Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) Specification

W3C Working Draft 11-February-1999

This version: http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/WD-SVG-19990211/
Latest version: http://www.w3.org/TR/WD-SVG/
Editor: Jon Ferraiolo <jferraio@adobe.com>
Authors: John Bowler, Microsoft Corporation <johnbo@microsoft.com>
Richard Cohn, Adobe Systems Incorporated <cohn@adobe.com>
Milt Capsimalis, Autodesk Inc. <milt@autodesk.com>
Andrew Donoho, IBM <awd@us.ibm.com>
David Duce, RAL (CCLRC) <dad@inf.rl.ac.uk>
Jerry Evans, Sun Microsystems <jerry.evans@Eng.sun.com>
Jon Ferraiolo, Adobe Systems Incorporated <jferraio@adobe.com>
Scott Furman, Netscape Communications Corporation <fur@netscape.com>
Peter Graffagnino, Apple <pgraff@apple.com>
Lofton Henderson, Inso Corporation <lofton@cgm.com>
Alan Hester, Xerox Corporation <Alan.Hester@usa.xerox.com>
Bob Hopgood, RAL (CCLRC) <frah@inf.rl.ac.uk>
Kelvin Lawrence, IBM <klawrenc@us.ibm.com>
Chris Lilley, W3C <chris@w3.org>
Philip Mansfield, Inso Corporation <philipm@paradigmdev.com>
Kevin McCluskey, Netscape Communications Corporation <kmcclusk@netscape.com>
Tuan Nguyen, Microsoft Corporation <tuann@microsoft.com>
Troy Sandal, Visio Corporation <TroyS@visio.com>
Peter Santangeli, Macromedia <psantangeli@macromedia.com>
Haroon Sheikh, Corel Corporation <haroons@corel.ca>
Gavriel State, Corel Corporation <gavriels@COREL.CA>
Robert Stevahn, Hewlett-Packard Company <rstevahn@boi.hp.com>
Shenxue Zhou, Quark <szhou@quark.com>

Status of this document

This document is the first draft version of the SVG specification to be posted for public review.

The SVG working group has been using a staged approach. Initially, the working group developed an detailed set of SVG Requirements, which are listed in Appendix A: . These requirements were posted for public review initially in November 1998. For the most part, the specification has been developed to provide the feature set listed in the requirements document. Appendix A contains detailed editorial comments about which requirements have been addressed in this draft (along with hyperlinks to the relevant sections of the specification) and notes about which requirements have not been addressed yet and why.

The SVG working group has achieved significant progress toward translating the SVG requirements into an SVG specification. Major sections of the SVG language have either a proposed initial syntax and/or an in-depth description of the direction the working group is considering. However, there is still much work to be done. The working group still needs to perform in-depth review of many sections of this document. Other sections have yet to be written up at all, even in preliminary form. There is a need for considerable coordination work with other W3C working groups. Overall, it is likely that significant changes to the SVG specification will occur before a Proposed Recommendation is delivered by the working group.

Despite the preliminary nature of this draft specification, tools vendors and Web content creators are encouraged to experiment and develop preliminary versions of tools and Web sites according this draft specification, with the understanding that these tools and Web sites are experiemental/developmental in nature only and will need to be adapted to the final SVG Recommendation.

The main goal with this draft specification is to illustrate progress within the SVG working group and to solicit public review and feedback. Public discussion of SVG features takes place on www-svg@w3.org, which is an automatically archived email list. Information on how to subscribe to public W3C email lists can be found at http://www.w3.org/Mail/Request. Review comments should be sent to www-svg@w3.org,

The home page for the W3C graphics activity is http://www.w3.org/Graphics/Activity.

A list of current W3C Recommendations and other technical documents can be found at http://www.w3.org/TR.


This specification defines the features and syntax for Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG).

SVG is a language for describing two-dimensional graphics in XML. SVG allows for three types of graphic objects: vector graphic shapes (e.g., paths consisting of straight lines and curves), images and text. Graphical objects can be grouped, styled, transformed and composited into previously rendered objects. The feature set includes nested transformations, clipping paths, alpha masks, filter effects, template objects and extensibility.

SVG drawings can be dynamic and interactive. The Document Object Model (DOM) for SVG allows for straightforward and efficient vector graphics animation via scripting. A rich set of event handlers such as onmouseover and onclick can be assigned to any SVG graphical object. Because of its compatibility and leveraging of other Web standards, features like scripting can be done on HTML and SVG elements simultaneously within the same Web page.

Available formats

The SVG specification is available in the following formats. (In future versions, the specification's vector drawings will be available in both SVG and image formats. For now, only image formats are available.)


Available languages

The English version of this specification is the only normative version. However, for translations in other languages see http://www.w3.org/Graphics/SVG/svg-updates/translations.html.

Quick Table of Contents

The following sections have not been written yet, but are expected to be be present in later versions of this specification:

Full Table of Contents

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