[NTG-pdftex] [pdftex-Feature Requests][2383] Support svg graphics

pdftex-featurerequests at sarovar.org pdftex-featurerequests at sarovar.org
Thu Feb 19 12:19:30 CET 2009

Feature Requests item #2383, was opened at 2009-01-15 12:08
>Status: Closed
Priority: 3
Submitted By: Martin Kossick (hacktick)
Assigned to: Nobody (None)
Summary: Support svg graphics 
Category: None
Group: None
>Resolution: Rejected

Initial Comment:
At the moment I export pngs from inkscape and embed them using includegraphics.

It would be great if pdflatex could handle svg-files,
This would improve the quality of the generated files and help save time.


>Comment By: The Thanh Han (hanthethanh)
Date: 2009-02-19 11:19

this is not easy to implement. If I were in your place, I would try to somehow automate or semi-automate the svg->pdf route as a workaround.


Comment By: Martin Kossick (hacktick)
Date: 2009-01-23 15:50

At the moment I generate png-files manually and include them.

This brings mainly three disadvantages:
- I have to handle more files. For each picture two files.
- I have more work. Each time I change the svg-file, I need to generate a new png.
- I get lower quality or need more disk space. The png needs to have a very high resolution, if not the result can be ugly since pdflatex scales it again.

In my opinion, Scalable Vector Graphics are very useful and state-of-the-art.
So it would be worth while to add svg-support to pdflatex.
Since SVGs cannot be included in PDF files, pdflatex could render them to eps or something else before including them.

Thanks for your attention,



Comment By: Reinhard Kotucha (reinhardk)
Date: 2009-01-15 23:00

Unfortunately, in contrast to PNG and JPEG, SVG cannot be included in PDF files directly as far as I know.  Hence an external converter is needed.  But why do you export your graphics as PNG instead of EPS?  You can convert them to PDF easily using epstopdf.

There is one drawback:  PostScript doesn't support transparency.  I never used inkscape myself, I just looked at the project web page (the German one) and I'm quite baffled that the list of supported output formats contains PostScript and EPS but not PDF.  PostScript and PDF are based on the same imaging model, hence, for someone who is able to craete PostScript, it shouldn't be too difficult to create PDF as well.

On the other hand, I just installed inkscape and I see that it is linked against libcairo, which means that PDF output is supported (by cairo) unless it is disabled deliberately by the build process.

It would be very strange if inkscape is using Cairo but
can't create PDF.

See http://cairographics.org/ for more details about Cairo.  It's a wonderful thing.



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