I am trying to view a large SVG files (about 20 MB). I tried using squiggle from batik, but it has been rendering for at least 20 minutes without producing any results. A similar file about half the size rendered in under a minute.

If I drag it into a Chrome tab, it appears to render it, but at a size of about 5mm x 5mm, so it looks like a solid rectangle. Ctrl-+ does not make it bigger.

The file is a graph produced by fdp from graphviz. There are tens of thousands of nodes, each filled with one of about 8 colors and several lines of text. There are a similar number of arrows connecting the nodes.

What program would work well for rendering this? I have access to Windows or Linux.


Adobe Illustrator can open/edit/save SVG. Using Illustrator CS5 I saved the 30 MB Illustrator vector sample art Blue Mirror.ai to SVG 1.1 (resulting file 56 MB), opened the SVG file, and edited successfully. Windows Task Manager shows Illustrator's RAM usage is 562 MB RAM (private working set).

  • 1
    Linux, inkscape can edit svg...on ubuntu...sudo apt-get install inkscape
    – agz
    Jan 16 '13 at 19:16
  • 6
    I'm a bit late to the party, but this is about useless as an answer. The stated question wasn't for a program that can view SVG, just about anything modernish can. It's for something that can cope with extremely large and complex SVG files. I'm currently looking for something that can cope with a quarter million data points in an SVG graph, and having no luck
    – Leliel
    Feb 2 '17 at 16:47
  • The answer as is provides no evidence that the named program will cope with such demanding SVG files.
    – Leliel
    Feb 2 '17 at 16:48
  • inkscape does not cope with 33MB SVG (with whole lot of rectangles), freezes the laptop, eog does not really cope either, but at least no freezing with it.
    – xealits
    Apr 17 '19 at 23:35
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    @Leliel Answers do not have to prove anything, the only criteria they have to fulfill is to answer the question. If they are helpful or not is not a criteria, but something you can vote for. So I believe this answer to be valid.
    – Philipp
    Mar 9 at 17:46

In looking for an answer to this question in 2021, the answer still appears to be Chrome (or Chromium).

You can use Ctrl-F to find text in the SVG.

I do not know why Ctrl-+ and Ctrl-- were not giving the expected Zoom result, in 2021, that works fine (Chromium 73.0.3683.75 built on Debian 9.8, running on Debian 9.13).

Note that Chrome starts the display at the top-left of the image boundary, so the image may be lower and to the right.

I've used this method to display a 107MB SVG with 224181 nodes - generated from networkx in python.


The idea of opening the SVG in a browser (I'm using Safari on a Mac) then jumping around by searching texts work.

I have an Amazon node configuration 250kb YAML file that has over 8200 lines of text. I converted this to SVG using yml2dot.

yml2dot deployment.yml | dot -Tsvg > deployment.svg

This produces a 9 MB SVG file. The file opens in Illustrator but exceeds the maximum display area. I can only see the first text entry top left. Even selecting all and resizing it down 0.05% doesn't work.

In Safari, I can see all the text and lines. Select-All allows me to copy the text to an editor. From this text I see what to search for, then in the browser I can count the occurrences of a found node and jump from one to another.

I thought maybe AutoCad might work, it didn't.

Photoshop renders the file to the maximum 32,000 x 32,000 pixels but the area is white.

Inkscape doesn't work.

Boxy works well, opening the file instantly then I can zoom in and out and scroll. Editing seems out of the question, the spinning colored wheel of death means force-quitting the app.

SVG Maker works well, opening the file instantly, the lines are blacker even at highly zoomed out views with less anti-aliasing making the lines go too thin.

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