How to import the most beautiful figures into Scientific Word


How to import mathematical graphics into Scientific Word (version 5.5) such that
these graphics are visible on the screen and such that
resulting pdf-files contain high quality graphics.


The problem

Ever tried to import real nice figures into Scientific Word? For me, this had always been a nightmare. First, which software creates nice pictures easily? Designer and Corel Draw? Designer was great but Corel Draw too complicated. The picture environment in LaTeX? Great pictures but not really comfortable. And dashed curves don't exist, do they? Then I was told about Powerpoint. Hm, can that work? Microsoft software? In the end I became a believer - it does produce nice figures very easily.

That solved one problem. But then, second, how to import these figures into Scientific Word? Copy and paste works but creates tons of wmf-files with strange names. Importing works better but in which format? wmf, ps (standard message 'file is corrupt'), eps via eps printer? Importing wmf looks great on the screen but then, the third step ...

Third, creating pdf files out of the Scientif Word document. With imported wmf files, the arrows would disappear. Any nice graphical arrow - something like ----> would appear in the pdf file as ----. Hm, no use then. Of course, the first best choice is to create eps files. But - big drawback of Powerpoint - it does not allow to export eps files.

Some told me, a way out is creating pdf-files out of Powerpoint and then importing those. Importing pdf files into Scientific Word requires a PhD in Computing Science. It works, but it is far from elegant. (I used to edit Scientific Word files and make the adjustments there. All the beauty of Scientific Word - the nice editor - was gone.) This would give wonderful pdf files as the figures now also have pdf file quality, but the figures are not visible when working with Scientific Word. Again, the advantage of Scientific Word was reduced.

The solution

Here is the solution: OpenOffice.org Impress! Create figures of your preference in Powerpoint or - more directly - in OpenOffice Impress. Export them from OpenOffice Impress as eps files and import them into Scientific Word as always: File - Import Picture... . This allows you to see the figure when you work with Scientific Word and it produces high quality figures in pdf files of the entire document.

Another solution

Years later, now in 2017 - when Scientific Word 5.5 is still the way to go, we found a great way to import figures from pdf-files into Scientific Word. A simple but useful trick is to open the pdf-file with the size adjusted to 75% (or any other number - just to make sure you do not need to scale the resulting figure in Scientific Word), search for the picture of your choice and produce a screenshot (this is the key with 'print' on it). Then open the simple yet highly useful program 'paint' and insert the screenshot there. Since only the picture is of interest and not the whole printed page, you cut the picture out deliberately, open a new paint document and insert it there. Finally, this picture can then be saved as a jpg file to the folder of your selection and is ready to be imported into Scientific Word. It is visible in Scientif Word and, once compiled, in the resulting pdf-file, with great accuracy (as long as you do not scale it).

Acknowledgements

Thanks are due to Helke F. Wälde for pointing out the advantage of Powerpoint (it took me months to believe her), to Niklas Scheuer for having discovered the press-key and the paint tool (I believed him immediately...) and to Alexia Gaudeul for suggesting to use OpenOffice Impress. It was my idea (how proud I am of that one!) to check whether OpenOffice Impress allows to export eps files ...

March 2009, one problem solved!

P.S. Want to see where I use this? Go here

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