I have a illustration in Adobe Illustrator that I'm trying to export as an SVG file and add to my map layout using the Print Composer of QGIS 1.7.3.

When I add the image, I get strange artifacts that aren't in the Illustrator version. I tried a few different version of SVG in the Save As dialog, but they all end up generating the strange artifact.

What version of SVG should I be saving my images with? Any particular options I should use/avoid?

The orange block/white dots pattern below is the weird artifact:

svg artifact in qgis

Here are the Save As options for SVG in Illustrator CS 3:

enter image description here

  • 1
    Probably not helpful, but good luck with SVG and Illustrator. Adobe doesn't really love SVG format and has made it pretty difficult for people trying to use it.
    – Igor Brejc
    Feb 6, 2012 at 18:09
  • Do you think I'd be better off trying something like Inkscape to export SVG? Feb 6, 2012 at 18:40
  • 3
    I'd say "yes". Inkscape is much more SVG standard-compliant, at least from my experience: igorbrejc.net/openstreetmap/maperitive-vs-adobe-illustrator
    – Igor Brejc
    Feb 6, 2012 at 18:45

2 Answers 2


Inkscape is definitely the best alternative. And it's a pleasure to work with. I have generated hundreds of svg icons for QGIS based on SJJB icons (and contributed a few icons to SJJB icons). I find the resulting hiking map great. The rendering works the same for icons and inserted images in print layout. One caveat though: export in vector pdf gives incorrect results for a minority of my symbols (but this is not related to inkscape: non-svg drawings have the same issue). This is just to warn you: when testing, try exporting in raster (pdf or image), it may be a qgis bug instead of a svg bug.


This might be useful for people who have to work with Adobe Illustrator (I have no idea if this is a versions issue, just like OP I had to use Adobe CS3 for a quick project), but I found that for some reason unknown to me, there's a weird pattern added to the svg document. You can check the file in a text editor and look for the first defs tag after the metadata tags. It'll contain a pattern tag with id="Polka_Dot_Pattern". I simply deleted that defs tag and its contents and the svg was fixed.

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