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I have a set of Photoshop files which consist of a base image with a series of layers with colored overlays. The overlays are labeled using the layer names.

My task is to get these overlays as SVG paths, somehow preserving the labels. (If I can preserve the fill colors as well, that would be cool, but we can define arbitrary fill colors if needed.)

So far we have tried exporting the layers as Illustrator paths, and then exporting to SVG from Illustrator. This gets us reasonable SVG paths, but (a) we lose the labels, and (b) if a layer has more than one discrete section in its overlay, it is separated into several paths.

Is there a way to get these layers into SVG while retaining the labels? Or should we do our Export > Illustrator > SVG route on a layer-by-layer basis?

We're working with CS5, if that's important.

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4 Answers 4

I wrote a free PS script that lets you do this automatically. Just name the PS layers you want to export with'.svg' at the end and they will be converted to SVGs, keeping the colors. the file name will also be the name of the layer.

The script works with CS5, CS6 and CC disclosure: this links to my site

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Just a heads up: this doesn't work unless you have Illustrator, so it doesn't magically add SVG export functionality to Photoshop. You'll also need to sign up for a newsletter. If you really don't want to sign up for their e-mail list, go here to download the file directly. – Pieter Jun 28 '14 at 9:49
I Had issues with this script. It was simply doing nothing (on mac OSX and photoshop CS6). No .svg generated, no .ai generated, no message. Just a loading icon then nothing. Any thought ? – svassr Feb 25 at 14:42
@svassr check out the discussion here: and here:… The script does work with CS6 and OSX. Are your shapes actually closed? It doesn't work on text layers. If you can provide more details I can try to help more – DMTintner Apr 24 at 10:27

Are these provided by a vendor? If so, maybe it's not doable now, but for future reference, I'd have them deliver the buttons in a format that makes the conversion much more practical. Adobe Illustrator would be better, or Inkscape would be perfect (given its native format is SVG to begin with).

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Ultimately the (tedious) path we used was:

  • Photoshop has an "export layers" command. (I think it was a script.) This generates a file for each layer in the document.
  • Then we opened the files in Illustrator, selected the path, and exported that as SVG.

This was painful and work-intensive but seemed to be the only way through.

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see my answer, this can be done automatically – DMTintner Dec 16 '13 at 0:17
Undoubtedly true, but your answer came far too late for our need. – pjmorse May 2 '14 at 14:07

Script export-photoshop-layer-to-svg offered by Hacking UI didn't work for me.

There are also these photoshop plugins which offer a better integration in photoshop UI (and export options menu). They also allow to export grouped layers.

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Mostly better integration to photoshop ui. Look at it if you see no advantage, then it's not for you. – svassr Feb 20 at 17:52
That's not the reason for my comment. Please suppose the link you gave is broken. Then your answer is useless. Or you explain in your own words and the link is to complete the given informations ... – Kurt Feb 20 at 19:49
Thanks for the feedback, I edited the answer. – svassr Feb 21 at 19:50

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