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Use AutoCAD to create graphics in PowerPoint, Flash, and more—the wonderful WMF image format

A vector image is an image whose underlying definition is vectors, that is lines, directions, and distances. Programs use equations to define vector images. Many programs create vector images, including Microsoft PowerPoint, Adobe Flash, and, of course, AutoCAD.

Vectors have a great advantage—they never get grainy when you enlarge them; they’re always crisp and clear. On the other hand, you can’t get the subtlety of a photo. Vectors are ideal for diagrams.

The WMF (Windows Metafile) format is a vector image file format. You can export images from AutoCAD in WMF format and import them into PowerPoint, Flash, and other programs that accept WMF images.

To export your drawing, use the EXPORT command.  In the Export Data dialog box, expand the Files of Type drop-down list and choose Metafile (*.wmf). Then give the file a name and save it wherever you want it.

What is most wonderful is when you import the image into a program that can ungroup it. Then, you turn the image into native objects that you can edit in that program.

In PowerPoint

  1. Use the Insert>Picture feature to insert the WMF file onto a slide.
  2. Right-click the selected image and choose Group (or Grouping)> Ungroup. You’ll see a message like this one.

  1. Click Yes.
  2. You’re not done yet. Right-click again and ungroup a second time. Now, you’ll see many more objects!

  1. You can almost always delete the large box that surrounds the image.
  2. You can now edit the objects in PowerPoint. Here, I increased the weight (thickness) of the lines.

Ellen Finkelstein

2 comments to Use AutoCAD to create graphics in PowerPoint, Flash, and more—the wonderful WMF image format

  • Greg

    AutoCAD graphics in PowerPoint 2007 (WMF files – PDF produces the same result)

    So… Insert Picture From File has given me spotty results in AutoCAD 2012. Many times when I begin to ungroup in Powerpoint I lose geometry (the original file has many blocks including Dynamic Blocks) – much of it just disappears. I’ve checked to see if it has simply turned the same color as the background or that they are behind something but that does not appear to be the problem. Any ideas?


  • michael

    thanks very much for this!!!

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