Windows 7, AI CS5

I have several artboards with different versions of a logo on them that I'm trying to save as an .svg file.

ctrl+shift+alt+s to save for web.

Active artboard's logo shows up in the preview panes. I can switch from GIF to any other format and see the logo in the preview. Sometimes it changes appearance slightly (as it should). But when I select SVG, NOTHING, the preview goes completely blank. I can see the artboard, but there's nothing in it.

EDIT: More details about logo, save methods, and result of saving as SVG from Save for Web The logo contains hand-drawn paths as well as some typed-in fonts. When using Save As AI will save the entire file (all artboards and things outside of artboards) as an SVG, with only the active artboard visible. It converts fonts to outlines if that option is successful. Everything looks great, except that it saved more than just the active artboard. Using Save for Web saves only the active artboard, it seems. Furthermore, selecting SVG with Save For Web results in an empty looking SVG (when viewed in a browser). But when I open that SVG in AI, I see just what I should: the logo, with font converted to outline.

EDIT2: I believe I've found out what the problem is, but not why. I used "save for web" to get an empty-looking (when viewed in a browser) svg. But reopening it showed the exact artboard I was trying to save originally. Now, using "Save for Web" again, the image did not disappear from the preview when selecting SVG. And saving it resulted in a usable SVG. Opening up the 2 files, I found this:

Bad SVG file (logo is there, but invisible):

viewBox="1366.6 -2698.5 1785 241"
enable-background="new 1366.6 -2698.5 1785 241"

Good SVG file (logo is visible):

viewBox="0 0 1785 241"
enable-background="new 0 0 1785 241"

For some reason, AI saves the wrong viewing information when using Save for Web and selecting SVG on an .ai file. But when opening the saved SVG and resaving, it saves it correctly.

Why is this happening? How do I fix it? Thanks.

  • 2
    Is Overprint Preview on? This has a dramatic effect on Save for Web functions.
    – Scott
    May 23, 2014 at 8:30

3 Answers 3


I think the problem lies in multiple artboards sharing layers. Make sure that the artboard your trying to use the Save For the Web tool does not contain any layers outside the artboard. The best workflow I've found is to create a new top level layer, NOT a sublayer, and move all artwork that is in the artboard into this layer. The Save For Web should work now.


I am using CS7 where the .SVG conversion format has been removed for Save for Web, but could it be that your logo is a raster image or uses raster effects? I believe illustrator will try to covert it into a black and white vector, and is just reading it all as white. If it is a raster, you would need to more precisely convert it to a vector image as SVG is a vector file type.

  • It's strange that "save as" will save it as SVG, but saves the entire file, all artboards and things outside of artboards. If AI can save it as SVG, why doesn't it? I have some hand-drawn lettering using paths as well as some fonts which I thought would be converted to outline during save. May 23, 2014 at 0:57
  • My only answer to that is that it's like saving a .doc file as a .txt file. It's all good, but if there are images placed in the .doc file, it won't work. So if there are raster elements in your file, Illustrator is unable to save it due to the limitations of the file type SVG. And CS6 >_> I am getting mixed up with iOS versions.
    – Justin
    May 23, 2014 at 23:18
  • @Justin I've figured out that when I do save for web and select SVG, it does save just the active artboard, but it incorrectly places the viewport so it seems like nothing is there. If I then open that SVG with illustrator and save that for web as SVG, then it saves it correctly. I just don't get why it doesn't properly save the viewport in the first place. May 24, 2014 at 7:18

I faced with something like this. In my case creation of new Document and copy-paste from original document the new one (to the artboard) was helpful.

Also, you can try copy shapes and paste to Photoshop as shapes, copy again and paste to new Illustrator document. It would clear some things and you will have clean vector (I assume). Hope it will be helpful!

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