First the most important link: the official W3C list of SVG software
SVG Viewer 3.0 from Adobe (free)
In order to view SVG files you will (for now) need a plugin (free) for your browser.
Disadvantage: the size of the - at this time - most recommended plugin, the Adobe SVG Viewer 3, is more than 2 MB.
You will automatically have an older version of this plugin on your system, if you have installed Adobe Photoshop 6, Illustrator 10, GoLive 5 or an early version of Acrobat Reader 5.
The most recent version of this plugin is available here.
It is available for Windows (98 - XP) as well as for Mac (8.6 - 10.1).
Adobe states that Internet Explorer versions 4 or higher and Netscape versions 4.5 - 4.78 are supported, but not Netscape 6. However, for me it also works in Netscape 6.1, Mozilla 0.93 and Opera 5.02.
Tip for users of Opera:
I first installed the viewer in Netscape 4.75 and then copied the files "NPSVG3.dll" and "NPSVG3.zip" into the plugin-folder of Opera 5.02.
By the way, don't forget to activate 'Plugins enabled' ;-)
You will find detailled and more up to date infos on the supported software at Adobe.
|Summary (January 2003)
Adobe SVG Viewer 3 works fine in these browsers
||Win 98 + Mac 8.6
|Internet Explorer 5.0 + 5.5
|Internet Explorer 5.1
|Experience of others:
||Linux + Solaris
You will find further information on the support of SVG in various browsers on
Tobias Reif's site pinkjuice.com (with a focus on cross-platform/Linux).
News from 30.11.2001:
Adobe announces that the viewer version 3 beta is now also available for
7.1 and Solaris
Restriction right now: it only works with Mozilla.
Find these "unsupported versions" here
Beware: There are serious problems after installing Adobe's viewer 3
in Mozilla's version
1.0 and Netscape's version 7.0. Read more on Tobias Reif's site pinkjuice.com
Adobe's SVG Viewer also works in Safari
, the new standard browser for MacOS 10.
12. July 2003:
There is a preview
release of Adobe SVG Viewer 6
. For now it only is for Windows,
but it does work in Netscape 7 and Mozilla 1.1! Wow! Finally :-)))
The preview release is slightly buggy, so don't yet dismiss your Viewer version 3.
Also, don't expect the final version to be released earlier than 2005 :-(
7. October 2003:
A potential security risk has been found in Adobe SVG Viewer 3.0. This concerns, however, only users of Internet Explorer (sure, as usual). They are advised to install the update Adobe SVG Viewer 3.01
There is the standalone viewer Squiggle (part of Batik), which can, however, not yet display animations. On the other hand Batik allows you to convert TrueType fonts into the SVG format and SVG files into raster images (JPG, PNG, TIFF), also on serverside.
Batik, Java (free)
You can also view SVG files with the free RealPlayer 8 basic (Windows/Mac/UNIX).
It does, however, not work with SVG files which are embedded into HTML files.
Furthermore there will soon be KSVG for Linux, a plugin for the browser Konqueror.
It's integration is planned for version 3.1 of KDE.
From the W3C there is Amaya (free), Unix and Windows, which is both a browser as well as an editor for HTML, XHTML, CSS, MathML and SVG, however, SVG is not yet fully supported.
Csiro SVG Toolkit, Java (free), does not support all features yet, too, but offers the opportunity to convert SVG files into JPG images.
X-Smiles (Java, free)
7. November 2002: Now there also is an SVG viewer from Corel :-)
Unfortunately only for Windows. Another disadvantage: Unfortunately Corel's viewer deinstalls your before installed Adobe SVG Viewer, so you can't use both viewers parallel (not even in different browsers). This is why I have not tried Corel's viewer yet.
However, it is very good to hear of Corel's continuing engagement with SVG!
November 2002: Richard Bennett created a little VB tool, which enables WinMX/2000 users (US-English versions only!) to switch between Corel SVG Viewer 1, Adobe SVG Viewer 3 and 6.
October 2003: Georg Held created for those, who use a German Win2000/XP, a tool to switch between Corel SVG Viewer 2.1, Adobe SVG Viewer 6 pre-alpha and Adobe SVG Viewer 3.01 (IE only)
Now there also is an open source SVG viewer available: Open SVG Viewer (Java).
The targeted environment are mobile devices like PDAs.
Mobiform are having several SVG products in their pipeline, one of them is the viewer MOBIFORM SVG Browser (all versions of Windows).
Unfortunately I do not have the time right now to test it.
Furthermore there is, amongst others, SVGViewPlus, the Plus meaning enhanced functionality for .NET-programming.
Both are free for educational and private use.
In order to be complete I also list LXViewer (Windows, free),
however, right now (version 0.8) some features are not supported yet.
The developers of the browser Mozilla are working on a native support for SVG, which is supposed to soon enable viewing SVG files without any plugin. Here you can see how far they have got with this task up to now.
