How can I save an SVG file in Inkscape with a transparent background?

I've tried setting File > Document properties > Background color > Set the alpha channel to 0, but the resulting file has a white background when uploaded to my printer's website.

  • 1
    Is your printer's website supposed to show transparency differently? Oct 26, 2016 at 19:47
  • Are you uploading as a PDF by chance? I've seen issues in the past where PDF files generated by Inkscape didn't appropriately show transparency when rendering a preview on sites like VistaPrint. Oct 27, 2016 at 12:36

2 Answers 2


Inkscape's default is to save SVGs without any background, unless you added one.

Try dragging your SVG into a raster image editor like GIMP or Photoshop. You'll soon find out if it really has a background or not. If it does, then either you added it, or your printer's website has done something to the image.

Here's a screenshot of a basic SVG, a circle with a fill and stroke, created in Inkscape, with default settings, and opened directly in GIMP. There is no background. The same is possible with Photohsop.

Inkscape SVG opened in GIMP with transparent background

Here is the link to download this SVG if you want to try it yourself. http://www.filedropper.com/test_305


I don't really use Inkscape but you can solve it in other way, just open the svg file with your favorite text editor and set fill="none" or try opacity="0".

option 1: <rect x="27" y="115" width="43" height="40" stroke="#979797" stroke-width="2" fill="none"></rect>

option 2: <rect x="27" y="115" width="43" height="40" stroke="#979797" stroke-width="2" fill="#ffcc00" opacity="0"></rect>

Good luck!

  • That's assuming the SVG has a rect for a background that also has a stroke. Otherwise just delete the whole path
    – Cai
    Oct 26, 2016 at 18:45

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