What is SVG?

Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is an XML markup language for describing two-dimensional images. SVG files provide resolution independent, HiDPI graphics on the web, in print, and on mobile devices in a compact format. You can style an SVG with CSS, and the support of scripting and animation makes SVG an integral part of the web platform.

Some common image formats of the web, such as GIF, JPEG, and PNG, are bulky and are usually of low resolution. The SVG format offers a lot more value by allowing you to describe images in terms of vector shapes, text, and filter-effects. SVG files are compact and provide high-quality graphics on the web and on handheld devices that have resource constraints, as well. You can magnify the view of an SVG image on‑screen without compromising on sharpness, detail, or clarity. In addition, SVG provides superior support for text and colors, which ensures that you will see images as they appear on Stage. The SVG format is entirely XML-based and offers many advantages to developers and other users alike.


Now, you can export SVG files from Animate without any unwanted definitions and ids being created along with it. The composition in SVG is enhanced in Animate 19.1 release. This export option will enhance the quality of SVGs that are being imported in Character Animator.

The export SVG workflow in Animate

Animate allows you to export to SVG format, version 1.1. You can create visually rich artwork using powerful design tools available within Animate, and then, export to SVG.

In Animate, you can export selected frames and keyframes of an animation. And, because the exported artwork is Vector, the resolution of the image is high even on scaling to different sizes.

The SVG export feature replaces the erstwhile FXG export (dropped from Animate (June, 2013)). You will find that performance of SVG export feature and the quality of the output is far superior. Also, in comparison to FXG, loss of content is minimal in SVG.

Artwork with Filter effects

With SVG, filter effects may not appear exactly the same as in Animate, since there is no one-to-one mapping between filters available in Animate and SVG. However, Animate leverages combinations of different primitive filters available within SVG to simulate a similar effect.

Handling multiple symbols

The SVG export handles multiple symbols seamlessly, without any loss of content. The output closely resembles the artwork on Stage within Animate.

Exporting artwork in SVG format

  1. In Animate, scrub or move the playhead to the appropriate frame.
  2. Select File > Export > Export Image. or select File > Publish Settings (select the SVG Image option in the Other Formats section.)
  3. Enter or browse to the location where you want to save the SVG file. Ensure that you select SVG as the Save As type.
  4. Click Ok.
  5. On the Export SVG dialog, choose to Embed or Link to your SVG file.
    • Include Hidden Layers Exports all hidden layers in the Animate document. Deselecting Export Hidden Layers prevents all layers (including layers nested inside movie clips) marked as hidden from being exported in the resulting SVG. This lets you easily test different versions of Animate documents by making layers invisible.
    • Embed: Embeds a bitmap in the SVG file. Use this option to if you want to directly embed bitmaps within the SVG file.
    • Link: Provides a link to the path of bitmap files. Use this option when you do not want to embed, but provide link to the bitmaps from the SVG file. If you select Copy Images to Folder option, the bitmaps will be saved inside the images folder created at the location where the SVG file is exported. When Copy Images to Folder option is not selected, the bitmaps will be referenced in the SVG file from their original source location. In case the bitmap source location is unavailable then they will be embedded inside the svg file.
    • Copy Images to /Images folder: Allows you to copy the bitmap to the /Images. The /Images folder, if it does not already exist, is created in the export location of the SVG.
    • Optimize for Character Animator: Allows you to export SVG that works well with Character Animator.
  1. Click Ok.


Some Animate features are not supported by SVG format. Content created using these features are either removed or defaulted to a supported feature when exporting. For more information, see this article.

Alternatively, you could also use the Publish Settings dialog to export SVG files from within Animate (File > Publish Settings). Select the SVG option from the Other formats section to export SVG files.


It is recommended that you view SVG on modern browsers with latest updates only. This is because, some graphic filters and color effects may not render correctly on older versions of browsers such as Internet Explorer 9.

Interchanging SVG files with Adobe Illustrator

Animate enables interchanging of content with Adobe Illustrator. This workflow is a replacement for the FXG Export feature that was dropped with Animate (13.0). You can export SVG files from within Animate, and import them within Adobe Illustrator. For more information about using SVG files within Adobe Illustrator, see this Help Topic.

Use this workflow if you want to make granular edits to your artwork and add enriching detail. You may also use Illustrator to add effects, such as drop shadow, to the artwork.

To edit SVG files within Adobe Illustrator and use the edited content within Animate, do the following:

  1. In Animate, export to SVG.
  2. Edit your artwork by opening the SVG file using Adobe Illustrator.
  3. Save the SVG file as an .ai file, and import within Animate. For more information about using Illustrator files within Animate.