A similar question was asked 2 years ago, but the best answer was that devices couldn't render vectors fast enough. Most can in 2016, yet there are so few spaces in which I can use those nice .svg files exported from Adobe. Creating resposive sites and emails, it would really help. What is the hold up?

  • Despite anything else, anything regarding performance that was an issue 2 years ago is still going to be an issue for a large percentage of people (Not that I'm saying that's the actual reason though)
    – Cai
    Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 20:54
  • 4
    I would ask why people are still using Outlook and IE7 in 2016... and that would answer this question....
    – Scott
    Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 21:03
  • Another reason, at least In my experience from working with a wide variety of small companies is that they simply do not have their logo in vector format to begin with.
    – AndrewH
    Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 21:24
  • 1
    Perhaps devices still cannot render vectors fast enough. Or (more likely), they can render those of 2 years ago, but nowadays everyone wants even heavier vector files, and faster at that.
    – Jongware
    Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 21:42
  • "there are so few spaces in which I can use..." what do you mean by that? You can use them wherever you want... I use SVG in web project all the time and Stack Exchange uses them on this very website too
    – Cai
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 11:57

2 Answers 2


Most current browsers and devices can. However, we still need to support legacy browsers and devices for some time, at least for some projects. We're getting there, but it's a slow process.

  • Legacy support plays a part, but the reason why there wasn't quick adoption and still has slow adoption of SVG 2.0 is what joojaa talks about in his answer Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 14:04

I would say that its not the actual support of SVG, but rather the way SVG itself is designed and implemented. On top of this there is the fact that by switching over to a higher abstraction level brings you new problems.

So SVG is a bit broken by design. First there are a lot of features in SVG that you don't actually need in 90% of cases. This slows down the implementation. This resulted in SVG missing the point in time where it would have been easiest to fit into the workflow. Quite simply SVG didn't succeed in its original marketing camping, by the time it was viable it was no longer exciting. Besides web fonts succeed in many ways in the same arena as SVG, but with less problems.

Second broken dimension is that SVG does not really have a sane DOM. So application builders have a extra convolution on top of SVG. Lot of the functionality you would wish is there just is not, and especially earlier was not, available if you link a SVG to a HTML file. This and the nature of SVG as a XML file makes SVG hard to wrok as if it were just a image format. Lots of places wont deliver SVG as if it were a image because of this. Like stack overflow does not support SVG because imgur will not support it as its not a self contained format like a PNG.

While there are other broken things in SVG and implementation of it, i will just skip directly to the higher level problems.

Doing vector graphics, especially for SVG, is not a picnic in the park. Your average editor has somewhat haphazard support for SVG. While its fine if you want to do static images that's not true if you want the images to have interactive features. This isnt really a big problem but since the file is not exactly a image, but instead a recipe to one you get into all kinds of problems with rendering the thing (see this but there are many more such problems).

In the end images are easy. But SVG will get its second chance if and when they adopt SVG as a standard for colored fonts.

  • You can use SVG, just not via Imgur
    – Cai
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 13:07
  • @Cai yes i know, but that still fieels like i can not use SVG. I have done it and can not be bothered to try again. which was my point.
    – joojaa
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 13:11
  • Of course, not disagreeing with you :) just thought it worth pointing out that it's possible
    – Cai
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 13:54
  • SVG also poses security risks and several other problems. In short, a lot of developers believe that it's more work than it's worth Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 14:07

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