SVG: The Ultimate Guide to SVG File Formats

SVG is not a new format. But recently, these file types have become popular in website design and development. If you are a web designer, you know how important pixels are when developing a site. Although the aim is to create an intuitive website that users will appreciate, you want to keep file sizes small to optimize performance.

That is where SVG comes in. This format creates high-quality, super small files that you can easily edit and modify. Learn more about an SVG file and how to open one.

What is an SVG file?

SVG or Scalable Vector Graphics is a graphic format containing an eXtensible Markup Language (XML). While XML uses tags such as HTML, it is a bit strict. For instance, omitting a closing tag makes a file invalid. Thus, your SVG file won’t be rendered.

Today, this format is more popular than ever as it offers high-definition displays, allowing individuals to see every pixel that exists. SVG files are not complex. Plus, they are flexible. You can alter them manually using a text editor and a code such as CSS and JavaScript. Individuals can compress them into smaller sizes without losing the quality.

So, why would you want to use an SVG file?

  • It is a vector format—this means that you get a responsive design where the image sizes remain the same on all devices. An SVG file is so small that you can use a single file to do all the work without losing quality, even on larger screens.
  • Images are XML defined—as such, one can search index, script, and compress them as they wish. Additionally, you can do anything you would with any other image with an SVG image. Therefore, you can add filters, effects, masks, clips, drop shadows, blend modes, etc.
  • SVG files are small, and you can compress them further. As such, graphics that would have otherwise been larger are not, which decreases the load times.

Are SVG files dangerous?

Well, SVG files are generally not dangerous. However, they can contain CSS and JavaScript, which makes them unsafe. Note that a web browser will run any JavaScript in an SVG file automatically. Therefore, if the script has malicious code, it can put your computer at risk.

Many  security attacks on SVG files have been reported to date. Thankfully, there are various ways you can secure your website from this risk. One is sanitizing SVG files that you receive from any JavaScript. You can use XSS sanitizer for this purpose, but this also comes with its drawbacks.

The only surefire way to avoid such security attacks will be to not use SVG images at all. But since this might not be possible, make sure you install a plugin that sanitizes the files when they’re uploaded.

You can also convert SVG into JPG to prevent this security threat. However, while you’ll end up with a safe file, it will have lost the SVG responsiveness.

How to open an SVG file

You can view SVG files on any modern web browser, including Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Edge. Therefore, if your SVG file can’t open for any reason, open your browser, select the file, open, then choose the SVG file you want to view and it will appear on your browser window.

Also, you can use an online converter tool to convert SVG into a raster format that you use to open a conventional image in viewing applications. But bear in mind that converting loses some responsiveness of the file.


SVG can make your website more responsive and fast. It makes very small files that you can use for icons, logos, and any other thing that you can create as vector art. However, as they can be dangerous, make sure you use a plugin to sanitize the files, especially from unknown sources.

Looking for graphic design software? Check out Gravit Designer PRO. The app is fast, convenient, and features all the graphic design tools that you may need.

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