I received a .svg design made with Inkscape and I need to convert it to .ai to send it to a printer. But when opened with Illustrator, lots of features were changed. Most notably, some of the masks ("clipping" as Inkscape calls them) are not taken into account, (objects that should be cropped were suddenly not) although strangely some of the objects were cropped properly. I also spotted a few issues with the texts, too, but this is easily fixed.

I tried to have the file exported to .pdf instead of .svg and convert that one to .ai in Illustrator, but unfortunately this came with its own set of visual bugs and completely messed up the layers.

So, my questions: 1- Is there an easy way to fix the file, either on the Illustrator or the Inkscape side? Make sure the cropping is properly imported? 2- If there is no easy fix, what are the good practices that can be put in place so that .svg exported from Inkscape are imported in Illustrator without changes? For example, converting texts in vectors is a good way to make sure it doesn't change between the two programs. Same with convertir contour into shapes.

1 Answer 1


Generally, Illustrator should be able to import clipping paths made in Inkscape, so the problem may lie elsewhere in the construction of the SVG. It's hard to say what's wrong without access to the SVG file. It might help if you could share the SVG over at SVGshare.com and provide the link.

Anyway, here's some general advice. Try this: Open the SVG in Inkscape, then do the following

  1. Select all, then do Edit > Clone > Unlink clones recursively

  2. Select all the text objects, then do Path > Object to path to convert the text to outlines

  3. Do Extensions > Arrange > Deep ungroup

  4. Do File > Clean up

  5. Do File > Save as, and choose "Plain SVG" as the file type. Obviously make sure you rename the file since you probably don't want to overwrite the original.

Now try importing it into Illustrator.

Just note that Illustrator's support for SVG standards can be a bit flaky, and there are certainly some Inkscape features that Illustrator simply does not support. So with that in mind, the simpler the SVG the better - if possible, just paths with strokes and fills only, so no path effects or filters. If there are path effects, select these objects and then apply Path > Object to Path. Filters can be removed by doing Filters > Remove filters. If this negatively impacts the SVG, you may need to recreate parts of the design without the use of path effects or filters.

  • Thank you very much for the tip ! I tried, but it didn't solve the problem unfortunately. I'll make a cleaned up version of the svg and upload it Sep 8, 2020 at 11:13
  • Here's the SVGshare link: svgshare.com/i/PRh.svg But the link seems buggy too. The file is pretty heavy, maybe the overall problem has something to do with that? Do you think a file containing too many masks or too many objects might create bugs in Illustrator? Sep 8, 2020 at 13:31
  • @MonsieurNauru I'm getting a 500 Server Error when I try to click on that SVG link, although the SVG share site itself seems to be working just fine. I suppose it's possible that the file could be too big.
    – Billy Kerr
    Sep 8, 2020 at 13:55

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