[R-SIG-Mac] Embedding PDF documents created in R in Word documents

Marc Schwartz marc_schwartz at me.com
Mon Mar 26 17:33:47 CEST 2018

> On Mar 26, 2018, at 11:11 AM, Dennis Fisher <fisher at plessthan.com> wrote:
> R 3.4.3
> OS X 13.3
> Colleagues
> I have encountered surprising behavior in the following circumstance:
> 1.  I create a one-page PDF in R.  The command might be:
> 	pdf(“/path/to/file”, width=5, height=3.5)
> 2.  When I open the PDF in Preview, the “inspector” confirms the intended size.
> 3.  I embed the PDF into Word for Mac (the newest version).  I accomplish this in one of several ways, all leading to the same outcome:
> 	a.  I drag the icon into Word
> 	b.  I copy the thumbnail and paste into Word
> 	c.  I drag the thumbnail into Word
> 4.  Previously, after the page was embedded, the size matched the specifications (5 x 3.5, in this instance). Now, the width is one-half of the intended size.
> 5.  Interestingly, when I drag the thumbnail into Word, the image appears twice
> I suspect that the problem is in Word, rather than R, but I am curious as to whether anyone has encountered this and has a solution.
> Dennis

Hi Dennis,

Try it with the attached PDF, created with:

pdf("test.pdf", width = 5, height = 3.5)

I am using R 3.4.4 on macOS 10.13.3, with Word 2016.

When I drag the pdf file from my desktop into Word, or the thumbnail from Preview, the size of the embedded object is correct and I get the correct preview image of the plot in Word.

If I copy and paste the thumbnail into Word, it has the correct size, the but preview image in Word appears to be bitmapped, instead of vector, so the quality of the image in Word is not as good. Similar to what one might see embedding an EPS file in Word.

Also, if I "Insert" object from the Word menu, and select the PDF file, I get the correct size and the vector based image.


Marc Schwartz

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