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I'd like to use Illustrator to generate a set of assets for use in web. The idea is that I would define one or more defs that could be called upon late.

It seems this is not the intended use, and to do so, I would have to use a custom script or create the SVG asset file by hand.

Is there a way to handle defs with Illustrator, if not (likely) are there any alternatives or accepted workflows that would make this most consistent and painless?

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We use Icomoon at work. It's a good tool for storing assets you intend to use on the web. It allows minor edits within the app for things like grid size, color and positioning/scaling. You can also export as a font or svg sprite. There are also a few options for calling the icons. I think you would probably need to save multiple variations of your svg and call the specific one you want in your code for the intended purpose.

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If the icons inside the Illustrator document are all turned into symbols, this will trigger the usage of <defs>, I believe.

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update

I've been using gravit lately. It's nowhere as feature-rich as adobe illustrator, but it's the most feature rich web alternative, and much better at handling export for web, from the standpoint of requiring minimal work to use in a web app.


I've come across a resource I thought I'd share - boxy svg

it's a free chrome app that allows svg editing, as well as defining symbols in defs. One drawback I found is that it makes a mess of your svg if you do any edits. I've changed the line width, and it in-lined all the styles, which with a lot of lines lead to a hefty file size increase.

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