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'Windows Metafile' FileType Plugin (.EMF, .WMF, .EMZ, .WMZ)


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'Windows Metafile' FileType Plugin (.EMF, .WMF, .EMZ, .WMZ)


Imports Windows metafiles and renders them to Paint.NET bitmap layers. Supported types are WMF, EMF, EMF+, and the compressed variants WMZ and EMZ. The compressed variants are not documented but MS Word is able to insert them.

There is a very basic implementation of export to EMF. It embeds the bitmap layer of Paint.NET into an EMF. Because it is not possible to generate vectors from the bitmap this feature is of limited use.


Martin Osieka


Find the latest version of the plugin ImEMF,WMF.FileType v1.1 (8.3.2015) >> HERE <<


Follow the instructions carefully

  • Copy the two files OptionBasedLibrary vX.X.dll/.dlc to the Paint.NET\ folder (NOT to Paint.NET\FileTypes\ !!!)

  • Copy the two files 'ImEMF,WMF.FileType.dll/dlc' to the Paint.NET\FileTypes\ folder

  • Do not remove older versions of the OptionBasedLibrary if they are required from other plugins.

To verify the installation you should restart Paint.NET and check that in the filetype popup in the open file selector dialog are entries starting with EMF and WMF.


Paint.NET 3.5.11 and 4.0.5

Supported languages

The language used in the plugin depends on the language setting of Paint.NET and the support of this language by the plugin. The fallback is the first supported language of the plugin. Languages are defined in the .dlc files. This plugin supports the following languages in the moment:

  • English
  • Deutsch

Dialog options




  • File Infos section

This section just shows settings loaded from the file. Typically the resolution is the physical resolution of the screen attached to the computer where the metafile has been created. The pixel values are somehow virtual because a metafile contains a vector grafic. There are three basic variants of Windows metafiles:

- WMF (Windows Metafile) is the oldest and supports GDI 16bit only.
- EMF (Enhanced Metafile) is the update to GDI 32bit.
- EMF+ (Enhanced Metafile Plus) adds the features of GDI Plus (i.e. anti-aliasing and alpha channel)

  • Render section

The default values of resolution and extent are the values in the File Infos section. By increasing or decreasing the dpi value you are changing the quality of the final image.

The anti-alias option allows you to improve the quality of the old formats WMF and EMF. This is done by translating all commands in the file from GDI to GDI Plus. This feature is off by default because the translation may have unexpected effects in the final image.

The background color defines the filling of the image canvas before the rendering starts. The default color is transparent white.

Known issues

  • Paint.NET does not provide a load dialog template to filetype plugins. So to allow the plugin to show a dialog it delegates its dialog (derived from PdnBaseForm) to the thread of the main window. This works fine but not perfect. I.e there will not be an error beep if you are clicking to the main window while the load dialog is open.
  • If you are canceling the option dialog you will get an unspecified error. But this just means that Paint.NET has no idea about canceling the load operation. PDN4 allows you to check the error details. If it tells "Canceled by user" then no error happened.
  • If you try to 'Save' (not 'Save As') a loaded metafile then Paint.NET will not fallback to 'Save As' automatically. The 'Save' dialog opens and shows an error. This is fixed in Paint.NET 4.0.


  • Example Bike.wmf is an example metafile found on the web. Load it with the anti-aliasing option switched off and on to see the difference.
  • Example Sheet.emf and Example Sheet.emz contain the same graphic but the compressed variant is just 10% in size.


  • 1.1 (8.3.2015)
    - Replaced in 'File Infos' section the dpi values line with a line showing the
      physical size given in the metafile.
    - Use of virtual pixels to describe the device units in the meta file.
  • 1.0 (22.2.2014)
    - First public release
Edited by midora
Added link to zipped DLL

midoras signature.gif

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  • 2 weeks later...

Getting old, forgot this announcement yesterday.


Version update:

  • 1.1 (8.3.2015)
    - Replaced in 'File Infos' section the dpi values line with a line showing the
      physical size given in the metafile.
    - Use of virtual pixels to describe the device units in the meta file.

midoras signature.gif

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Sorted initial post layout issues.

  • Upvote 1
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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 11 months later...

Has anyone got a copy of this plugin archived? I'm looking for v1.1 (the latest version). Thanks.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks to @lynxster4, the zipped DLL (and Optionbased libraries) have been rehosted.


Yay!! :mrgreen:


  • Like 1
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