© W3C SVG Logo, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Key Points

  • SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphic (SVG). It is an open-source XML-based vector image format. Images stored using it are capable of scaling almost infinitely without any loss of resolution.
  • JPG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. Images using the format can easily  be shared due to their small sizes.
  • Tools which can be used to convert JPG files to SVG files include: Inkscape, Online Converter, Vector Magic, Convertio.io, and Adobe Express.

Whether you want to design a logo or produce a scalable image, the SVG file is your best choice. SVG files aren’t raster image files like JPG, but graphic files that use complex mathematical formulas to map and produce an image that is highly scalable. This more recent and powerful file type is beneficial for many online and offline design projects.

As a result, they can handle being blown up to massive dimensions and still stay crisp. In this article, we’ll share how to convert JPG to SVG in easy steps that you can do on your PC, Mac, or tablet.

Method 1: Convert JPEG to SVG with Inkscape 

Inkscape is a sister software of GIMP and is similarly free yet powerful vector graphics software. Inkscape works with SVG files and you can use this program to create a scalable SVG from your JPG. You can do this by tracing the JPG image and composing a new image that can be saved as an SVG. Follow these steps carefully to get your SVG:

Step 1: Download Inkscape to your PC

Inkscape is compatible with GNU/Linux, Windows, and macOS.

When you download the software, it will automatically choose the best version for your operating system. Once the file has been downloaded, install and open Inkscape on your PC.

Step 2: Go to “File”, click on “Open” and find the JPG file you want to convert.

When the PNG Bitmap Image Import window appears, click ok. 

Step 3: Use the Trace Bitmap function to transfer your image

Open the Trace Bitmap function by navigating to “Path” and selecting “Trace Bitmap”

This trace bitmap tool is imprecise but convenient. It may not work with every JPG, but you can achieve great results with simpler, bolder JPG images.

Step 4: Select the settings for your bitmap trace

8 to 10 scans usually cover all the colors in a basic JPG image. 

If your image is black and white, choose the “Single Scans option”. If your JPG is a color image, choose “Multiple Scans”. For “Multiple Scans” enter the number of colors. You can also select additional options for “Smooth,” “Stack,” and “Remove Background” for your image. 

Step 5: Click “Update” for a preview of the scan

You can also click live preview to see real-time changes.

Adjust the settings until you get a scanned image that is satisfactory. 

Step 6: Click “OK”

Traced image is a composite of the elements in the original JPG all rendered as SVG images. 

The Trace Bitmap will now scan the image, presenting a traced result to the right of the original image.

Step 7: Save your image

Open “File” click on “Save As” and name your file and choose its destination.

The file type should be “Optimized SVG”. Hit the “Save” button to save your SVG. 

Method 2: Convert JPG to SVG with Online Converter

You can also convert your JPG to SVG with an online image file converter. However, the results are highly variable and the SVG images provided are usually silhouettes or black and white. 

The best JPG to SVG converters will allow you to preview and adjust settings on the image to get the best vector result. Here are the typical steps for converting a JPG to an SVG with an online converter: 

Step 1: Open the online converter in your web browser

One of the free JPG to SVG converters, Adobe Express lets you convert your image into SVQ quickly.

Step 2: Click on the “Upload” button

It’s quick and simple to select the JPEG image you want to upload to the converter. 

Step 3: Click the “Convert” button and wait for your SVG file to be created.

The best converters do everything for you, but some online converters may have settings you need to change until you get an acceptable image for your project. The conversion process should only take a few seconds, especially if you use a monochrome or silhouette image.

Step 4: Download the SVG file

If the SVG is not suitable, try the conversion process again or try a different converter.

Choose a filename and destination for your new SVG.

Online JPG to SVG converters

  • Vector Magic is a premium vectorization tool, but produces outstanding results that are suitable for most JPEG conversions.
  • Convertio.io converts to and from over 300 file types, including JPG and SVG. It has free and premium options for you to use.
  • Adobe Express is a free tool that can convert your JPGs to high-quality SVG files for various projects. It is 100% automatic so no fiddling with color settings or image layers!

Final thoughts

Because JPG and SVG files are two utterly different image technologies, you may need to jump through a few hoops to convert them. Converting JPG to SVG can be hit-and-miss so it’s best to try a variety of methods until you get a result you are happy with.

Up Next…

Interested in more helpful tips and pointers? Click on the links below:

How to Convert JPG to SVG in Easy Steps FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is a JPG file?

JPG is a popular image file type that has been in use since the 1990s. Billions of these images are shared digitally every day. JPGs are named after the Joint Photographic Experts Group which developed the JPG standard. 

 

JPGs are very convenient to use and share because of their relatively small file size. Their lossy compression means that they can be more heavily compressed (up to a tenth of their size) than other image files like PNG.

What is a raster graphic?

Raster graphics (or bitmap images) are digital images where the image data is represented as a 2-dimensional grid of pixels. JPG and PNG are raster file types that encode the image data according to the dimensions of each pixel and the number of bits per pixel. When a raster image is enlarged beyond its maximum dimension, the displayed image becomes ‘pixelated’.

What is an SVG file?

Scalable Vector Graphic (SVG) is an open-source XML-based vector image format that was designed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for rendering two-dimensional images on the internet.

SVG stores images in a different way than other popular file types like JPG and PNG. SVG images, known as vectors, contain many points, lines, and curves that are mapped using mathematical formulas. This means that an SVG image can scale almost infinitely without a loss of resolution as the mathematical formulas determine how the image renders at any size.

What is a vector graphic?

Vector graphics are digital graphics that are composed of several geometric shapes, including points, lines, polygons, and curves. Image software maps the shapes using coordinates on the Cartesian (x/y) plane. You can infinitely scale the size and dimension of the shapes that make up an SVG image with no loss of resolution. The SVG format is the W3C standard for vector graphic files. 

Why are SVGs used for die cutting?

In die cutting, SVG files are called cut files. They are a preferred file type for the digital cutting machines used by crafters. The images they encode are scalable and tell the cutting machine precisely where it needs to cut. JPG designs do not have the resolution or accuracy these machines can use. A JPG image would need to be converted to SVG for the cutting machine to use.

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