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SVG is "Scalable Vector Graphics".

You can now save Ancestor, Descendant, Hourglass, Bowtie and Fan charts in SVG format, or embedded in an HTML page. Click to see the Kennedys, Obamas, or the Romneys.

Vector graphics is the use of geometrical primitives such as points, lines, curves, and shapes or polygons – all of which are based on mathematical expressions – to represent images in computer graphics.

SVG is a vector format, where an image is described as lines and X/Y coordinates, as opposed to a raster format (JPG, PNG, GIF) where images are made of rows of pixels. SVG excels at line art such as charts. Raster is better suited for photographs. See Wikipedia for a more extensive explanation.

Charting Companion can publish Ancestor, Descendant, Hourglass and Bowtie charts in SVG format for editing, or embed the SVG in an HTML file for displaying on a Website.

Advantages of SVG/HTML

The benefits of SVG are:

  • You can publish the HTML chart on a Website.
  • Vector images look better. The quality is consistent regardless of which device is displaying them (mobile phone, tablet, desktop).
  • Edit the SVG with a vector graphics editor like InkScape, GIMP, Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Microsoft Visio, etc. Add your own text annotations, embellishments, background images, move boxes around.
  • Combine multiple SVG charts.
  • SVG files can be displayed in any browser.
  • An SVG chart can include hyperlinks and social media buttons (Facebook, Twitter, Google+) that can be clicked to link to Websites. Any event where the Place or Description contain "http://" will be converted to a hyperlink. Add User-defined or Custom events to store the URL.
  • You can print an SVG chart.
  • You can zoom in/zoom out while preserving the sharpness of the lines.
  • SVG charts can include photos.
  • You can email and share SVG charts.
  • SVG images are more compact than the raster equivalent. SVG charts are easier to email, faster to download.
  • You can convert SVG to raster (JPG, PNG), but not the other way around.
  • Vector images are Search-Engine friendly, because they contain ASCII text.
  • You can search an SVG page for names, places, dates, etc.
  • The HTML are self-contained, including the thumbnail photos: you don't have worry about uploading or attaching a bunch of image files.

Creating an SVG or HTML

To create a chart in SVG format, first choose the chart type (click on "Charts and Reports, Ancestor" for example), and click "Preview".

Then click on the Printer icon , and "Publish". Choose "HTML" or "SVG" as the file type, and click "Save".


  • SVG if you want to edit the chart
  • HTML if you want to upload it to your Website, or email it to a friend or relative.

SVG Graphic Editors

See following links for lists and reviews of vector graphics editors:

(Please report any broken links. The Web is evanescent.)


"Brevity is the soul of wit." (Polonius, Hamlet)

"Brevity is the soul of lingerie." (Dorothy Parker)