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EPS with WMF previews - Test Case

There's more info about EPS with WMF previews elsewhere on this site.

And a utility program called EPSWMF that lets you create these handy little fellas if your software doesn't do so natively.

Download EPSWMF (full installation package) or EPSWMF-C.ZIP, which you can unzip and install manually using the included readme file.

Want to test your own apps or those you use to see if they're getting it right?

First, though ... if you use a Mac, don't bother. The test file has a WMF (Windows MetaFile) preview image. Macs don't support these natively, and I don't know of any Mac applications that do either. That's ok. They're not expected to. Macs do PICT previews, PCs don't.

Download PREVTEST.ZIP (55k or so) which unzips to PREVTEST.EPS

PREVTEST.EPS is a simple EPS with a WMF preview. The tricky bit is that the preview image has a gray background and black text, the actual PS content of the EPS has a black background and white text. This makes it possible to tell which part your app is displaying and printing - the preview image or the actual Postscript content of the EPS.

If you import/place this EPS and see an image with a black background, it means your app has rasterized the PS to make a preview image. PageMaker can do this optionally, but it's not always what you want. Since you can turn it off/on at will, it's a non-problem.

Other apps may insist on rasterizing the PS content. Read: waste a LOT of time and computer resources on a totally unnecessary task. Why re-create a wheel when one's been handed to you?

Still other apps (Corel Draw, some versions of MS Office apps) will rasterize the WMF preview. Ungroup the EPS after you've imported it. If you can ungroup it and move individual letters around, you got the WMF preview. If it's a bitmap, the app has rasterized the original WMF preview rather than simply displaying it. The app shouldn't do that. Smack the app upside the head.

And finally, the really dimwitted apps won't even recognize that it's a valid EPS at all. It is. They're wrong. To correct, try Start, Settings, Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs.

So far, we've been talking about what happens when you import/place the EPS and view it on screen.

What about printing?

If all's well, you'll get a high resolution image on a black background when you print to a PostScript printer and a high resolution image on a light background when you print to a non-PS printer.

If you get light backgrounds on PS printers, black backgrounds on non-PS printers or low rez/jaggy images on either, your app doesn't handle EPS imports correctly. My sympathies.

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