Import vector artwork

Although Microsoft Expression Design offers several ways to draw your own pictures, you can also import vector images into your documents. Expression Design supports the Adobe Illustrator (AI) file format. You can also import Windows Metafile (WMF), Enhanced Metafile (EMF) files, and Enhanced Metafile Plus (EMF+) files. (Expression Design also supports BMP, GIF, HD Photo, ICO, JPG, PNG, PSD, and TIFF bitmap files.) You have four ways to import artwork into Expression Design. You can use the Open, Import, or Paste command, or you can drag a file into your Expression Design project.


When you import an AI file, Expression Design preserves the layers, but some Adobe Illustrator properties are not preserved because there are no equivalent properties in Expression Design.

To open a file in Expression Design

Do one of the following:

  • On the File menu, click Open, browse to the file that you want to open in Expression Design, and then click Open.

  • Drag the file from Windows Explorer or the desktop into the Expression Design application window. Some file formats, such as PNG, will be pasted directly into the selected layer in the active document, if a document is open. Other file formats, such as AI, will open in a new document window.

To copy and paste artwork from another application

  1. In another graphics program, select a part of an image, and then copy it to the Clipboard.

  2. In Expression Design, on the Edit menu, click Paste or Paste Special. If you choose Paste Special, you can choose to paste your vector file as a bitmapped file.

To import a file

  • On the File menu, click Import (or press CTRL+I), browse to the file that you want to import, and then click Open. The image is added to the open document.


    AI files are stored at a resolution of 72 ppi. When you import an AI file into Expression Design, the image will be scaled to preserve the physical dimensions of the pixels in the resolution of the Expression Design document.

See also

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