Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I use Google Chrome to view a 1178x5408 .svg file. It includes a lot of small "subgraphics" (screenshots of dialogs, connected by arrows .. think "wizard"), the whole thing is created by graphviz.

Now I want to print it properly. For me it is important to not scale the whole thing down to one piece of paper, since then I can not see anything of the small screenshots anymore.

What are my best options?

share|improve this question
You may get better responses if you specify what OS you're running. – Doug Harris Jul 8 '10 at 18:45
@Doug Harris: no. it is a general problem, i have it under all the OS i am using. – akira Jul 9 '10 at 3:27
I meant that if there's a preferred OS, then you'll get OS specific tool recommendations. Also, putting an OS tag onto the question will attract users who have that OS specified as a favorite tag. – Doug Harris Jul 9 '10 at 14:48
i can't put enough OS tags on it, i am interested in get the problem solved on all OS :) – akira Jul 9 '10 at 18:36
Akira, the solution for one OS will not be the solution for another. We're trying to solve your specific problem, not provide the answers to life, the universe, and everything. Simply adding "I'm using Google Chrome on Windows ME" will suffice and allow us to present a much more accurate solution. Adding that you'd like to know the solution for other OSes as well is OK, but that's secondary to your specific issue and should be treated as such. – music2myear Sep 24 '13 at 16:14

I suggest you use Inkscape to open the SVG file and print it from there. It has far better options on printing than Chrome does for SVG.

Shift + Ctrl + D will get you document options:

Document Options

share|improve this answer
To amplify BloodPhilla, it certainly is puzzling that the SVG format - where "S" stands for Scalable should have a "natural" width and height specified in the <svg> tag. Although Inkscape is a good tool, if desperate you can always open an .svg in your favorite editor and change the dimensions in the opening tag. – msw Jul 8 '10 at 14:09
@msw - That would corrupt your SVG image because it would throw of poportions. – BloodPhilia Jul 8 '10 at 14:56
good answer, that was one of my approaches as well, didn't worked out so well. inkscape was printing only the first page, iirc. i will check again. – akira Jul 9 '10 at 3:32
no, it won't, since properties are referenced to the viewport size, not the image's dimension. – stevenvh Aug 10 '10 at 15:53
Hiya, could you elaborate any more on what to do within InkScape please? I have a large svg (width="6137pt" height="3092pt") which no mater what I do, either comes out very small on one page, or only prints 1 page of it full size! Cheers. – IanVaughan Jun 19 '13 at 10:09

Just had to solve this today. I used Inkscape's Print and printed to a PDF file (which is a standard feature on Linux; I don't know about other platforms), and then I used pdfposter to split it into pages:

pdfposter -m a4 -p a3 infile.pdf outfile.pdf

Translation: use A4 pages to build an A3-sized poster.

share|improve this answer
up vote 2 down vote accepted

ok, i used wkhtmltopdf to get a reasonable, good looking .pdf from that .svg:

% wkhtmltopdf.exe input.svg output.pdf
share|improve this answer
So I've got an SVG with width="2447pt" height="2716pt". wkhtmltopdf gives me two pages: the top left corner and the bottom left corner. The other half of the SVG is just clipped off. – Marius Gedminas Sep 9 '13 at 13:26
@MariusGedminas just pass in --page-width and --page-height in mm – dlamblin Nov 20 '13 at 23:39

You could try to use the latest version of GhostPDL (sister application to Ghostscript; source code available from to convert the file to PDF. GhostPDL can handle SVG (and XPS or PCL) in a similar way as Ghostscript does handle PostScript. So here goes the commandline:

gsvg.exe ^
    -dNOPAUSE ^
    -dBATCH ^
    -dSAFER ^
    -sOutputFile=my.pdf ^
    -sDEVICE=pdfwrite ^
    -g1178x5408 ^

Once you got a PDF, you should be able to print it easily from Acrobat{,Reader}. At least now with PDF we know different ways to reliably print one big-dimension file onto multiple sheets of (letter or A4 or A3) paper using a "posterize" utility.

Maybe such a "poster print" function is also available from Inkscape (which can open and print the SVG directly), but I'm not sure from the top of my head.

share|improve this answer
any tricks to embed the referenced .png files into the .pdf? – akira Jul 12 '10 at 9:50
@akira: Sorry, I do not understand your question. Which .png do you talk about? – Kurt Pfeifle Jul 13 '10 at 6:11
"It includes a lot of small "subgraphics" (screenshots of dialogs, connected by arrows .. think "wizard")" .. i speak of the .png images which are referenced by the .svg – akira Jul 13 '10 at 6:16
@akira: you didn't state in your initial question, that the graphics were .png files, and that they were not embedded in the .svg... -- So when you print the .svg to PDF, you do not see the .pngs included in the PDF pages?! What kind of reference is used? Is it internet-based, or local file system-based? Is it using absolute or relative paths? – Kurt Pfeifle Jul 17 '10 at 15:43

I just had some success with the following steps:

  1. Open the SVG in Inkscape. I'm running version 0.48 for Windows.
  2. Export to a PDF. I used the default settings.
  3. Open the PDF in Foxit Reader.
  4. Print; under the "Print Handling" section, for the dropdown "Scaling Type", pick the option "Tile Large Pages".

Following the above, my SVG seems likely to print on 13 by 10 letter size pages.

Update – I had some difficulty with the above; some of the 'tiled' pages weren't printing, but not always the same pages so I suspect a subtle issue with how Foxit Reader prints tiled pages. Here are alternate steps that I just followed that worked without issue:

  1. Open the SVG in Inkscape.
  2. Export to a PDF.
  3. Open the PDF in Foxit Reader.
  4. Print; under the "Print Handling" section, for the dropdown "Scaling Type", pick the option "Tile Large Pages", and in the Printer ("Name") selection pick "Foxit Reader PDF Printer".
  5. Enter a name for the new PDF that will be created with a page for every 'tiled' page in the original PDF.
  6. The new PDF with the tiled pages should open automatically in Foxit Reader; this PDF can be printed normally and no pages should be skipped.
share|improve this answer

Since most of the answers seemed to focus on command-line solutions, I'd like to add this. And really it goes along with BloodPhilla's answer (Inkscape), because you need to convert the SVG to a PNG first to use this tool, but here it is: PosteRazor. Once you have a PNG, you can feed it into this program and in 4 easy wizard-y steps you get a multi-page PDF that can be assembled into a "poster". I had to play around with margins and overlaps a little bit to get things the way I wanted it, plus you need to be aware of your printer's physical limitation on edge printing, but overall, a worthwhile little tool for this kind of thing.

share|improve this answer

I had the same problem and opted for using the recommended Inkscape but to subdivide the whole graph into logical independent agrupations and was lucky that each fitted with a reasonably readable font size into A3 sheets.

  1. Select the elements one wants to fit into e.g. A3 and copy them to new document. File / Properties, select A3, portrait or landscape.
  2. Fit the elements together as you wish.
  3. There has to be a shortcut for doing this gradually with the mouse but I did it like this: Select them all, Object / Transformations, Scale tab, "scale proportionally" and try a value. If one fails, Ctrl+Z and try another one.
  4. File / Save copy, type: pdf.

Repeat for each part, one resulting PDF for each section.

Open with some PDF viewer and print.

Otherwise I'd opt for Kenny Evitt solution, but you'll have to .

Can't understand why BloodPhilia answer, as is, is currently the most voted one.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .