Save multiple Artboards as indiviudal EMF or WMF files in Adobe Illustrator CS6

Posted by Dave Tucker on Fri 25 January 2013

I've been creating a set of networking icons in Adobe Illustrator. To get these in a usable vector format for Visio and OmniGraffle stencils I need them in EMF or WMF format. Unfortunately the built-in Export function in Illustrator doesn't support Artboards for EMF/WMF but instead outputs one single file, so I needed to find a different solution...

First of all, I needed to split my main AI file in to individual files for each Artboard.

To do this, I went to File > Save As > Adobe EPS and selected the Artboard option.

Next was to individually export these to EMF and WMF.

First choice was to create a Workflow in Automator but for some reason. Automator's Watch Me Do action was unable to recognise that Illustrator was open - It returned some error about the application not being open (even though it was).

Second choice was AppleScript, but as it turns out Adobe don't have the EMF or WMF available as formats for the export action in their AppleScript library.

Finally I found the "Actions" menu in Illustrator.

I created a new folder called "My Actions"

Create a new Action called "Export to EMF" and started recording the process of clicking File > Export > EMF and finally closing the open document. I repeated this for WMF. You can see the actions in the screenshot below.

Actions in Adobe Illustrator

Now here comes the fun part. Click the menu item in the top right and click "Batch.."

Illustrator Batch Menu

This lets you perform a recorded action on a selection of files. I selected my "Save As EMF" action and pointed the source folder to my collection of EPS files that I exported earlier. I then choose to override the export directory to a new folder called "emf". Now, click OK and grab a cup of coffee!


It would be a lot easier for Adobe to either add Artboard support to the EMF/WMF export function, or expose this functionality in AppleScript. In the meantime, this multi-step solution is the best way I can find of doing this. If you have a better way, please let me know in the comments!

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