Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Back in 8.04 and 10.04, GIMP could easily open WMF files, letting me work on them.

In 11.04, there was a regression (still not fixed!), and this would not work.

But at least there was a workaround. You could convert WMF files to EPS and work on them.

wmf2eps --wmf-fontdir=/usr/share/fonts/type1/gsfonts -o outputfile.eps inputfile.wmf

However, now we have 12.04, and not even the workaround works any more; it is unable to convert the file. There is no error message; it just fails with error code 1.

Despite Inkscapes claims to be a plausible solution (workaround) Inkscape simply opened the WMF image as a completely empty image, with no error message.

I need to work on WMF files quite urgently. Does anyone know what I can do, whether work-around or (preferably) a fix?

share|improve this question
Did you add new plugins? –  bebojoor May 16 '12 at 11:10
bebojoor I have only seen your comment now. Can you be specific about what you mean? I have installed gimp-data-extras. Today, I tested in a virtual machine, and it worked fine in 10.04; but by 10.10 it had stopped working. Same installation process -- fully update and install just ubuntu-restricted-extras, gimp, and gimp-data-extras. (So, the work-around is to run 10.04 in a virtual machine! What happens after 10.04 is no longer supported?) –  Paddy Landau May 18 '12 at 15:11

1 Answer 1

Have you tried Inkscape

Inkscape's import for WMF is quite mature, and most WMF files can be imported without issues. You will have the ability to convert WMF file with something that is compatible with GIMP

You can download it from the Ubuntu Software Center

Click here for more information on Inkscape Wiki

How to in Inkscape

Press the "File" option on the top navigation bar in Inkscape and click "Import."

A file navigation window opens.

Click the drop-down box near the bottom of the page and select the "Windows MetaFile (.wmf)" option.

Navigate to and click on the WMF file using the file navigator.

Click the "Open" button. The WMF file imports into and opens in Inkscape.

To Convert Try This

Click the "File" option from the top navigation bar and then click "Save As."

Click the "File Type" drop-down box and select another graphic file type from the list.

For example, to convert the WMF file to a PNG, click the "PNG (.png)" option on the File Type list.

Click the "Save" button. Note that you can also "Export" the WMF file for even more graphic file options.

Just click "Export" from the "File" menu instead of "Save As." Select another graphic file type.

Inkscape exports WMF files to the JPG or GIF file types.

Read more: How to Convert to WMF Graphics in Ubuntu | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_8693491_convert-wmf-graphics-ubuntu.html#ixzz1v1FJSTOc

share|improve this answer
Unfortunately, Inkscape did not work on 11.04 and still does not work on 12.04. Inkscape simply opened the WMF image as a completely empty image, with no error message. –  Paddy Landau May 16 '12 at 7:36
I am not sure what method you used to open the file in Inkscape but i did a bit more research and updated my answer above. If this is not the method you used, it will do no harm to try it. If it was "Ce La vie" –  Stephen Myall May 16 '12 at 8:26
Thanks for trying, Stephen, but I get the same result. I don't think I tried Inkscape on 10.04 or 8.04, but reading other people's posts, they didn't have a problem then but have a problem now. This is a definite regression. –  Paddy Landau May 16 '12 at 13:09
Lets not give up just yet, but I really think when you find a solution you should permanently convert all your wmf files. I have just read an article see link below (significantly paragraph 8). The claim is that Open Office Draw can read WMF files and export them to JPGs. Judging by the content of this article this is probably your last hope as WMF seems to be an aging (almost redunant) format. Im keen to know if this works. ehow.com/convert-wmf-files –  Stephen Myall May 16 '12 at 20:44
I have just checked, the option to export WMF files appears to be possible in Libre Ofice Draw also –  Stephen Myall May 16 '12 at 20:55

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.