I've noticed that certain SVG features such as @font-face w/ base-64 content and path fill styles do not seem to work with Illustrator. (SVG image not displaying CSS base-64 data URL encoded fonts in Illustrator)

Is there any documentation -- official or unofficial -- that explains which SVG features are supported by Adobe Illustrator? (both for exporting and importing)

In particular I'm working with SVG 1.1 and Illustrator CS5, but I'd be happy to see some info on any version. I've seen some "SVG enhancements" notes on Adobe's site, but nothing substantial.

NOTE: Moved to https://superuser.com/q/865236/282897


1 Answer 1


Illustrator uses a CIFS approach to link to font files and data. Illustrator also uses some proprietary SVG attributes to tell Illustrator how to handle these fonts and also how to edit the SVG artwork again. Finally, Illustrator is not really an SVG editor - it's a vector artwork program that happens to export to SVG.

  • Seeing as Illustrator opens SVGs, allows edits, and saves SVGs, it could be argued that it is a real "SVG editor" but maybe not a very good one (i.e., one that does not support the full SVG spec).
    – Luke
    Jan 15, 2015 at 16:37
  • @Luke there isnt much that supports the entire spec.
    – joojaa
    Jan 15, 2015 at 21:20
  • 1
    @Luke - Illustrator is okay for editing SVG fills and shapes. So perhaps I was a bit harsh in my judgement of saying Illustrator isn't an SVG editor. But all this being said, Illustrator still isn't optimal for SVG work. The best editors are, in my experience, a text/code editor and a browser for viewing. And even there you'll run into issues with SVG (animations, font embedding, etc.).
    – bemdesign
    Jan 15, 2015 at 22:25

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