using ArcGIS 10 SP3 for some simples mapping tasks. But::: I have a layout with some inserted EMF graphics. These graphics are in fact formatted Excel-tables. The first rows in the tables are shaded with a light gray background.

The EMFs are drawn correctly in the ArcMap layout, but dependent on the position on the page the shades disappear in the exported maps: if the graphic is positioned at the right page border the shades disappear, at the bottom or left side, the output will be correct.

I have copied and pasted the same graphics a dozen times and placed it side by side. It seems, that all graphics which lay mainly outside the DIN A4 portrait format are not correctly exported, independent of the page settings (in my case landscape). In the meanwhile I have deleted ALL OTHER layout elements and the effect still is the same.

Has anybody any idea? Is this one more of ArcGIS strange features?

  • By shading, do you mean gradients? ArcGIS sometimes has difficulty with more complex emf files.
    – DPierce
    Commented Oct 14, 2013 at 19:22
  • Not sure if you have solved this or not, but years ago I would actually insert Excel spreadsheets as objects into my layouts, much like you can insert them into a Word doc or PowerPoint slide. Tried that? Commented Mar 8, 2014 at 13:18

2 Answers 2


I just went through the same ordeal, I tried every export option imaginable and what finally worked for me was selecting "Print" selecting "Adobe PDF" as printer and using the slider under "Output Image Quality" to select "Fast" (1:5 ratio) and then "OK". I can't explain why, but this worked for me.


Not sure if this will work for you, but we've found that tables built in MSWord and pasted via clipboard (as an EMF) seem to behave much better than Excel ones.

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