Another important site on "SVG in Mozilla" is skeeter-s.com.
librsvg 2.8.0 has been released, a free Open Source SVG rendering library for Linux, used within software applications to enable support for SVG.
For those interested in publishing CAD data on the web, there is the free AfterCAD SVG Viewer, which displays complex SVG files created by AfterCAD converters.
I have listed the various viewers for mobile devices here.
|| Creating SVG files
You can create SVG files using amongst others:
a simple texteditor of your choice (free)
HTML-Kit (free HTML editor, Windows, English)
Scribe! (free HTML editor, Windows, German)
for the Mac: BBEdit and BBEdit Light (the latter being free)
EVE by Barry Kauler (freeware, Windows)
SViGio by David Putman / BlueGoat Software (still freeware, Windows)
Not yet finished but already quite nice WYSIWYG editor for simple SVG files
SVG Builder by NBProgs (freeware)
Sodipodi (free, Linux with GNOME, since march 2003 also available for Windows!)
beez:: SVG bezier animator (free, Windows), creates animated SVG files
WYSIWYG editor WebDraw by JASC (Windows)
XStudio (formerly SVG Studio) by EvolGrafiX (formerly PCX Software) (Windows)
SVG Composer (Windows)
sphinx SVG (Windows)
SVG Toolkit by Savage Software (Windows, later also Unix)
eSVG by Intesis
30.04.2003: Corel Smart Graphics Studio (Windows 2000/XP)
08.2003: Sketsa 1.2 (shareware, Java)
For both visual as well as handcoded production, incl. a converter to JPG and PNG
10.2003: Version 4 of Beatware's e-Picture Pro is out (Windows)
New is the additional support for "mobile" SVG (SVG Basic/SVG Tiny)
Inkscape (open source, Linux, Windows, MacOS X), a visual SVG editor
(incl. export to PNG) with high ambitions. When it will be ready, it is supposed to be
similar to Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw. Today (May 2004) it got to version 0.38.
03.2006: ajaxLaunch.com unveils ajaxSketch, a web-based drawing tool with SVG as
native format. Free cross-platform application which only requires Firefox 1.5 or higher.
09.2006: Dan Muresan created Depicter, a free web-based drawing tool which exports
to SVG, JPG and PNG. Works in all browsers including Opera.
Since 12.2005 there is support for SVG Tiny in the C++ library Qt by Trolltech.
I have listed various tools for the creation of SVG files for mobile devices here.
|| Exporting to SVG
(Drawing-)Software with the ability to export to the SVG format:
Mayura Draw 4.1 (Shareware, Windows)
InsightPoint (formerly Icy Draw) by Icy Tec Group (Windows)
Adobe Illustrator 9, better 10 (Windows/Mac)*
Adobe GoLive 6.0 (Windows/Mac)
Adobe InDesign 2 (Windows, Mac)
SVG is supported in parts in Adobe FrameMaker 7 (Windows/Mac)
Corel Draw, since version 10 (Windows/Mac)
11.2002: Corel Grafigo (free, Windows XP Professional Tablett PC Edition)
12.2002: Corel Smart Graphics Studio (only Windows 2000 or higher)
03.2003: now also Corel Designer 10 offers SVG export
That crazy vector software Auto-Illustrator by Signwave
offers export to SVG (unfortunately not in the free demo version)
05.2003: The 3D software Maya offers export to SVG since version 5
Toon Boom Studio V2 (Windows/Mac)
Files which have been made with this 2D animation software can be exported into SVG
for mobile devices thanks to the cooperation with Plazmic.
TNT Products V6.70 (Win, Linux/UNIX, Mac)
There also is a free version (Lite), however, without export to SVG.
Feature Manipulation Engine (FME) by Safe Software (Windows/Linux) for spatial data
Swift 3D exports images and animations into SVG (amongst others) (Windows/Mac)
Karbon, part of KOffice (free, Linux with KDE)
Sketch (free, Unix)
Grace (free, any Unix-like OS/Windows/OS.2/VMS)
DiaCanvas 2 (free, GNOME)
OpenOffice 1.0.1 (free, all systems)
The modules "Draw" and "Impress" of this office-suite can export created files to the
SVG format. The result is not yet perfect, but it is a good start :-)))
Scribus (free, Linux, a porting to Windows is underway)
This DTP software offers import of and export to SVG
Of the free development environment Eclipse (many systems) there is a version
from Omondo EclipseUML 1.1.2 Free Edition (possibly Win2000/XP only ???),
which offers export to SVG.
With VDXtoSVG drawings created in MS Visio 2002 can be exported to the SVG format
For the open source 3D software Blender there is a (yet) rudimentary script
for the export of Blender 3D files to the SVG format
JetChart Library (Java) displays a large variety of charts
and includes the option to export to SVG.
