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Cut SVG file sizes by up to 80% with SVGO

13 April 2015, Mike Williams

SVGOScalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is a versatile image format with many possibilities, but its XML-based files aren’t exactly efficient, and they can include a vast amount of redundant data.

SVGO is an open source tool for Windows and Mac which optimises SVGs, stripping out surplus tags, and cutting file size by up to 80% without affecting the image itself.

The program has just about as minimal an interface as you can imagine. It opens with a window and a prompt to drag and drop your target SVG files; when you do that, it compresses them and displays how much space you’ve saved. That’s it. No menus, no buttons, no dialog boxes, no configuration options, nothing else at all.

SVGO

Drag and drop your SVGs. View the compression results. Job done.

One problem with this design is you don’t get to choose a destination folder. SVGO just overwrites your source files and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Let’s repeat that for emphasis. SVGO will overwrite your source files and there’s nothing you can do about it. Always work with copies.

With that in mind, we tested the program and found it worked very well. All but one of our test images were processed correctly, the one failure remained untouched (it wasn’t corrupted, just stayed as the original version), and compression rates were typically around 50%, with a high of 87%.

There are alternatives around. We pointed SVG Cleaner at the same test files and it achieved marginally better compression rates; it doesn’t overwrite your test files, either.

Still, SVGO is performing well for version 0.0.9, and if you’re making use of SVGs then it’s one to watch.

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