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I have a grouping of vectors I am trying to export as an SVG. The problem is Illustrator keeps resizing the export. What starts as a width of ~18.5 inches in illustrator, is now ~13.6 inches when I open the SVG in any other program. Why would it be doing this? and How can I preserve the original vector size?

This occurs whether I export by artboard or not, using either Export As or Export for Screens, or either 3 of the SVG styling options.

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  • See this related question for solutions. It's essentially a problem Adobe is aware of, but hasn't fixed.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 14:16
  • @BillyKerr essentially adobe has with strong words said that it will not fix this. When the svg consortium was debating this they would do this Adobe say that they would not be able to comply with a fixed rule or make all old adobe illustrator files obsolete. So adobe basically told svg consortium were you to do this they would basically never comply. Basically a fixed coversion factor between physical units is a bat shit crazy idea that should not have been even suggested. This kind problems is what you get from such thinking! Shame css consortium and shame Adobe.
    – joojaa
    Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 14:25
  • @joojaa - but couldn't they just fix it for SVG output/import, or at least make it an option? It all seems a bit petty if you ask me. Yes, it's an absolute shame.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 14:40
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    @BillyKerr That's how Inkscape handled switching from 90 to 96dpi and it pretty much hasn't been a problem since. This is 100% an Adobe issue.
    – Xrott
    Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 19:38
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    Also, it is important to note that the SVG 1.1 standard was released in the early 2000s and the slightly more recent SVG 2.0 specification has been in limbo for countless years, so the standard has been pretty much left untouched for a very long time. The issue with dpi and pixel-units in question is inside the CSS standard (not SVG), which again is primarily a web- and screen-only technology. Print and physical media is not their main priority, so Adobe is not a major platform for them. That would be Google (Chrome), Apple (Safari), Microsoft (formerly with IE), and other browser vendors.
    – Xrott
    Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 20:52

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Yeah this is most likely caused by the difference in definition of pixel size. Back when the SVG consortium floated the idea that a fixed size pixel should have the size 98 pixels per inch, adobe objected and said that the svg should have a specifier how to scale pixels. SVG went with fixed size, to use same system as css. Adobe declined to implement as per their explanation they would do so.

98/72* ~13.6= ~18.5

maths certainly checks out.

Not much you can do about this high level politics.

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