05.2003: ArtWorks 2 by MW Software (RISC OS)
Vector graphics application for RISC OS with SVG export.
07.2003: Canvas 9 by ACD Systems (Windows 2000/XP, MacOS X)
This tool for technical design and engineering professionals now offers export to SVG
07.2003: VectorShop 1.0 by SVizSoft (Shareware, Windows 2000/NT/XP)
Non-expensive vector drawing tool with SVG export
10.2003: Version 1.3.21 of the free image manipulation program GIMP (Linux/Windows)
now also offers import and export to SVG!!!
03.2004: Now there is version 2.0, and this one is for MacOS X, too!
09.2004: The German computer magazine c't reports that the graph software Graphviz
version 1.13 for Mac OS 10 (free) is supposed to offer export to SVG. However, on
the producer's site I could not find any notice in this regard.
09.2004: The CAD software CadStd 3.5.9 (Windows) offers export to SVG, but only in
the commercial version "Pro". There also is a free "Lite"-version, but without SVG
06.2005: Already since 2002 the CAD software of the company Malz++Kassner
offers SVG export. The present version is CAD6.
08.2006: Freeverse created the affordable drawing program Lineform for Mac OS X,
which offers SVG im- and export.
04.2007: With version 7 the software for technical illustrations Arbortext IsoDraw
by PTC now also offers SVG import (export was there already)
*see test on my page on raster images
The free CR2V unfortunately is not available any more since March 2003, instead, since
January 2003, there is a very good follow-up version of this raster-to-vector(SVG)
converting tool called Vector Eye (59 $, Windows only).*
SVGclipboard, converts Windows metafiles into SVG (free, Windows)
KVEC (Shareware, all systems)*
AutoTrace (free, Windows/Linux). Converts raster images into SVG (amongst others).
Still in early state of development.
With Delineate (version 0.2, September 2003) you get a graphical user interface
(Java) for Autotrace.
Since 28.01.04: Online Service! Ronan Oger uses Autotrace to offer the free opportunity
to convert bitmap images to the SVG format (amongst many others) on his website.
Great service! This offers you - at least for the beginning - an alternative to installing
Autotrace on your computer.
The quality of the conversion is, for now, far less satisfying than the one of Vector Eye,
but on the other hand Autotrace is free and is not a Windows-only software.
SVG Maker converts various Windows file formats into SVG
Square One offers various tools for the conversion of postscript-, PDF- and WMF-files
ps2vector, pdf2vector, wmf2vector (Windows/UNIX)
Pict to SVG by Chuck Houpt (Mac), converts Mac-picture-files into SVG
Does anyone know, whether there is further development of it at all?
TraceART by FreeFire studio (Windows 95 - XP). For CAD applications:
Converts raster images into various vector formats, amongst others SVG.
matterCast converts PDF files into the SVG format
TextCafe, a service which converts PDF- to SVG files
06.2003: PDF2SVG by pdfTron (Windows 2000/NT/XP)
Converts PDF files to SVG files. Since 04.2004 Linux is supported, too :-)
Update 03.2006: The new version 3.0 also supports Mac OSX
02.2005: Since version 5.5 the GraphicConverter by Lemke Software
can import SVG files (Shareware, MacOS X)
05.2006: The free pstoedit exports PostScript and PDF graphics to various
vector formats. For the export to SVG you either need a freeware driver (plot-svg)
or a shareware plugin (50 $).
Update 04.2007: The former company Savage Software is now AfterCAD and their
converters are now called CAD2SVG and DGN2SVG Converter.
*see test on my page on raster images
|| Other software
gzip (free, all systems)*
can compress SVG files immensely: format .svgz
However, this is now also possible using Adobe SVG Viewer 3.
ploticus (free, UNIX and Win32)
creates various kinds of diagrams, amongst others in the SVG format
Map2SVG (partly free, Windows)
creating maps using SVG (and MapInfo)
exports MapInfo-maps into SVG
VisuMap (free standard version, Windows 2000/XP)
Visualization tool: presenting high dimensional data with two dimensional maps
Funktion 6.01 (shareware, Windows)
For math lessons: graphically displays mathematical functions
Marvin (under certain circumstances free, Java)
Editor for chemists, with SVG export
Catwalk by Schemasoft (Java)
Publish SVG graphics (pie charts, stock charts etc.) from XML data
SVG in PowerPoint
In this article you learn how to insert SVG files into MS PowerPoint.
In November 2003 the beta version of SVGGraphics by Mobiform is supposed to be
available. For .NET-programming.
Added 10.2006: Since version 1.51 the free mathematical software Geonext
of Bayreuth University offers complete SVG export (Win/Linux/MacOS X).
Added 10.2006: The free geometry tool Compass and Ruler by René
Grothmann offers export to the SVG format (Java). Many language versions.
*see test on my page on raster images