Scalable Vector Graphic
4.3 | 390 Votes
What is an SVG file?
An SVG file is an image saved in the Scalable Vector Graphic format. The vector graphic it contains can be scaled to any size without losing quality. For this reason, digital illustrators often save logos, charts, and other graphics intended to be shown at a variety of sizes as SVG files.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) developed the SVG format and released its initial version in 2001. Since then, W3C has released several updates to the SVG format, including SVG 1.1, SVG Tiny 1.2, and SVG 2.0.
Unlike .JPG, .PNG, and other raster image files, SVG images are not comprised of pixels. Instead, SVG images are defined using XML-like text that describes how the image should appear. For example, when opened in a text editor, an SVG file might look like this:
<svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" viewBox="0 0 93 107">
<path d='M74,74a42,42 0,1,0-57,0l28,29a42,41 0,0,0 0-57' fill='#00a3dc' fill-rule='evenodd'/>
What SVG files are used for
Because the image an SVG file describes is defined using text-based paths, rather than pixels, it can be scaled up or down without losing any quality. This is why digital illustrators save logos and icons, which need to be shown or printed at a variety of sizes, as SVG files.
How to create an SVG file
Various vector graphics editors allow you to save graphics as SVG files. Some popular vector graphics editors that can create SVG files include:
NOTE: If you need to reduce an SVG's file size (for example, to make it easier to share online), you can export it as an .SVGZ file. This compresses the image with gzip compression, reducing its file size by 50 to 80 percent.
How to open an SVG file
If you just want to view the image your SVG file contains, you can open it by dragging it into your web browser (or selecting File → Open...). Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Apple Safari, and Mozilla Firefox can all display SVG images.
Advanced users may want to open their SVG file in a text editor, such as Microsoft Notepad or Apple TextEdit, to view or edit the XML-style text the file contains. However, most users are better off opening an SVG file in a vector graphics editor or web browser.
How to convert an SVG file
Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW, and Inkscape can all convert SVG files to other graphic formats (including raster graphic formats). For example, Adobe Illustrator can convert SVG files to the following formats (and several others):
Programs that open SVG files
2.6 | 53 Votes
An SVG file may also be a saved game created by one of various video games, including but not limited to Quake III: Team Arena, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, and Grand Theft Auto 2 (GTA 2). It contains a record of a player's progress, which the player can load to resume their game. Some games automatically create SVG files at certain points during the game, so players do not have to manually save their progress.
Most video game players will not need to manually open or edit their SVG files (outside of a game's normal saving and loading process). However, gamers might encounter SVG files in a game's autosave directory (or a similar directory). For example, Return to Castle Wolfenstein stores SVG files in its save/autosave directory.
Modders may want to open and edit SVG files in saved game editors, which are applications created and used specifically to modify saved games. While many games use the .svg extension for saved game files, most games' SVG files are formatted differently from each other. Therefore, a saved game editor that works with one game's SVG files likely won't work with another's.
How to open an SVG file
Grand Theft Auto 2 modders can open that game's SVG files in GTA2 Saved Game Editor (Windows). Players who want to examine another game's SVG files can try opening the files in a text editor. However, much of the file's data will likely not be human-readable.