SVG means Scaleable Vector Graphic. It’s an amazing file format which enables complex images to be rendered from a few lines of text and be fully scaleable without losing any image quality at all. But best of all it’s an open source format that works on every computer a bit like PDF. The big difference however is that SVG can also be imported directly into any good CAD program and modified or tweaked to your hearts content. Not something easily done with PDF. Infact because all browsers since 1999 have had some form of SVG support built into them, you could say more browsers support SVG than PDF!
Why doesn’t SVG work in my browser?
Below there should be a box that says “If you can read this, then SVG works on your computer and browser”. It is a basic SVG image just like my patterns. If it isn’t there then your browser does not support SVG as yet and you need to either upgrade your browser or install the plug-in as explained in Hint 1 below. If you can see the box below but you cant see the patterns, then see the Hint 2 below!
Hint 1: SVG is not owned by one company, or anyone for that matter, so although it is a standard format, different browsers tend to interpret it differently. The differences don’t seem to be too major, but rarely the SVG displays incorrectly or not at all. All the major browsers except Microsoft Internet Explorer have SVG built in so you can’t do anything if they don’t display properly … and fairly soon Internet Explorer will also be built in. In the mean time if your browser isn’t displaying my patterns properly Adobe have an SVG plug-in you can install. I have tried my SVG patterns on every major browser and so far they all seem to be OK.
HINT 2: Most support queries I get about browsers not displaying the SVG is because people don’t realise the pattern is being displayed at full life size so they are really only seeing the top left hand corner of the pattern. Try right clicking the screen and you should get some options for zooming out or scrolling around, depending on which SVG viewer your browser is using. It’s that simple!
How do I get it to print out?
You should be able to print out the pattern straight from your browser. Keep in mind the patterns are at full scale and on A0 portrait size page layout. To print out on your A4 printer your printer driver (specific to your printer) needs to be able to print the image across multiple A4 pages. Most modern printers seem to be able to do this ok, but if yours doesn’t I suggest visiting the manufacturer’s website for the latest driver.
Hint: look in your print setup/layout window for banner or poster printing and 100% scaling.
Unfortunately every printer is different so all I can say is you need to look in the print preferences section for a tab which presents options like single sheet, duplex, booklet, poster or banner. If you can’t find it then check the help file for your printer or visit …
Alternatively, most CAD programs have special internal formatting that handles multiple page printing so save the SVG pattern and open it in your CAD program and go from there. If you don’t want to stick lots of A4 pages together then email the SVG to you local printing company and they’ll be able to do it straight onto an A0 sheet for you. SVG can be imported directly into any HPGL printer or plotter … can’t do that with PDF!
HINT: I still get the occassional email from people who can’t print across multiple pages. This is a printer issue and not an SVG or pattern issue. Converting the file to PDF will not change how the printer handles the issue of printing multiple pages. You really need to learn how to use your printer.
How can I edit an SVG File
You can import open an SVG file in most retail CAD programs. Specialty fashion CAD programs generally only import their own proprietry file type to force you to continue buying their products so generally speaking I do not recommend their use. Corel Draw, Illustrator and AutoCAD are superb products that all import SVG ready to edit. They also overcome the print problems you may get with older printers not handling multiple pages.
There is a completely FREE, open source CAD program that works much like Corel Draw called Inkscape … It was designed specifically for working with SVG. It is new to me but I’m finding it a very good basic CAD program that’s well worth the 22mb to download. The programming crew is to be congratulated for making such a good program freely available to the public.
Why can’t you make the patterns available as PDF?
I can but I’m not. You can’t easily import a PDF into a CAD program and edit it. Why do you think commercial pattern companies sell digital patterns in PDF? It’s not because PDF is more common because SVG is currently supported by more browsers. They use PDF because they know you can’t edit or convert their patterns and resell them without a fair amount of technical expertise. If they used SVG you could instantly open the pattern in any CAD program and change it on the spot. People know PDF because they’ve been exposed to it over time. Not many people realise they’ve been exposed to SVG so they don’t know what it is. Most maps you see on the web are SVG for example. If you don’t want to learn anything new then you really shouldn’t be here!!
If you really, really want patterns in PDF format you can get Inkscape and convert to and from almost any format and SVG … but of course once you try SVG in a CAD program you’ll forget about PDF forever!!
Last but not least!
Lastly, without wanting to sound rude at all, I will not answer emails from people having trouble with printing SVG. The problem is not the SVG file or the pattern. It will not be fixed by converting it to PDF. The problem is almost always the user not understanding how to print across multiple pages or realising the image is being displayed at full size. First check the printer is capable by reading the printers help.
If you are convinced the problem is something other than your printer or browser, then I’m quite happy to assist you. Please make sure you send me all the details of everything you’ve tried, which browser, operating system and printer you are using and clearly detail the problem you are having as specifically as possible. Please also attach a copy of the SVG file so I can test to see it has any problem. I can’t help people that send emails without detailing the problems they are having.