06/14/13 15:30:12


We use a lot of different design apps in this company because our output varies so dramatically. We have the web (JPG, GIF, SVG), we have videos (PDF, JPG, TIFF), and we have written documents (JPG, TIFF, SVG, PDF). Our designer prefers to use InDesign. And while I’m not a personal fan of InDesign, I can see its benefits. So, I want her to use InDesign, but I also want a more “open” exchange file format. PDF is usually the best candidate, but when it comes to web SVG beats PDF, because it can be rendered natively in the browser.

What I normally get are .eps (Encapsulated PostScript), opening these in Preview converts them to PDF[1]. Converting them to something I could use for the web, turned out to be more of an undertaking. Luckily there’s pdf2svg, which converted everything to SVG.

I tried several other tools, but none of them left the paths in one particular document intact. pdf2svg was the only one which did. I can recommend it.

The reason I’m writing this here: I always have a Linux somewhere in a virtual machine for these purposes. If you look at the dependencies of pdf2svg in Homebrew (brew info pdf2svg) you can spot gtk+. If you ever compiled the GNU Toolkit by yourself you know that’s not going to happen on my machine anytime soon. Linux (Ubuntu) has GTK already installed, so getting pdf2svg up and running is much easier that way.

  1. Note that this is a low-tech setup. I could have her export all formats, but if she’s not in the office that doesn’t work so well.  ↩