What is an SVG File (And How Do You Use it)

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Most developers are familiar with traditional image formats like JPG, PNG, and GIF. Free SVG files haven’t been fully discovered yet. Nevertheless, the use of free SVG file is becoming more popular due to its ability to get bigger or smaller without losing quality or sharpness. At SvgOcean, you can get some assistance while trying to master the format.

What is an SVG File?

SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) is a computer file that relies on the SVG standard to display an image. It is based on graphics featuring numerous vectors. An SVG file can be scaled to different sizes without losing quality. Even if it is compressed with GZIP compression, the image ends with the .SVGZ file extension. At the same time, it becomes 50% to 80% smaller than a non-compressed file.

The SVG format is considered to be more future-proof than bitmap images. It can be scaled to higher resolutions in future displays by maintaining good quality.

Why Use an SVG File?

Many web designers use formats such as PNG and JPEG almost interchangeably. SVGs aren’t quite as flexible, though. But they are more future-proof than bitmap images by enabling larger resolutions in future displays and keeping the high level of quality.

The SVG file can be used in various scenarios. Let’s check some of them:

  • Logo design where SVG can handle any scalability difficulties.
  •  Diagrams where SVG relies on plain lines.
  • Animated content where SVG enables microinteractions.
  • Charts and graphs where SVG creates scalable graphs and charts to support animations.

While SVGs use the XML format, they get more searchable and indexable. Screen readers can process SVG files only if accurate accessibility tags are made.

How to open an SVG file

To open SVG files, you need one of the modern web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, or Edge. This means that no download is required. Open SVG files through the web browser’s Open option or the Ctrl+O command.

SVG files may also be accessed via Adobe programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, and InDesign programs. Some non-Adobe programs include Microsoft Visio, CorelDRAW, and PaintShop Pro. Inkscape, GIMP, and Vectornator can be used to open an SVG file for free.

How to convert an SVG file

On the web, you can find a lot of instruments that convert images from one format into SVG. For example, you can use Vector Magic or Zamzar. They convert different types of files into SVGs by showing you a preview. You can also use a built-in editor to make small changes and corrections.

Paid and free SVG file converters offer more or less similar quality of work. The difference may hide in additional features and services.

Please mind that the SVG format works for simple images only. More complex images without any defined borders and clean lines may end up as massive SVG files, which are hard to manage. They are more suitable for manual editing.

How to Use an SVG File (In and Out of WordPress)

SVGs aren’t hard to use as one might assume. Creating and utilizing an SVG file on the website is as easy as taking its code and adding it to an HTML document. When you use browsers that support SVG files, you will definitely see the element. Animating SVGs is quite tricky so it requires the use of CSS.

The situation changes with the use of WordPress. The Content Management System (CMS) allows you to enable SVG support for uploading files to your website. You just need to get a plugin such as Safe SVG. You may also try to activate SVG support in WordPress manually. But this usually takes more time and effort.


Adapting your website to SVG files isn’t a hard thing to do. The real challenge is associated with the process of designing SVGs from scratch and picking the right images for conversion. Luckily, there are lots of tools to use. Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and GIMP are only some possible options to consider. Alternatively, you can always refer to the professionals from SvgOcean. They are here to help you download paid and free SVG files 24/7.