Department of Mathematics FAS Harvard University One Oxford Street Cambridge MA 02138 USA Tel: (617) 495-2171 Fax: (617) 495-5132
FAS Computer Services to Harvard University IT: (617) 495-7777.

Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is a language for 2D graphics. Graphic shapes, images and text can be grouped, styled, transformed and composited into previously rendered objects. The feature set includes nested transformations, clipping paths, alpha masks, filter effects and template objects.

SVG drawings can be interactive and dynamic. Animations can be defined and triggered by embedding SVG animation elements in SVG content. SVG graphics can be transformed into virtually any other graphics format. Inkscape has buit in export to rastergraphics as well as some vector graphics forms like Povray, PostScript or LaTeX pictures.


Viewing SVG

Newer Mozilla or Firefox browswers have SVG enabled by default. Adobe SVG viewer

Author SVG

To author SVG, use

Serving SVG

Note that if you want to serve SVG from your webserver, you have to add
AddType image/svg+xml .svg
into your http.conf file. SVG files on your homedirectory which are served from our webserver on Abel are handeled properly.

Embedding SVG files in HTML

Embedding svg directly might only work in recent browsers like Firefox 1.5 or later versions of IE and Opera. See the source code of this file to see how it is implemented:

Please download Firefox 1.5.



  • J. David Eisenberg, SVG essentials, O'Reilly, 2002

Simplicity, Clarity, Generality B.W. Kernighan, R. Pike, in "The Practice of Programming".