Scalable Vector Graphics or SVG is used to define vector-based image format for two-dimensional graphics. It uses Extensible Markup Language (XML) based text format, developed by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in 2001. It is used for the representation of both animated and static image formats. Initially, XML was considered the best solution to represent the two- dimensional vector graphics.
The only problem it faced was that the browser doesn’t support the new SVG format. Hence, we need to use some external plugins to read and display the XML graphics, which makes it more time-consuming. With advanced technology, the web browser can accommodate HTML5, which allows the SVG elements to directly integrate with HTML code without the need for the XML namespace. This eliminates the need for external plugins. In SVG, vector images are not generated in the form of pixels but by lines, curves, technical drawings, geometrical shapes, and fonts. This helps in the perfect resolution of the images without any quality loss. Hence, the SVG images remain more crisp, clear, and attractive in comparison with the raster formats. SVG images can work with any combinations of gradients or colors and are easy to animate.
Advantages of Using the SVG File Format:
There are various websites available where we can find SVG creator for free. Some of the benefits are:
• Small file size: In addition to the large graphics, SVG graphics are identified by their small file size. This provides shorter loading times, fast and stable performance.
• Barrier-free: SVG graphics being text-based are easily readable by the devices that can understand source code.
• Open source: SVG can be freely used with any combination of XML languages across multiple platforms.
• High compatibility: As SVG graphic format is both upward and downward compatible, it allows the browsers to display images according to their own settings without having any impact on the display.
• Source text: The color or size of the SVG graphics are easily edited if they are in the HTML document.
Disadvantages of Using the SVG File Format:
The major disadvantage of SVG file format is its complexity and limited range of programs, which needs some specific tools to save, create, or convert SVG files. Few more SVG graphics drawbacks are:
• Limited application possibilities: SVG now plays an important role in designing logos and simple graphics. But its major drawback is that it cannot edit complex images. Few photorealistic graphics such as light effects, shading, and depths are not present in SVG format because of its limited range.
• High demand on the client’s resources: Although with the introduction of HTML5, the problem of external plugins, large file sizes had been eliminated. But, the major flaw is that complex vector graphics require high processing power that leads to delays in the display of the image.
Embedding SVG in HTML Pages
While embedding SVG onto HTML, the hierarchical code should always contain attributes and elements. An element is characterized by a pair of tags that always have a start and end tag name. Attributes are available as keyword pairs that contain some additional information about elements. Every SVG graphics XML document must necessarily contain one element at the top level below which other elements can be nested. To define the version, type, and character encoding of the document, the XML declaration is used.
To embed SVG graphics directly into the HTML document, we no more need to download the external plugins. Instead, this could be integrated with the help of various options. They are:
1. Embedding SVG with the image tag: HTML element, IMG tag, is used to embed vector graphics onto a website. No end tag and element content is required with this as it is a standalone element. When IMG tag is used with CSS statement, vector graphics automatically display different sizes, and a responsive design is created.
2. Embedding Vector Graphics as inline frames: Inline frames, also known as iFrames, is now supported by all browsers that embed external content from different websites. If SVG graphics fails to load then, iFrames links the vector graphics with URLs and Java Script to provide an alternate text or image.
SVG is commonly used everywhere and can be mastered even by beginners in web development. SVG graphics are considered a more powerful format than other pixels graphic formats such as GIF, PNG, and JPG.