This month we will be taking a EQ project and using Metafiles and Microsoft Word to show how you could make a pattern, or write instructions.

The only feature difference between using EQ8 on the Mac versus using EQ8 on a PC is that there is no way to export Metafiles on a Mac. The technology in Windows that build the Windows Metafile format are copyrighted by Microsoft and unfortunately there is no equivalent for OS X for us to keep this feature. Read more about Metafiles here.

However, here are Mac and PC instructions for exploding blocks using Adobe Illustrator.  We also have a lesson (with video) for exploding blocks using a free software called Inkscape that can be used on Mac or PC. Lastly, we have an article on our support site about this too.

For this example I will be using Microsoft Word and the Outstanding Orchards project. You can download the project here, or of course, feel free to use one of your own projects.

Export to Metafile is only available from the Block Worktable so, that is where we will start.

1. Open a block to the Block Worktable.

2. Click the Print & Export tab

3. Click Export

4. Click Metafile

5. You can choose your Quality and Options then click Copy to Windows clipboard

6. Open Microsoft Word

7. Use Ctrl + V on your keyboard to paste

Your block should show up, like this. If fabric is used in the block, the fabric will be converted to the average color of the fabric.

8.  To resize the block grab one of the corner circles by clicking on it. Your cursor will turn into a double arrow cursor.

9. Holding your mouse button down, drag to resize your block.

10. Right click on the block and choose Group > Ungroup

11. You may get this message. Click Yes.

12. Click on a corner circle. You will see the double arrows. Holding your mouse key down, drag out the selection pane to make it larger.

13. Now you can click on any of the shapes to move them within the selection pane. Arrange them however you’d like to form visuals for piecing directions.

A few tips:

You can click the Selection Pane button and it will show you a list of all of your shapes. You can rename them if you’d like so they make more sense to you. You can also hide and unhide and select them by name.

You can hold down the Shift key or the Ctrl key on your keyboard to select more than one shape, or drag a box around shapes to select more than one.

14. Click to place your cursor before or after the image and start typing to add any text you’d like.

15. You can also make PDFs of other instructions in EQ8. For example, if you want to include the rotary cutting instructions for this block, you can use a PDF writer to save the print preview as a PDF.  Here are detailed instructions on how to do that.

If you want to merge the Word document and the PDF together, try this:

16. In Word, click File > Save As.

17. In the drop down menu choose PDF and name it as you wish.

18. Use a free PDF merger to merge your Word document PDF and your rotary cutting PDF together. (One example of a free PDF merger is PDFforge —  and here are the specific directions on how to merge PDFs in PDFforge)

And we’re done!

If you have questions about the lesson feel free to post them below.
If you have questions about something else EQ related, please contact