So here's my problem:

I made some vector images (e.g. figures of people, houses, apples, etc.—ones that you use for infographics). I made them for practicum but since my practicum is ending, I need to leave these stuff to my placement, where no one is well-versed with any kind of photoediting software.

My best bet for them if they want to recolor these images is PowerPoint. However, I don't know how to turn them into a Microsoft clip art that may be subjected to functions like "Fill Color". Whenever I use fill color, it just fills up the background, not the intended area. Fill Color only works the intended way when you create the image out of autoshapes in PowerPoint.

So my question is, does anyone know how to turn an image (i.e., vector image) to an element that is editable by Microsoft office applications?


  • What program did you create the vector images in? – JohnB Apr 19 '13 at 19:53
  • I made them with Photoshop. – John Apr 19 '13 at 19:54
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    Do you have Illustrator? As far as I know there is no way to do this with Photoshop. – JohnB Apr 19 '13 at 20:28
  • I do have illustrator. – John Apr 19 '13 at 20:29
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    By the way, if you created these images in Photoshop, they probably are not vector. – user9427 Apr 19 '13 at 20:31

You can't with Photoshop. Photoshop isn't designed to create true vector files. There is no way to save a real vector file from Photoshop This is a common misconception. Using vector tools does not mean you can save the file as a vector file.

If you use a true vector application, such as Adobe Illustrator, you can export art as a wmf (Windows Metafile) or an emf (Enhanced Metafile) which is the Windows version of a vector clip art. Both these formats allow for basic recoloring of fills and/or strokes separately within Powerpoint which can be useful for icons or pictographs.

You should be able to insert an emf or wmf, ungroup, then ungroup again and refill any piece.

If you have created images in Photoshop using the vector tools, you may be able to use File > Export > Paths to Illustrator from within Photoshop to transfer artwork to Illustrator from Photoshop.

  • Okay I did this... but I still can't recolor the intended area. What am I doing wrong? 8( – John Apr 19 '13 at 21:01
  • I just made a square using a pen tool, and then exported it as a WMF and EMF file. Then I tried using fill color on PowerPoint, and it still only colors the transparent background of the square. – John Apr 19 '13 at 21:05
  • Are you trying to recolor just one piece of artwork within a file? That's not going to work. That doesn't even work with Microsoft clip art. It simply sounds like you are asking for too much from Microsoft apps. – Scott Apr 19 '13 at 21:10
  • No, I just want to be able to apply Fill Color/Gradient Fill on an image with a single color... similar to the way you can recolor a MSOffice clip art using Fill Color. Edit: I know there is a "Recolor" feature on Office 2010; however, I want to use Gradient Fill too. So I just figured, if I can recolor a custom image using Fill color, then it would be possible to use Gradient Fill too. – John Apr 19 '13 at 21:15
  • Well, you used to be able to do this. Seems MS has broken PowerPoint 2011 on my Mac. You should be able to insert an emf or wmf, ungroup, then ungroup again and refill any piece. This worked for Office 2007 here but I no longer have that version installed. – Scott Apr 19 '13 at 21:27

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