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Introduction to SVG

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What is SVG?

  • SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphics.

  • It defines graphics in XML format.

  • Note:
  • SVG files are always saved with an .svg extension


Why We Use SVG?

  • SVG is the ScalableVector Grahpics

  • It is a high-end 2D graphics using XML tags

  • It uses XML = plain-vanilla text

  • It uses CSS for styling

  • It is a W3C recommendation (=Web standard); 600+ pages spec

  • The first draft published in February 1999; V1.0 published in September 2001 (two and half year later)

What is SVG not?

  • SVG is not 3D graphic language like VRML

  • SVG is not appropriate for creating photos (but you can embed photos in SVG files)

  • Sample SVG Tags

    Shape Tags: <line>, <rect>, <circle>, <ellipse>, <polyline>, <polygon>, <path>

    Paint Tags: <linearGradient>, <radialGradient>, <pattern>, <mask>

    Text Tags: <text>, <tspan>, <textPath>, <font>, <font-face>, <glyph>

    Filter Tags: <filter>, <feBlend>, <feFlood>, <feColorMatrix>, <feGaussianBlur>, <feMorphology><feSpotLight>

    Animation Tags: <animate>, <animateMotion>, <animateTransform>, <animateColor>, <set>

    Misc Tags: <image>, <symbol>, <g>, <defs>, <use>

    And Etc.

    Advantages and History of SVG

    SVG 1.1 became W3C Recommendation in January 2003.

    Sun Microsystems, Adobe, Apple, IBM, and Kodak are the organizations that have been involved in defining SVG.

    Advantages of using SVG over other image formats (like JPEG and GIF) are as follows:

    • SVG files can be read and modified by a large range of tools like notepad

    • SVG files are smaller and more compressible than JPEG and GIF image

    • SVG images are always scalable

    • SVG images can be printed in high quality at any resolution

    • SVG images are also zoomable. Any part of the image can be zoomed without having degradation

    • Text in SVG is selectable and searchable (excellent for making map)

    • Now SVG works with Java technology

    • SVG is an open source standard

    • SVG files are pure XML files

    The main competitor to SVG is Flash only.

    The biggest advantage SVG has over Flash is the compliance with other standards like XSL and the DOM. Flash relies on proprietary technology that is not open source standard.

    A drawback of SVG is that not all browsers support it. Mozilla browsers, Firefox, and Opera support SVG, and Microsoft plan to support SVG.

    The number of SVG editors are growing, and Adobe GoLive 5 supports SVG also.

    Look at a directory of SVG enabled softwares and services

    To view SVG files , you may have to install a plug-in such as the Adobe SVG Viewer.

    A quick Example

    <?xml version="1.0" standalone="no"?>
    <svg width="200%" height="200%" version="1.1">

    <g style="fill-opacity:0.7; stroke:black; stroke-width:0.1cm;">
    <circle cx="6cm" cy="2cm" r="100" style="fill:red;" transform="translate(0,50)" />


    Viewing SVG File

    If your browser does not support SVG files, you will have to download an SVG viewer to view SVG files.

    Note: Firefox 1.5 and Opera 9 have native SVG support. If you are using one of these browsers, you do not need to install SVG viewer.

    Download SVG Viewer for FREE from Adobe.

    » What You Should Already Know?

    Before you continue you should have some basic understanding of the following language:

    • HTML
    • XML

    If you want to study this subject first, find the tutorials on our Home page.

    Be the first one to comment on this page.

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    Keywords: svg viewer, svg file, svg text, svg editor, adobe svg, svg distribution, svg graphics, nbc radio svg, javascript svg, svg antivirus

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