I'm trying to save two different versions of a certain SVG using Illustrator.

The sole difference between the two versions is that a certain text element's tracking attribute was set.

It seems though that Illustrator is completely ignoring the new attribute (the two resulting SVG files are almost the same - there are some negligible position differences) which in effect causes the resulting SVG to display incorrectly.

The relevant text element is saved as a single element in which case I assume the tracking (letter-spacing in SVG) is most relevant (as opposed to outputting the text by wrapping each character in a in which case the tspan's position could be used to implement the tracking implicitly).

Am I missing something in regards to saving as SVG from Illustrator?

Any pointers would be much appreciated.


2 Answers 2


Not really, I have found exporting SVG in illustrator pretty wonky, try converting to outlines, then exporting. that might do the trick.

  • Thanks for the answer. But my original motivation was to use tspan/text elements so that they'll be searchable and selectable in the final product (a PDF).
    – roded
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 14:27
  • Then why arnt you exporting in PDF? PDFs can be exported with vector, and text. Infact, its probably just easer to skip the SVG and export as the pdf it might just solve the problem.
    – Daniel
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 14:44
  • This is all a part of a larger process. The above issue is a single stage I focused on for the sake of the question. Though, that could still be a solution.. I'd have to check. Cheers, Daniel.
    – roded
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 14:48
  • Hope i could help
    – Daniel
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 14:53
  • is text embedded in an embedded svg searchable in this manner?
    – horatio
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 17:52

I just saved an plain SVG out of Inkscape with tracked text in it. It seems to be just fine. So, based on that, my guess is that AI doesn't support that particular aspect of SVG.

A possible workaround would be to export from AI as PDF, open PDF in Inkscape, export to SVG from Inkscape.

FWIW, if you are doing a lot of SVG work, I'd switch over to Inkscape. It just handles that so much better than AI does.

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