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How can I use diagrams created with yEd in OpenOffice / LibreOffice?

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Practical tips for importing diagrams in Office applications like OpenOffice.org Impress and OpenOffice.org Draw.

Exporting a Diagram in yEd and Importing the same in OpenOffice.org

OpenOffice.org Impress and OpenOffice.org Draw provide support for importing graphics by means of the Insert >> Picture >> From File... functionality, for example. The supported file formats include a wide range of bitmap and vector graphics formats of which several of the more common types are supported by yEd as export file formats for diagrams via File >> Export...

In particular, the following file formats match:

  • bitmap graphics: BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG
  • vector graphics: EMF, EPS

Generally, the best results for getting a diagram created with yEd into either of the OOo applications can be achieved by using a vector graphics file format as the "intermediate representation."
Unfortunately however, the EPS file format version used by yEd when exporting a diagram is not recognized by the OOo applications. Luckily, EMF file format does not suffer from this problem, so you can use this file format.

Please note, though, that yEd currently does not support color gradients in EMF file format, i.e., they cannot be exported and thus are missing in an EMF file.

Transferring a Diagram via the System Clipboard

As an alternative to explicitly exporting diagrams to a file, yEd also supports copying (selected parts of) a diagram to the system clipboard via Edit >> Copy to System Clipboard. The system clipboard then contains both a bitmap and a vector graphics representation of the copied (parts of a) diagram.
In OpenOffice.org Impress and OpenOffice.org Draw you can use Edit >> Paste Special... to choose from these representations. Note that the vector graphics representation, which is denoted as 'GDI metafile', is in fact an EMF encoding. As a consequence, this means that the same restrictions as noted above also apply to this alternative way of getting diagrams from yEd into OOo.


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