Saturday, November 12, 2011

SVG Viewer Plugin Installation

This page explains how to install the tools necessary to display SVG images using a web browser for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. The information contained within this page is valid from the date of this document.

1) SVG for Windows

There are various tools to view SVG under Windows, including a special build of Mozilla, plugin from Corel, the Squiggle tool from the Apache Batik project, and finally the Adobe SVG Viewer plugin. At the time of writing, only the Adobe plugin is complete enough in order to use all the functionalities of the Navimages viewer. It is available as a 3.0.1 final release and as a 6 preview 1 release. Both versions work, but version 3.0.1 is more stable although the 6 preview 1 version has a few more features, including cursor support.
Most of computers with a Adobe Acrobat Reader plugin installed already have the Adobe SVG Viewer also installed, but an update may be necessary.
To install or update the Adobe SVG Viewer, you only have to download the installer (version 3.0.1 or 6 preview 1) and execute it. You may note that if you install more than one SVG plugin, the SVG Switcher tool may be useful for activating or deactivating the various versions.
When you make this installation, only the Internet Explorer will know about the plugin. If you wish to use it with a recent version of Mozilla or Firefox, you must copy the two files C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\SVG Viewer 6.0\Plugins\NPSVG6.dll et C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\SVG Viewer 6.0\Plugins\ in the plugins folder of your Mozilla/Firefox installation folder, and then restart it.

2) SVG for Linux

Adobe, Mozilla and the developers of GNOMEand KDE are actively working on the development of such tools.
A number of tools exist for viewing SVG images on Linux platforms. Some of these tools are: Squiggle,the viewer from theApache project. However, at the moment, the only web browser able to display SVG images is Mozilla (and its recent extension tools like Firefox).
A SVG engine is currently being developed by Mozilla for inclusion into the suite of products. This engine is completely independent of Adobe's SVG-Viewer. The goal of the project is to produce a SVG engine which respects closely the SVG standard. The current versions of Mozilla do not contain an active version of this SVG engine . However, it is still possible to install this engine. In order to do so, you must download the sources of the web browser and compile it with the necessary options. This is explained on the Mozilla SVG project website (
The KDE development team is currently working on KSVG to interface with their their web browserKonqueror. At the moment, it is simply a viewer.

2.1) Adobe SVG-Viewer for Mozilla

The best way to view SVG images is to use Adobe's SVG-Viewer. The windows installer is simple to use, but two files from this installation, C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\SVG Viewer 6.0\Plugins\NPSVG6.dll and, must be copied in to the "plugins" folder of you Mozilla installation. You must restart Mozilla for these changes to take affect. Adobe's SVG Viewer 6 Beta is the latest version.
The installation for Linux is more difficult. The viewer plugin available for Linux is only version 3 beta which should be easy install according to the Adobe documentationdocumenation. However, you could encounter a few problems which the documentation does not address.

2.1.1) Installation

While using: Linux 2.4.22. Mandrake 9.2. Mozilla 1.7 and Firefox 0.8. SVG-Viewer for Linux RedHat 3.01beta3 (December 2003).
  1. Download the plugin from the Adobe website :
  2. Login as "root"
  3. Copier the tar.gz archive to /usr/local


    Normally, we could install the plugin in any desired location, but the Adobe documentation clearly indicates that intensive tests were not carried-out in this area .
  4. Decompress the tar.gz archive : tar xzvf adobesvg-3.01-linux-i386.tar.gz
  5. Execute the installation script : ./
    Which will create a folder /usr/local/adobesvg-3.01 and a symbolic link pointing to/user/local/adobesvg/ .
    The script will then to /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins, the default Mozilla "plugins" folder.
    If you have a standard Linux/Mozilla installation, you shouldn't have any problems. Otherwise, follow these steps:
  6. Copy the file /usr/local/adobesvg-3.01/ into the "plugins" directory of your web browser : {web browser installation directory}/plugins.
    For example : /opt/mozilla/1.7/plugins/ or /opt/firefox/0.8/plugins.


    Instead of copying the file, it is more useful to create a symbolic link.
  7. Create the environment variable ADOBE_SVG_VIEWER_PATH, set to the folder containing your Adobe SVG Viewer.
    Example : ADOBE_SVG_VIEWER_PATH = /usr/local/adobesvg-3.01/
    The environment variable can be create in the files : .cshrc, .profile ou .bashrc for the user.
    Example : for /home/{utilisateur}/.bashrc : export ADOBE_SVG_VIEWER_PATH=/usr/local/adobesvg-3.01
To test the installation, the Croczilla site of Mozillathe Mozilla project contains numerous SVG images.

3) SVG for Mac OS X

For Mac OS , you must use the Adobe SVG Viewer, version 3 plugin. For Mac OS X it works with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 5.2 , Safari 1.2, Mozilla 1.6 (Mozilla 5), Netscape 7 (Mozilla 5), Navigator 0.6 (Mozilla), and Camino 0.7 (Mozilla). For Mac OS 9 it works with the browsers: Internet Explorer 5 and Mozilla 1.0.3. The release notes from Adobe give more information about installation and support, although it is quite old now.

4) Testing

You may use the static examples of Navimages for testing your installations.

5) References

Some links to learn more and to stay abreast of current developments :
Adobesite for SVG
The Mozilla Project
The MozillaSVG Project
TheMozilla site dedicated to SVG images
This site contains numerous SVG image examples. It is useful for testing your web browsers SVG support or plugin !
The SVG-Wiki site
A generic SVG site containing a special section for each operating system.
The KSVG site

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