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September 28, 2011 / Rohit

Visio Diagrams in LaTeX — Exporting to EPS

TL;DR Version: The current tools available on Linux to create EPS files suck. Visio is really good. Visio doesn’t export to EPS. To  export Visio diagrams to EPS, read numbered bullet points below.

If you are using LaTeX to create documents, you know how much of a pain diagrams can be. Most of the pain is either due to lack of control over the positioning of the diagram or just poor rendering of the diagram. I needed to draw few block diagrams for my project report. Now if you have diagrams in a LaTeX document, the best format for them is EPS — Encapsulated Postscript. Raster formats like .PNG, .JPEG, etc don’t render or scale well.

Sadly the drawing tools on Linux, which export to EPS, aren’t that good. The only reasonable one which I found was called “Dia.” But even that didn’t give me great results. So I turned to Visio. It’s easy to use and already has got all the software related symbols which I need. The only problem being Visio 2010 doesn’t directly export to EPS. Fortunately it isn’t too hard.

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Save your Visio 2010 diagram into an EMF file. It’s one of the options you will find in the “Save As” drop down.
  2. Download metafile2eps from LyX.
  3. Run the metafile2eps utility on the saved EMF file. Voila! You have your nice little EPS.
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2 Comments

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  1. Veronika / Jan 25 2013 6:27 am

    Thanks for this! I have some transparency issues though… the background becomes grey (even if I put a filled white square in the background in Visio). Any ideas?

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