Microsoft KB Archive/172921

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Article ID: 172921

Article Last Modified on 11/14/2003


  • Microsoft Office 97 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT 3.51 Service Pack 5
  • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0

This article was previously published under Q172921


When you insert a Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM) file in a Microsoft Office program, the Basic Options dialog box appears. When you click OK, the Convert File dialog box appears displaying a list of graphics file types. If you select Computer Graphics Metafile, you receive the following error message:

An error occurred while importing this file. <filename>

where <filename> is the full path and file name of the CGM file being inserted.

If you select anything other than Computer Graphics Metafile, the Basic Options dialog box will appear again. If you click OK, you will receive the same error message.

NOTE: Your symptoms may vary. For example, the dialog boxes may not appear in the same order listed. In Microsoft Access, you do not receive an error message when you try to insert a CGM file, but the insert does not succeed.


This behavior occurs if the following are true:

  • Microsoft Office 97 is installed on Windows NT version 3.51 or 4.0.

  • You logged in without Administrator permissions to the registry.

  • You do not have Create Link, Write DAC, and Write Owner permissions for the following key in the registry:

          HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Graphic

    NOTE: By default, users who log in as User or Guest only have Special Access permissions to this key. Create Link, Write DAC, and Write Owner permissions are necessary for the CGM filter to insert a CGM file. A user with Administrator permissions has Full Control permissions on this registry key, so they will not receive an error message.


To insert a CGM file, you must either have Administrator permissions for the registry, or your permissions for the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Graphic Filters\Import\CGM registry key must be set to Full Control.

WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious, system-wide problems that may require you to reinstall Windows NT to correct them. Microsoft cannot guarantee that any problems resulting from the use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use this tool at your own risk.

Follow these steps to set Full Control permissions for the CGM registry key:

  1. Log into Windows NT as Administrator.
  2. Click Start, and then click Run.
  3. In the Open box, type "regedt32" (without the quotation marks), and then click OK.

    This will start the 32-bit version of the Registry Editor. If you run Regedit.exe instead of Regedt32.exe, you cannot change the registry security permissions.
  4. In the Registry Editor, click the window titled HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.
  5. Select the following registry key:

           HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Graphic
  6. On the Security menu, click Permissions.
  7. In the Registry Key Permissions dialog box, click the "Replace Permission on Existing Subkeys" check box.
  8. In the Name list, double-click Everyone.
  9. In the Special Access dialog box, click Full Control (All).

    This will change the permissions from Special Access to Full Control for the key and all its subkeys.
  10. Click OK twice.
  11. Close the Registry Editor.

After completing these steps, anyone that logs in at this computer will be able to insert CGM files.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Microsoft Office 97 when running under Windows NT versions 3.51 and 4.0. We are researching this problem and will post new information here in the Microsoft Knowledge Base as it becomes available.


This behavior does not occur with any of the other graphics filters.

Additional query words: OFF97 8.0 Cgmimp32.flt, Cgmimp32.fnt, Cgmimp32.cfg, Cgmimp32.hlp permissions rights registry

Keywords: kbbug KB172921