.WMF File Extension

2 file types use the .wmf file extension.

Windows Metafile

Developer Microsoft
3.6  |  56 Votes

What is a WMF file?

A WMF file is a vector graphic saved in the proprietary Windows Metafile Format (WMF) format developed by Microsoft. It contains a series of metafile records that store drawing operations, including commands for drawing lines, circles, and rectangles that make up the graphic. WMF files also support bitmap drawing operations.

More Information

Screenshot of a .wmf file in Adobe Illustrator 2020
WMF file open in Adobe Illustrator 2020

WMF files originally appeared in 1988 when Microsoft released Windows 2.0. Microsoft later published the WMF file format specification with the Windows 3.0 release in 1992 and published a subsequent specification in 2006. Microsoft continues to publish updates to the format regularly.

Windows Metafile Format (WMF) Information

WMF is primarily used as a container for vector graphics and supports raster image data. In addition, it supports 16-bit image data that 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.

The WMF format stores image data in a series of metafile record structures. Each of these records stores drawing commands, object definitions, and configuration settings.

WMF was common in the 1990s, especially in Windows applications, such as Microsoft Word, Publisher, and PowerPoint. However, due to its 16-bit data limitation and device dependence, Microsoft replaced WMF with the Enhanced Windows Metafile (.EMF) format in 1992 when it released Windows NT 3.1.

Image editors may still save vector graphics as WMF and EMF files. However, the Scalable Vector Graphics (.SVG) and Encapsulated PostScript (.EPS) formats have largely replaced the formats.

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

How to open a WMF file

You can open WMF 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), Inkscape (multiplatform), and XnViewMP (multiplatform).

To open WMF 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....

How to convert a WMF file

Many image editors, including CorelDRAW Graphics Suite, Adobe Illustrator, and Inkscape, can convert WMF files to other image formats.

For example, CorelDRAW can convert WMF files to many formats, including the following file types:

  • .JPG - JPEG Image
  • .PNG - Portable Network Graphic
  • .BMP - Bitmap Image
  • .GIF - Graphical Interchange Format
  • .SVG - Scalable Vector Graphics File
  • .PDF - Portable Document Format
  • .TGA - Targa Graphic
  • .TIF - Tagged Image File Format
  • .PSD - Adobe Photoshop Document
  • .AI - Adobe Illustrator Artwork
  • .RTF - Rich Text Format
  • .DOC - Microsoft Word Document (Legacy)
  • .DWG - AutoCAD Drawing
  • .DXF - Drawing Exchange Format
  • .EMF - Enhanced Windows Metafile
  • .EPS - Encapsulated PostScript File
Open and view .WMF files with File Viewer Plus.Free Download

Programs that open WMF files

Widelands Map File

Developer The Widelands Development Team
2.8  |  9 Votes

Map file used by Widelands, a strategy game where players control tribes and build settlements; contains a game map, which includes the map size, terrain, initial resources, and tribe starting locations; can be used to create custom maps.

Programs that open WMF files


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