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SVG Files

What is an SVG file?

SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) is an open standard file format created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for displaying vector graphic images, such as icons and infographics. 

SVG files are XML-based. This means they can be viewed in a text format using a text editor. These files contain scripts describing the elements in images such as colors, shapes, and fonts.

As the name implies, SVG images can adapt to various screen sizes without losing quality, unlike raster-based files like JPEGs. 

The quality of a raster image is dependent on its resolution and number of pixels. It cannot automatically adjust to certain displays without compromising sharpness. 

SVG files can be displayed in any size. However, the text format requires a set of instructions on how to present these images to web browsers. These include the image’s height, width, and aspect ratio. Without it, the file won’t scale properly. 

Although SVG was intended for web viewing, duo to the high quality it is commonly used for prints. 

How to open SVG files

If you have an SVG file on your computer, you can open it with a major web browser. Most of them already support images in SVG format.

Alternatively, some image-editing applications that cater to vector graphics recognize SVGs, like Adobe Illustrator and GIMP.

Since SVG files use XML, you can also use a text editor to view the file’s scripts. 

Features of the SVG file format

  • Responsive – since it’s scalable, SVG files are optimized for viewing in any mobile and tablet devices.
  • Scriptable – you can edit and add to the image’s text format to modify its appearance or how it’s displayed. 
  • SEO-friendly – the image’s title and descriptions can be inserted into the script for search engines and screen readers.
  • Interactive – unlike most raster images, you can style SVG graphic files with CSS or JavaScript to add animations, special effects, or user interactions
  • Lightweight – SVG files are generally small in size, making it optimized for website performance. That said, it depends on the image and the script’s complexity.

How to convert SVG files into other image formats

SVG files can be converted into other image formats using online file converters. However, some vector image-editing programs also let you export SVG files with different extensions.

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Duncan is obsessed with making website building and eCommerce accessible to everyone. He explains the best tools and the latest digital marketing trends in ways that are clear and engaging. His focus is on supporting the sustainable growth of small to medium-sized enterprises. When not writing, he enjoys deep sea fishing and endurance cycling.

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