May 03, 2018

Do You Need an SVG Viewer?

Do You Need an SVG Viewer?

Current fleet repair software is easy to access with most systems and apps. That is unless your shop is still using early model software. For instance, some older wiring diagram software works with SVG files. Though these types of files are considered outdated by some, installing an SVG viewer allows you to open them and view diagrams, pictures, and other information.

What is SVG?

SVG means “Scalable Vector Graphics.” It’s a type of computer language, similar to HTML. SVG, however, is XML—Extensible Markup Language. That means it’s a code composed of text that both humans and machines can read. The “graphics” part of SVG tells you that the file likely contains an image, either a still picture or an animated graphic. “Scalable” means that it’s easy to shrink or enlarge the image in the file. A file name ending in .svg indicates it’s a scalable vector graphics file that requires certain software or a special viewer to open it.

How SVG Compares to Other Images

In 1999, the World Wide Web Consortium agreed upon the specifics of SVG code. While other graphics files such as gifs, jpegs, and pngs are made up of pixels, SVGs are structured using shapes. Enlarging the different types of images makes the difference obvious. When you blow up a jpeg or a gif, you’ll be able to see the pixels, and the picture will take on a distorted, blocky appearance. On the other hand, an SVG will still look the same whatever size you make it. That’s because the coding maintains the shapes.

Opening an SVG File

The unique coding language used to create SVG files is the reason you need an SVG viewer to open them. These special viewers understand the code and allow you to interact with the images you open in them. Some current graphics software, such as Inkscape, includes an SVG viewer built in. Others, like Adobe, have an add-on tool you can download that allows you to open files with a .svg extension. If you don’t need to edit an SVG file, the latest versions of many browsers can open them. Keep in mind that using your browser as an SVG viewer limits you to simply looking at the image in the file. You won’t be able to manipulate or alter it.

Downloading an SVG Viewer

Even if you only work with scalable vector images occasionally, downloading an SVG viewer is useful. It will give you the ability to insert notes on wiring diagrams. You’ll also be able to rotate them for a better view when comparing the illustrations to an actual electrical system while you work. Some can even convert SVG files to pngs and other graphic file types. There is a wide range of free viewers available that you can download directly from the Internet. In the end, the SVG viewer you decide on will depend on how much you need it to do, and what other software you might want it to interact with.