Understanding the SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) File Format

svg file format

To understand what the SVG file format is, it’s important to understand the basics of vector graphics. In contrast to raster graphics, vector graphics use polygons, a plane figure that is bounded by a finite chain of straight line segments closing in a loop to form a closed polygonal chain or circuit, to represent images. Raster graphics use a rectangular grid of pixels to do the same.

In practice, vector images can be infinitely enlarged without any noticeable decrease in quality. Raster images don’t work like this. If zoomed far enough, raster images start to appear pixelated. Zooming in further, individual pixels become distinguishable.

Because a single vector image can be used to generate raster images of any size, vector graphics is readily used in the context of two-dimensional computer graphics, especially on the web. Before the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) released the SVG file format, there wasn’t a single vector graphics standard that developers could rely on.

What Is a SVG File?

Released in 2001, the SVG file extension is used to described images and their behavior using XML text files. In theory, it’s possible to create a complex image with the .SVG file extension with nothing but a text editor. Because this would be extremely difficult and inefficient, nobody creates SVG files like this.

Instead, graphics designers use image editing applications, such as GIMP, Illustrator, or Inkscape to do things more efficiently.

How to Open SVG Files?

Most image editing applications can open SVG files and convert them into raster file formats, such as JPEG, PNG, and GIF.

GIMP is by far the most popular open-source image editor currently available. This cross-platform image editor is available GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. GIMP’s main features include interface customizability, wide hardware support, and plugins.

Adobe Illustrator is a professional vector graphics editor with a user interface that’s very similar to Adobe Photoshop. Illustrator is a paid product, but its cutting-edge features and highly polished user experience make it worth the money.

Finally, there’s also Inkscape, an open-source vector graphics editor similar to Adobe Illustrator. Inkscape uses the SVG file format as the native format.

How to Recover Deleted SVG Files?

As far as SVG file recovery is concerned, end users greatly benefit from the open nature of this file format. Because all version of the SVG file format are publicly available, the developers of data recovery solutions can make SVG data recovery and SVG file repair more reliable.

How to Repair SVG Files?

One popular SVG recovery program is Disk Drill. What makes Disk Drill stand out so much when compared to other data recovery program is the combination of user-interface polish with unmatched functionality.

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With Disk Drill, data recovery doesn’t have to be a headache. Just launch the application, select any storage device you want, and wait for Disk Drill to locate your lost or deleted files.

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Arthur Cole

Arthur Cole is a freelance content creator. He also has a more than 10-year experience in program development for macOS, Windows, iOS, Android.Arthur Cole is a writer with deep expertise in programming, who can easily...

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Brett Johnson

This article has been approved by Brett Johnson, Data Recovery Engineer at ACE Data Recovery. Brett has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Systems and Network, 12 years of experience.