.EMF File Extension

Enhanced Windows Metafile

Developer Microsoft
3.0  |  44 Votes

What is an EMF file?

An EMF file is a vector graphic saved in the Enhanced Windows Metafile (EMF) format, an improved version of the Windows Metafile Format (.WMF). It stores 32-bit RGB image data in a series of records that are rendered on a display or output to a printer when processed.

More Information

Screenshot of a .emf file in Adobe Illustrator 2020
EMF file open in Adobe Illustrator 2020

EMF was developed and released in 1992 with Windows NT 3.1 to improve the WMF format, which was introduced in Windows 3.0 in 1990. Two of the main improvements over WMF are 1)support for 32-bit data (WMF is limited to 16-bit) and 2)its device-independence, meaning the graphic looks the same regardless of the device on which it is viewed. Microsoft later added this capability to the WMF format in Windows 2000.

What is the Enhanced Windows Metafile (EMF) format?

EMF is a vector format but also supports bitmap data. It can be scaled and output at a higher definition, which is especially useful when modifying graphics in an image editor and printing high-quality images.

Image data contained in EMF files are stored in a sequence of metafile record structures. Each of these records stores drawing commands, object definitions, and configuration settings.

Both the EMF and WMF formats are similar to the more common Scalable Vector Graphics (.SVG) and Encapsulated PostScript (.EPS) formats. Microsoft continues to revise the EMF and WMF formats.

NOTE: Microsoft developed the .EMZ and .WMZ formats to reduce the file sizes of EMF and WMF files and make it easier to transfer the graphics between applications. These formats utilize gzip compression to compress the files.

How to open an EMF file

You can open EMF graphics with various image-editing and -viewing applications. Some programs include the Microsoft Office suite of applications (Windows and macOS), Adobe Illustrator (Windows and macOS), IrfanView (Windows), and XnViewMP (multiplatform).

To open EMF graphics stored on your computer with Microsoft Word or PowerPoint, select the Insert tab, then click Pictures → This Device.... In Microsoft Excel, select the Insert tab, then click Illustrations → Pictures → This Device....

Open and view .EMF files with File Viewer Plus.Free Download

Programs that open EMF files

Jasspa MicroEmacs Macro File

Developer Jasspa
2.1  |  12 Votes

Macro file containing commands for automating tasks in the Jasspa release of MicroEmacs, an extendable text editor; used to automate repetitive tasks that would otherwise be very time consuming and monotonous to do by hand.

More Information

Users can write custom macros and create new commands using Jasspa MicroEmac's extensive macro language then save them as EMF files.

NOTE: EMF files are not compatible with other releases of MicroEmacs.

Common EMF Filenames

mouse.emf - Mouse interaction macros.

Programs that open EMF files


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