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21 SVG Surfaces

Rendering SVG documents

21.1 Overview

The SVG surface is used to render cairo graphics to SVG files and is a multi-page vector surface backend.

21.2 Usage

Function: cairo-svg-surface-create (filename <char>) (width-in-points <double>) (height-in-points <double>) ⇒  (ret <cairo-surface-t >)

Creates a SVG surface of the specified size in points to be written to filename.

The SVG surface backend recognizes the following MIME types for the data attached to a surface (see cairo-surface-set-mime-data) when it is used as a source pattern for drawing on this surface: ‘CAIRO_MIME_TYPE_JPEG’, ‘CAIRO_MIME_TYPE_PNG’, ‘CAIRO_MIME_TYPE_URI’. If any of them is specified, the SVG backend emits a href with the content of MIME data instead of a surface snapshot (PNG, Base64-encoded) in the corresponding image tag.

The unofficial MIME type ‘CAIRO_MIME_TYPE_URI’ is examined first. If present, the URI is emitted as is: assuring the correctness of URI is left to the client code.

If ‘CAIRO_MIME_TYPE_URI’ is not present, but ‘CAIRO_MIME_TYPE_JPEG’ or ‘CAIRO_MIME_TYPE_PNG’ is specified, the corresponding data is Base64-encoded and emitted.


a filename for the SVG output (must be writable), ‘#f’ may be used to specify no output. This will generate a SVG surface that may be queried and used as a source, without generating a temporary file.


width of the surface, in points (1 point == 1/72.0 inch)


height of the surface, in points (1 point == 1/72.0 inch)


a pointer to the newly created surface. The caller owns the surface and should call cairo-surface-destroy when done with it. This function always returns a valid pointer, but it will return a pointer to a "nil" surface if an error such as out of memory occurs. You can use cairo-surface-status to check for this.

Since 1.2

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