Introduction to SVG
SVG is a language for describing 2D-graphics and graphical
applications in XML.
What you should already know
Before you continue, you should have some basic understanding of the following:
If you want to study these subjects first, find the tutorials on our
What is SVG?
- SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphics
- SVG is used to define vector-based graphics for the Web
- SVG defines the graphics in XML format
- SVG graphics do NOT lose any quality if they are zoomed or resized
- Every element and every attribute in SVG files can be animated
- SVG is a W3C recommendation
- SVG integrates with other W3C standards such as the DOM and XSL
SVG is a W3C Recommendation
SVG became a W3C Recommendation 14. January 2003.
To read more about the SVG activities at W3C, please read our
SVG History & Advantages
Sun Microsystems, Adobe, Apple, IBM, and Kodak are some of the
organizations that have been involved in defining SVG.
Advantages of using SVG over other image formats (like JPEG
and GIF) are:
- SVG files can be read and modified by a large range of tools (e.g. notepad)
- SVG files are smaller and more compressible than JPEG and GIF images
- SVG images are scalable
- SVG images can be printed with high quality at any resolution
- SVG images are zoomable (and the image can be zoomed without degradation)
- Text in SVG is selectable and searchable (excellent for making maps)
- SVG works with Java technology
- SVG is an open standard
- SVG files are pure XML
The main competitor to SVG is Flash.
The biggest advantage SVG has over Flash is the compliance with other standards
(e.g. XSL and the DOM). Flash relies on proprietary technology that is not
Look at a directory of SVG
enabled software and services.
Viewing SVG Files
All browsers support SVG files nowadays, except for Internet Explorer, which
needs a plug-in. Those are available for free, as for example the
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