I recently made some graphs in Illustrator CS6 to insert into a MS Word document. I created my original images using the Print profile with PPI set to 300. I used the "Save for Microsoft Office" option to export the images for Word. Why does this option create a PNG file (with a resolution of 150) as opposed to using, say, TIFF or EPSF format? I'm just curious.

2 Answers 2


Because that's the best, most reliable, format for Office.

If you're saving something for Office, chances are it is not going to be commercially printed. In that case, 150ppi is plenty for most home/office inkjet printers. In addition, only an RGB image is needed. Of the standard RGB formats, PNG24 supports transparency the best. So, 150ppi, RGB, transparent image = PNG24.

There's no call for a tiff or eps if using Office. The advantages of a TIF/EPS using CMYK color are pointless since Office doesn't use CMYK color. The advantages of an EPS being resolution independent are largely lost on the average Office user.

  • 1
    +1, also, MS Office ruins pretty much every vector format going. It's often capable of embedding many types of vector files, but in my experience makes an absolute hash of everything, even the Microsoft-invented formats like WMF. PNGs, however, are difficult to ruin... Commented Nov 4, 2013 at 16:34

The best way to use graphics for MS office tools is .WMF or .EMF formats. These formats truly supports and gives the freedom to re-edit it in MS office itself.

Try to use this by exporting from any Vector tools like Coreldraw or Adobe Illustrator.

  • I didn't make good experiences with neither .emf nor .wmf when exporting from Adobe Illustrator. For satisfactory results, one might have to restrict the features used in illustrator, but then I was not eager enough to figure out which ones work.
    – normanius
    Commented May 31, 2020 at 23:17

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