This is an issue I keep running into I always forget how to resolve the issue, so I thought I'd better blog the solution (that way when I run into it again and search for the fix, I'll find it via Google!)
If you're running into issues when converting a Word 2002/2003/2007 document into a PDF with images from the Word document being extremely blurry, this due to the use of GDI+ technology:
Under some circumstances, Visio and other document types with graphics that are embedded within a Word document may not convert correctly to PDF. This issue affects Word documents opened in Microsoft Word 2002/XP, Word 2003 and Word 2007. This is because these versions of word use the GDI Plus (GDI+) technology to allow printer-independent operations for on-screen rendering. This is most often used when the embedded object uses Postscript fonts. Documents that exhibit this problem might have areas of color, as if someone highlighted the document and missing text and graphics, but only in the embedded object.
There are two solutions to this problem:
Use another document viewer to convert this document
Any document viewer that can read the document and does not use GDI+ can be used to render the embedded object correctly. For example, both Microsoft Word 2000 and OpenOffice.org Writer do not use GDI+ and can be used to convert documents affected by this issue with no problems.
Convert the embedded object to an image
Probably the easiest solution to this issue is to paste the data as an image, rather than embedding the data into the Word document.
- From your application from which you wish to embed data (e.g.: Visio), copy the shapes and the text that you want.
- Open Microsoft Word.
- On the Edit menu, click Paste Special.
- In the Paste Special dialog box, click Bitmap (or Picture XXX), and then click OK.
Note: Do not click Picture (Enhanced Metafile).
I've been using the "Bitmap" option for logos and that seems to work very well to keep the images sharp.
UPDATE:Some asked for a screenshot, so I thought I'd update this entry.
So that you can see the difference, here's a screenshot showing the problem. On the right is a Word document with the same image pasted twice. As you can see, the first version ends up looking extremely blocky when converted to a PDF. The second image was copied from the first image, but pasted using the Paste Special > Bitmap option and looks remarkable better. I wanted both versions in the same PDF so that you can see it's has nothing to do with the PDF conversion settings, but everything to do with Word and GDI+.