Fanning Software Consulting

PostScript Output in Microsoft Word

QUESTION: I like the quality of IDL's PostScript output, but the PostScript files IDL produces can't be imported into Microsoft Word. Isn't this a huge limitation of IDL?

ANSWER: You say what!?

IDL's PostScript files most certainly can be imported into Microsoft Word files, but it may be that your version of Microsoft Word does not have the necessary PostScript filters installed. PostScript is not one of the graphics file formats installed by default in Microsoft Word.

The procedure is to use the Import -> Picture -> From File menu item in Microsoft Word to select the PostScript file created in IDL. It will help if you give this file an eps file extension, but this is not necessary. If it does not have this extension you will have to select Encapsulated PostScript File from the list of file translators available. If this translator is not found in the list, you will have to install it from the Microsoft Word installation disk.

If you have saved the file as a non-encapsulated PostScript file (the default PostScript type in IDL), the Microsoft Word translator will create an encapsulated PostScript file for you, along with a nice preview image that can be viewed from within Microsoft Word. When you print the file, the PostScript portion of the file will be printed, giving you extremely high-quality output.

[Return to IDL Programming Tips]