How to copy a diagram from Enterprise Architect to MS Word, Power Point, etc.?

That’s easy – there are several methods to do it:

  • via menu: ‘Diagram’ | ‘Copy Image to Clipboard’
  • via shortcut: Ctrl+B
  • or alternatively by saving the diagram as a picture in different formats

Finally switch to the program of you choice and paste the graphic from the clipboard or insert from the file.

How to copy a subset of elements from the diagram to a picture?

Also easy, but there are 2 steps to go:

  1. Select the elements on the diagram you are interested in (you can select all elements using Ctrl+A)
  2. Copy the selected elements to clipboard using tool bar, context menu or shortcut Ctrl+C

Quality issues

Tip: never store diagrams in JPEG format unless you want see ugly compression artifacts around the lines. The JPEG format is fantastic for photos, but problematic for diagrams, take better GIF or PNG – they compress the images without reducing the picture quality. Unfortunately usage of the EMG or WMF formats does not provide the desired high quality vector graphic, the converting algorithms seems to be too primitive, the result looks like a graphic at DOS times…

The quality of the saved images can be controlled in the options ‘Tools’ | ‘Options’ | ‘Diagram’: e.g. the option ‘Scale Saved Bitmaps to;  allows you setting a higher resolution and the increasing of the ‘Image Memory Limit’ should improve the quality of large diagrams. Be careful with the option ‘Scale Saved Bitmaps to’ in case you work with ‘Hand Drawn’ diagrams, the thickness of connectors keeps the same independently from the scale factor.

High Quality Scalable Vector Graphic

Also – saving the diagrams into a file generates a pixel graphic, means if you resize it bigger, it becomes pixelated soon. The only way I know to get an high quality scalable image – is coping the diagram using the clipboard in that case EA generates a vector graphic (1):

  1. copy the diagram or its parts into the clipboard
  2. paste into program able to handle vector graphics (e.g. Power Point)
  3. store the image e.g. using SVG format or as PDF

Using Power Point you can store the single slide which contains the pasted image e.g. in the PDF format: ‘File’ | ‘Save as’, Save as Type: ‘PDF’, open the options dialog select the ‘Current Slide’ and save – that’s it. Alternatively you can convert the EA image into Microsoft vector graphic: right click on the image ‘Group’ | ‘Ungroup’. In that case you can even edit the graphic directly in the PowerPoint e.g. edit labels, move/remove elements etc.!

(1) – The precondition is setting the option ‘Tools’ | ‘Options’ | ‘General’ | ‘Clipboard’ to ‘Metafile’ instead of ‘Bitmap’