When I add some text to a simple plot with drawing tools, the text cannot be copied and pasted out with the graphic itself to Microsoft Word.

Do you know how to copy the manually added text out to Word? Thank you!

This is what I did in Mathematica plot with drawing tool (I got this by output it as a .bmp file):

This is what was copied and pasted to Word (result of direct copy and paste):

After a few tries, I think it works for newly added text, but once I rotate & move the text to align with my curves it disappear again.

The following screenshot shows how bmp image lose resolution when the document coverted to PDF eventually.

The topic has been a little diverted. We still haven't solve the problem "copy & paste do not work for rotated text in plot". I think it's a MMA bug. Any hints?

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    $\begingroup$ Do you have screen shots demonstrating the problem? $\endgroup$
    – rcollyer
    Sep 13, 2012 at 4:41
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Mathematica.SE! Have you tried Rasterize-ing the graphics expression and pasting the resulting bitmap? $\endgroup$
    – Yves Klett
    Sep 13, 2012 at 6:25
  • $\begingroup$ I had no problems doing this. Questions: what mma version? what OS? what text font? could you describe in detail how exactly you copy and paste? can you post code? $\endgroup$ Sep 13, 2012 at 6:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Vitaliy Kaurov I am running version 8.0.4 on windows XP. only changing the font do not cause problem. It is verified that the text rotation should be blamed. I use ctrl+c and ctrl+v to move the plot. The code itself dose not related to this question, which is related to the text added with "drawing tools". You can try rotating any text in any plot and see whether it paste to word or not. $\endgroup$ Sep 13, 2012 at 10:25
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    $\begingroup$ You can export to higher Resolution or ImageSize. See e.g. How to export large graphics?. $\endgroup$
    – Yves Klett
    Sep 13, 2012 at 11:34

2 Answers 2


It is much more natural to use the EMF vector format for such graphics which is natively supported by MS Office. In Mathematica you have three ways to convert graphics into metafile: via Export to "EMF" (strongly recommended way: produces metafile with highest possible quality), via Save selection As... menu item (produces much lesser precise figure, not recommended) and via Edit ► Copy As ► Metafile menu item (I strongly recommend against this route).

More information on generating EMF graphics in Mathematica: "General PDF/EMF export problems and solutions."

Even better alternative is to Export as "EPS". If for some reason it does not give appropriate result a workaround is to Export as "PDF", then use free utility pdftops from Poppler for converting PDF into Word-compatible EPS, detailed explanations can be found in this answer:

"How can I insert an EPS file exported from RegionPlot into MS Word?"

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for reply, I have tried the code above but it still not work for rotated text. It's interesting to see that even save the plot to emf lose the rotated text! Could you please try it? $\endgroup$ Sep 13, 2012 at 11:06
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    $\begingroup$ @Xiaodong I just tried exporting rotated text to EMF and got low-quality output. Export to SVG gives much better result but also distorted. Only export to EPS works as expected. You can directly embed the exported EPS into the Word document (I use Word 2003; it was reported that in subsequent versions of Word the EPS import was broken). $\endgroup$ Sep 13, 2012 at 18:42
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! Save as EPS works with high quality output in final PDF, except the font of the text is totally out of control. I am using word 2007.... $\endgroup$ Sep 15, 2012 at 15:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Xiaodong I am in sympathy with your in your sorrow. Somewhere in the comments on the linked page some (not elegant) workarounds for Office 2009 were suggested. But it seems that there is no workaround for Word 2007. I would suggest to install Word 2003 in parallel or on virtual machine. I have no problems with producing high-quality PDF files from Word documents with embedded EPS vector graphics from Word 2003 with latest updates. $\endgroup$ Sep 15, 2012 at 16:04
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the link about word filters and appreciate for the curentlly only workable alternative. I think this thread is mainly focusing on the MMA bug: unrotated text in MMA's plots copy and pasted to word correctly, while rotated text cannot be pasted to word. This is definitely something wrong on MMA side. $\endgroup$ Sep 17, 2012 at 2:30

Answer questions I posted in the comments to see if this is something system specific. @YvesKlett got a good suggestion. When you routinely copy/paste you let the OS to convert MMA graphics to image. To avoid any system-depended issues let MMA do it. This is how to do it completely interactively with keyboard and mouse:

  1. Click once on the graphics to see orange frame appear

  2. Drag corners of orange frame to desirable size/resolution

  3. Top menu >> Cell >> Convert To >> Bitmap

  4. Copy and paste

There are also programmatic ways with Export function.

  • $\begingroup$ "save as bmp" and import to word definetely works, I have used this way to get the first image in the question. What I am asking is why the "ctrl+c"-"ctrl+v" way dose not work for rotated text. P.s. the reason I prefer "ctrl+c"-"ctrl+v" than rasterized image is about the image resolution. My document will be printed as PDF eventually and the copy and pasted image is way clear than the bmp image. $\endgroup$ Sep 13, 2012 at 10:33
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    $\begingroup$ @XiaodongWang I did not say "save as bmp" - in this workflow we are not saving anything, just ctrl+c/ctrl+v. We are avoiding OS conversion from graphics to image. $\endgroup$ Sep 13, 2012 at 10:36

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