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Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is a modular XML-based markup language for describing static, interactive, and animated two-dimensional vector graphics.

The SVG specifications are created, developed and maintained by the W3C. SVG Version 1.1 currently has W3C Recommendation status.

Browser support for SVG

All modern web browsers except Internet Explorer currently feature native support for some form of SVG.[1]

  • Gecko-based browsers such as Firefox, Camino, Netscape, and Flock have have included partial support for SVG 1.1 Full since 2005. Support was greatly enhanced in Gecko 1.9 / Firefox 3.0.[2]
  • Webkit-based browsers such as Safari and Chrome have included partial support for SVG 1.1 Full since 2006.[3]
  • Konqueror includes partial support for SVG 1.1 Full.[4]
  • Opera 8.0 supported the SVG 1.1 Tiny specification. Opera 9.0 supported SVG 1.1 Basic and some of SVG 1.1 Full. Opera 9.5 also has partial support for SVG 1.2 Tiny.[5]

As of Version 8, Internet Explorer includes no support for SVG.[6] Various plugins are available to add SVG support to Internet Explorer.
The most popular of these plugins is Adobe's SVG Viewer. Adobe have stated that they will discontinue support for this plugin on 1st January 2009[7], but it will remain available for download for the foreseeable future.
Other plugins include Renesis and ASV.

Internet Explorer does have native support for VML, Microsoft's own vector graphical markup language on which SVG is partly based. Some SVG-based websites such as Google Maps conditionally serve SVG to modern browsers and VML to Internet Explorer, for maximum compatibility.

SVG version support, by rendering engine (latest stable version)
Gecko WebKit KHTML Presto Trident
1.2 Tiny No No No Partial No
1.1 Full Partial Partial Partial Partial No
Basic Partial Partial Partial Partial No
Tiny Partial Partial Partial Yes No


In April 1998, a group of four companies - Adobe, IBM, Netscape and Sun Microsystems - submitted to the W3C an XML-based vector graphics markup language called PGML (Precision Graphics Markup Language).
One month later another group - consisting of Microsoft, Macromedia, Hewlett Packard, and Visio - submitted another XML-based markup language for vector graphics, called VML (Vector Markup Language).

As a result of these two proposals the W3C created the SVG Working Group, chaired by Chris Lilley, in order to develop an XML-based graphical markup language based on the two proposed formats.

Specification versions

The latest version of the SVG Specification can always be found here.