SVG files provide a way to display graphical elements (e.g. borders, shapes, and effects) on the web.
What exactly is an SVG file?
The SVG file format provides a structured way to create graphics. The format has a series of rules defining how objects are drawn in a way that is fully accessible and easy to read.
The advantage of the SVG format is that it is more flexible than PNG, and enables richer animations and interactive effects than can be created in many other formats. SVG is also very portable, with graphics that are both aligned correctly to the edges of the web page and produced efficiently on low-powered mobile devices.
Can I use SVG as a replacement for HTML?
You may want to consider using SVG as an alternative to HTML for your websites. SVG has several advantages:
- SVG files are compact and easily compatible with mobile devices.
- SVG is supported by all major browsers, including Safari, Chrome, and Firefox.
- Many websites already use SVG graphics for navigation, button bars, and other designs.
- SVG files are well supported by web frameworks like Django.
- Some XML markup language support is built into popular CMSs such as WordPress.
- SVG files may be generated in an XML-compliant way.
However, despite these advantages, SVG files are still not widely used. This is because many developers find the format difficult to use.
How do I create SVG files?
When you first start using SVG, you might not be aware that you have a choice between creating an SVG in a specific way, or using a tool such as SVGator to generate an SVG from your design or animation
In fact, you are free to create an SVG in whatever way you want, with whatever tools you want, with whatever properties you want. You can create an SVG file with one line of code or more than one line of code. You can add animations to the SVG file, or not. You can make the SVG file larger or smaller, and set any other properties you like. You can even use SVGator to create an SVG file for you.
In fact, I use SVGator to generate an SVG file for my blog posts. It is really quick and easy, and the output is something that looks very professional:
If you have a lot of information to put in a file, then it is worth understanding how to use a tool such as SVGator to create a quick, professional SVG file.
Can I use multiple pieces of artwork in a single SVG file?
You can put multiple pieces of artwork in a single SVG file. This is fine if you want to lay one image over another, or use part of one image as a background to another.
You can use more than one icon, or more than one graphic shape, or you can link to other resources.
If you want to use more than one element in a single SVG file, be sure to declare it in a clear way.
When you add more than one element, don’t link directly to the elements, which will create XML documentation for the SVG file, that is not necessary. Link to the elements, and provide a CSS file to allow a responsive web browser to handle the many attributes that an SVG file can contain.
What properties are available in an SVG file?
Vectors and Paths are the most basic tools available in an SVG file. These work very similarly to objects and spaces in HTML: they define the shapes of the SVG objects, and they can be used to define the borders, strokes, effects, coloring, size, and other properties.
There are many other useful properties, such as gradients, masks, shadows, translations, etc. For a more complete list, you can find the complete API specification for SVG, version 2.0.
When you use a large amount of objects in an SVG file, it can get quite large. If you want to keep the file size small, you need to limit the amount of SVG elements that you add to the file, and set some CSS properties that will define the SVG elements.
Do I need to know any coding to use SVG?
It is possible to design and create SVG images in a standard vector editor. However, these usually work in a text editor, which means that you do not need to know any coding to use SVG. You can use a common vector editor, such as Illustrator, or it can be configured in any HTML5 editor, such as Webstorm. You can also use an online SVG tool such as SVGator.
For more advanced SVG work, you will need to create an SVG file with a vector editor, and use one of the SVG filters to manipulate the elements in the SVG file. For example, you might use a radial gradient filter to define the effects on the elements, or you might use a range filter to define a shadow.
If you use a CSS filter, you will also have to declare it in a CSS file. If you use an SVG filter to change the color of an element, then you will also have to declare the CSS property.
What do I use SVG for?
SVG offers some benefits in the “design” and “animation” space. When designing, it makes sense to reuse other components of your website or web page, rather than repeating images over and over.
Animating a page in an SVG can be done using CSS3, and HTML5 animations, or in HTML5 with a Web Animations framework. Animation is better handled using a native platform than with CSS3 animations.
We are still in the early days of using SVG for vector-based content, but over the last few years, we have seen the medium become more widespread with a number of tools that make working with SVG really easy.