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I have a SVG file which is too large. It contains a lot of fiddly details and I would happily eliminate some of these to simplify the whole file.

With jpeg and other lossy compression formats, you generally get tools with a slider which lets you choose how much of the high-frequency data is thrown away, and gives you a live preview.

Is there any similar tool for vector graphics (open-source)?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Inkscape is an open-source SVG editor. I’ll let the documentation take it from here:

The main use of the Simplify command (Ctrl+L) is reducing the number of nodes on a path while almost preserving its shape. This may be useful for paths created by the Pencil tool, since that tool sometimes creates more nodes than necessary.

You also have some control of the simplification threshold:

The Simplify command is accelerated. This means that if you press Ctrl+L several times in quick succession…the threshold is increased on each call.

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It also has a nice vacuum tool to remove unused information in the svg. –  Eroen Mar 13 '12 at 17:10
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