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Guide: How to test SVG Support Across Web Browsers
SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) is officially supported by all major web browsers, including Internet Explorer. Support extends to a wide variety of image editing software, particularly Inkscape, which uses SVG as the native format (if you want a refresher on SVG, click here).
But what exactly is supported by web browsers? All rendering engines display SVG files and their features the same way? And what about their advanced features like filters? Well, that’s what we’re about to find out. We’ve taken an example of modern browsers, including some of the less infamous, and tested them with a custom SVG fileback to menu ↑
The test picture
We took our test photo with an emphasis on elements that artists are likely to use. Among the tested features are: text paths and their interactions, gradients, gaussian blur filter and finally an advanced composite filter stacked from more filter types.
Web browser engines
We started with – by far the most common rendering engine – Blink. Blink is the native engine for the Chrome and Chromium browsers from Google, Opera and Android WebView. All the above browsers display test images in the same way on the tested platforms.
Compared to the original image produced by Inkscape, there were no issues other than a slight difference in the appearance of stacked filter effects.
According to recent browser usage statistics, the top three positions do not belong to webkit-based browsers. However, this engine is widespread among developers. Furthermore, there are various implementations and forks of it
All browsers tested displayed our SVG file without any problems; nevertheless, differences in the rendering of Specular Lighting, a composite filter component, were observed compared to Inkscape.
Trident is a proprietary engine used by Internet Explorer versions 4.0 – 11.0. IE interpreted our SVG perfectly. In addition, the composite filter appearance best matches the original image. We also tested IE 9, the second most used IE (as of January) and found that this version had problems with gaussian blur and composite filter.
This is no surprise, however, since IE 9 was initially released before the final concept of SVG 1.1 SE standard, in which filter effects have been officially added.
Gecko is an engine developed by Mozilla Corporation and thus used in Firefox web browser or Thunderbird email client. It is also used by browsers PaleMoon, Waterfox and many other forks from previous Firefox versions. In the case of the Gecko engine, the results weren’t exactly the same across platforms.
The Windows version had a minor error displaying the text along the path; the same problem was observed in both Firefox and PaleMoon browsers. Like Webkit, Gecko seems to have problems rendering the Specular Lighting filter primitive correctly.
As can be seen above, all recent versions of the major rendering engines / browsers passed our test without any significant issues. Let’s take a look at the ones who didn’t fare so well.
Maxthon is a cross-platform browser developed in China. According to Fahad Khan’s 20 alternative web browsers for Windows, Maxthon uses both Trident and Webkit engines. We have not noticed any problem with SVG rendering on Linux (v. 220.127.116.11) and Windows (v. 18.104.22.16800); however, no gaussian blur or other filter primitives were displayed on an Android device.
CM Browser performed quickly on our testing Samsung Galaxy S3 device, but it also doesn’t support any of the filter effects described by the SVG 1.1 SE specification.
Konqueror is a standard browser for KDE, one of the most popular Linux desktop environments. The ability to render SVG files in Konqueror depends on the rendering engine. With WebKit enabled, our test SVG rendered correctly. However, Konqueror’s default rendering engine, KHTML, seems to lack support for several features: Filter effects are not applied to underlying objects and markers at the end of the stroke, and text along path or pattern objects is not displayed at all.
In our test, we focused on the support of the SVG format in modern web rendering engines. We tested 4 major rendering engines and 15 different browsers, including popular ones such as Maxthon or Dolphin. Almost all current versions of browsers have passed our test and it is difficult to select a definitive winner.
It happens that support and correct stacking of filter primitives is the last remaining challenge for the current rendering engines. When we compare our original SVG image with all the results shown, we subjectively nominate the IE 11 (Trident engine) for first place.
However, it is clear that the Blink engine is on his heels, and so we recommend Blink-based browsers for rendering SVG files. If you want to run a quick test of your own favorite browser, you can use our SVG renderer test page here.
Editor’s Note: This post was written for Hongkiat.com by Michal RostMichal works as a programmer in a biomedical company, but spends his spare time developing open source apps and non-profit web portals.back to menu ↑
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