Image Downgrading When Exporting


When I exported a draft with images/figures to a Word/RTF document, the images downgrade in quality a lot even though the quality in Scrivener is pretty good.

I have tried pasting a figure from Excel to Scrivener directly, or inserting an image (JPG or PNG) directly to the draft from my laptop. No matter what, when I export, the picture quality goes worse. Also, I tried tweaking the preferences (in which I can select JPG/PNG; and when JPG is selected, I can set the compression to low), but it doesn’t work as well.

Do you have any opinion about how I can retain the quality of the pictures/images in Scrivener when I export?

Thanks a lot!!


Have you tried opening the RTF in a few other programs (that support images—an easy test is to drag the RTF back into Scrivener’s Binder)? I suspect an odd setting in Word (perhaps a “draft mode” that renders figures at low resolution just to keep the system speedy), or somewhere else in the chain. Definitely do use the PNG format if you are using final print ready images, and not placeholders, from within Scrivener though.

Also, could you describe what the quality loss looks like? Or better yet, post a before and after compile example.

Thanks for your reply!

I have changed the preference to PNG, and it seems importing images from local drive works. But, still when I copy and paste figure from Excel to Scrivener, although it looks good in Scrivener, the exported document looks very bad.

Here I used the same figure, but the first using the copy & paste approach:

The second I exporting to PNG from Excel first, and then import into Scrivener. After compiling the draft, the first looks much worse, but the second looks nice.

In summary, although copy & paste does not work well, the second approach works. So I can settle with that :slight_smile: Thanks, AmberV!

Interesting. I have zero experience with Excel (they were teaching Lotus 1-2-3 for DOS when I was in high-school, and haven’t needed a spreadsheet since then!), but from squinting at the image, one thing that struck me with it is that it appears the anti-aliasing model, which is a sub-pixel algorithm, itself is getting resampled. That’s not a good thing. The anti-aliasing model should only be applied to the display, not the graphics themselves as they essentially makes them device dependent. Those rust/cyan halos you see, that’s something that should only be happening at a nearly microscopic level in your monitor.

So, something in how Excel produced those images is off. Fortunately it sounds like you found a way to get it to work.

Working with graphics can be a bit of a black art!

Thanks for your reply!

I am planning to submit a paper to conference, and the conference requires that “All figures and illustrations must be inserted into your Word file as either JPG or GIF format (other formats or embedded graphic objects will not convert to PDF correctly”.

Is this true? If I use JPG images, would Scrivener retain the quality of the picture when exporting?

When compiling or exporting to RTF, images get converted into JPG or PNG format anyway (depending on your Preferences). But yes, the quality should be retained. If you create a PDF file directly from Scrivener then I have noticed that image quality isn’t always great, but that is just the built-in OS X PDF preview creator that causes any downgrade there; when exporting to RTF for Word, the quality of your images should be fine.

All the best,