Convert original logo artwork or a bitmap logo into EMF for inserting into an ArcMap layout

Last Published: April 25, 2020


The best method for including logos in map documents is to insert them as EMF images. Instructions provided describe how to convert original logo artwork or a bitmap logo (if the original artwork is unavailable) to EMF.


  • Convert the original artwork to EMF using the graphics application that the original artwork was created in.
If Adobe Illustrator is used to create the EMF file, a PC running Adobe Illustrator should be used. Since EMF is a Windows file format, EMFs generated in Illustrator on a Macintosh platform tend to be of lower quality.
  • If the original vector artwork is available as PostScript, but Adobe Illustrator or a similar graphics application that can convert PostScript to EMF is not available, use the freeware application pstoedit.

    See the link in the Related Information below for more information on pstoedit.
  • If the original vector artwork cannot be located, there are several freeware raster-to-vector converters or tracing programs, such as Potrace, Autotrace and KVEC.

    See the links in the Related Information below.
Potrace is freeware but only traces 1-bit or black and white images. KVEC, a shareware application, and Autotrace can be used to trace color bitmaps.
  • If converting the bitmap logo to vector is impossible, and the background of the logo needs to be transparent, the bitmap marker method can work.
  1. In a graphics editor application such as Adobe Photoshop, fill the white, background portions of the logo that need to be transparent with a key color that does not appear elsewhere in the map; for example, bright magenta. This allows any areas of the logo that should be opaque white to remain opaque on the map.
  2. Note the RGB values of the key color as they will be needed later.
  3. Save the new image in BMP format.
  4. In ArcMap, place a marker on the layout using the Drawing toolbar's New Marker tool (see image below).
  5. Double-click this new marker to open the Properties dialog box and click the Change Symbol button.
  6. Click the Properties button and select Picture Marker Symbol from the Type drop-down list.
  7. Navigate to the new logo BMP created previously and click OK.
  8. Use the RGB values used for the key color in the Transparent Color picker.
  9. Adjust the size of the marker as necessary and click OK on all of the dialog boxes.
[O-Image] [O] How to use the bitmap marker method for logos
Picture marker symbols are affected by the Output Image Quality setting on output and may not produce the best quality for the logos when printed or exported.

Article ID:000007906

  • ArcMap 9 x

Get help from ArcGIS experts

Contact technical support

Download the Esri Support App

Go to download options

Related Information

Discover more on this topic