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Re: SVGs, word processing applications, printing, and accessibility

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Sat, 10 May 2003 11:33:28 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <200305101033.h4AAXSA07653@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

> Is it possible to copy and paste an SVG image* from a web page into a 
> word processing application? if so which one, and does it print well?

Given that Microsoft seem to be ignoring SVG (possibly because of the
heavy involvement by Adobe) and Netscape and Amaya use internal renderers
for SVG, I suspect that the answer is no, at least for Windows.

What you are most likely to be able to do is to save the SVG and run it
through some form of SVG to Windows Meta File convertor.  Microsoft may 
have one, but I think that is commercially rather unlikely; they don't,
for example, allow the the import of XFIG diagrams, the Unix free
software standard, nor PostScript, except as uninterpreted PostScript
to be regurgitated to a PostScript printer.

There is a free tool that will convert between vector formats, but the
last time I used it, it didn't create very good Windows Metafiles.
It may have improved since.  I don't know if it has improved and I 
can't remember the name at the moment, although it is bundled with

You can always use object packager to include the uninterpreted image
for viewing with an SVG viewer.

In the case of the use of the Adobe plugin for Windows, any word processor
that could handle web browser plugins could render the image embedded.
I'm not sure if the latest Microsoft Wordprocessors are that well 
integrated with the latest Microsoft web browsers.

You may find that some of the free Unix wordprocessors are moving towards
using SVG as their native vector image format.

> If the whole page is a single SVG, is it possible to do the same to an 
> individual image that forms part of the page?

Define an image; SVG is a whole hierarchy of sub-images.  In any case, this
is an implementation issue, so depends very strongly on the tool you use
to render the SVG. In the general case, you would need to convert to an
editable vector format or use an SVG editor, and export in a supported format.

Like a lot of your questions, this is not about technology but about commercial
decisions.  When you go beyond simple bitmaps, mixing proprietory tools with
competing free or semi-proprietory ones is always going to be a problem.
At the moment, it wouldn't surprise me if Microsoft are hoping that SVG will
Received on Saturday, 10 May 2003 08:18:00 UTC

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