’ mode after?). Cropped it afterwards and did a print out, and it came out pretty decent.
    Thanks for the assist.

  19. ok i downloaded the eps file and did ur instructions, and it prints out fine. But when i insert the file, the drawing is vertical, and when i rotated it and printed after, the printout of the drawing is blurry.
    Any other tips?

  20. ok i downloaded the eps file and did ur instructions, and it prints out fine. But when i insert the file, the drawing is vertical, and when i rotated it and printed after, the printout of the drawing is blurry.
    Any other tips?

  21. Jason – You can download the EPS PC3 I am currently using under my January Edit (at the bottom of the post). Placing that PC3 into your plotter directory should add it to your AutoCAD. After doing that you can just plot just the same as you would to paper.

    Since the attached PC3 uses the PLOT command, the selected pen table will determine how thick (dark/light) your lines are.

  22. Jason – You can download the EPS PC3 I am currently using under my January Edit (at the bottom of the post). Placing that PC3 into your plotter directory should add it to your AutoCAD. After doing that you can just plot just the same as you would to paper.

    Since the attached PC3 uses the PLOT command, the selected pen table will determine how thick (dark/light) your lines are.

  23. i have the same situation as Mr McBain above, but i have inserted the drawing by othere ways.
    My problem is that when i print out the word document with the embedded drawing, the drawing is very light. How can i bypass this problem?

  24. i have the same situation as Mr McBain above, but i have inserted the drawing by othere ways.
    My problem is that when i print out the word document with the embedded drawing, the drawing is very light. How can i bypass this problem?

  25. Jim – It wasn’t until after making this post that I realized PublishToWeb EPS was not included in the more recent releases of AutoCAD. We had a pc3 named that on our network that I assumed (based on it’s name) was a part of the software. No less, since realizing the EPS is not a current option, I uploaded our PC3 file which you can download above. We’re currently using this on ACAD 2008.

  26. Jim – It wasn’t until after making this post that I realized PublishToWeb EPS was not included in the more recent releases of AutoCAD. We had a pc3 named that on our network that I assumed (based on it’s name) was a part of the software. No less, since realizing the EPS is not a current option, I uploaded our PC3 file which you can download above. We’re currently using this on ACAD 2008.

  27. To create an EPS file from AutoCAD you must use the Export command.
    For inserting AutoCAD DWG’s into MS Office documents a Ctrl + C (Copy) and Paste Special As: Picture is simplest and looks great.

  28. To create an EPS file from AutoCAD you must use the Export command.
    For inserting AutoCAD DWG’s into MS Office documents a Ctrl + C (Copy) and Paste Special As: Picture is simplest and looks great.