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Re: st: Graph export: "Could not initialize metafile"

From   Dorothy Bridges <>
Subject   Re: st: Graph export: "Could not initialize metafile"
Date   Wed, 21 Apr 2010 19:01:58 -0400

Thanks, Alan!  I will check and get back to you.

On Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 5:53 PM, Alan Riley <> wrote:
> Dorothy Bridges ( reports that a colleague is
> seeing an error when they try to export a graph as an EMF file:
>> My .do file includes a command along the lines of: "graph export
>> mygraph.emf".  The file runs fine on my computer and on the computers
>> of at least two of my colleagues.  On a third colleague's computer,
>> however, we get the error message "could not initialize metafile."
>> This guy has the same version of Stata and the same version of Windows
>> as the rest of us.  He is able to export to .wmf without trouble.  Any
>> ideas?
> There are two cases in which Stata will report this error message
> when trying to export an EMF file:
>   1) There is no default printer driver installed on the Windows system,
>      or the default printer driver has a bug or is refusing to load.
>   2) Windows refused to initialize the EMF file.  This is very
>      unlikely and would likely only arise in the event of a corrupt
>      version of Windows.  We have never seen an instance of a user
>      encountering this.
> #1 is the most likely reason.  Applications must create EMF files
> with respect to some device on the Windows system so that things
> like fonts and text and line spacing can be calculated with respect
> to a standard resolution.  Stata and most other applications which
> support EMF files use the default printer as the reference device.
> Dorothy's colleague should ensure they have a default printer driver
> installed, even if a printer is not connected to their computer.
> If they already have such a printer driver installed, and are still
> receiving this error message, it can indicate a bug or error within
> the printer driver itself, and rebooting the computer can sometimes
> clear such an error.
> If Dorothy's colleague is unable to resolve the problem, they should
> contact Stata Technical Services at, who will
> help them diagnose and correct the problem.
> Alan
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