We all get this question as designers: “Can you provide us with a copy of the logo or masterhead design in a format that we can use in Microsoft Word”… or “PowerPoint”?
Illustrator CS, released back in 2003, introduced the Save for Microsoft Office command. (File menu), which converts your Illustrator artwork to a 150ppi Portable Network Graphic (.png).
Funnily enough this command is very often overlooked by designers. Yet it provides a pretty clean image result for use in Microsoft Office.
Illustrator artwork (left), and with Transparency view enabled (right).
Although the generated PNG graphic certainly works nicely with Microsoft Office applications, it does have some limitations:
- especially for graphics containing smaller text or finer details, the detail can get lost a little.
- the PNG file that is created does not contain any transparency.
Which is why I often use Illustrator’s File > Export command. This command can also convert your Illustrator artwork to a PNG file.
It has an added bonus in that it provides you with the ability to retain background transparency and control image resolution. Increasing the resolution can result in better looking text once the graphic is inserted into your Microsoft Office application.
The graphic above shows you the comparison once the artwork is inserted into PowerPoint.
- Left: the Save for Microsoft Office Result, which generates the white background
- Right: the File > Export result, at a slightly higher resolution, displays a little crisper and retains transparency.
The advantage of using PNG over JPEG when generating graphics for use in Microsoft Office is that a) PNG supports transparency (JPEG does not), and b) PNG is more suited for graphics that contain a limited number of colours or text, such as logos.