In an update to PowerPoint or Office in 2019—Build 12026.20108—Microsoft added Scalable Vector Graphics as a save format for the first time. With this long-awaited feature, users were finally able to save their slides or presentations as SVG images. But why use SVG? Why save presentations or images as SVG files?
In this article, we will go over the reasons SVG is better than JPEG, PNG, and other raster-based image formats.
Note: Aspose offers a free PowerPoint to SVG converter service that allows users to convert their PowerPoint presentations in the fewest steps possible. The procedure involving the Aspose PPT to SVG (or PPTX to SVG) converter is easier and more straightforward than the PowerPoint to SVG conversion process in the Microsoft PowerPoint application.
Why You Should Use SVG
First, let’s go over some basic terms.
When you want to convert your presentation to images, you get to choose from two basic images types:
- raster images (for example, JPEG, PNG, and similar formats) or
- vector images (for example, SVG).
What is a raster image?
A raster image consists of tiny pixels or dots. It has a set resolution (fixed number of pixels). A raster image’s pixels show up as little squares on a graph paper when the image is enlarged.
What is a vector image?
On the other hand, a vector image consists of paths, which individually have a mathematical formula (vector) that determines the shape of the path or its color. Mathematic formulas (which do not change) determine the rendering of vector images, so the latter retain their appearance everywhere.
And this is why SVG is better:
- Resolution independence
This is probably the most significant benefit associated with the use of SVG files. Since SVG files are vector graphics (unlike pixel-based raster images), you get to resize and manipulate them as much as necessary without losing image quality.
Essentially, you can scale SVG images up or down to accommodate different screen sizes, layouts, and other attributes. With SVGs, you are guaranteed to get images that are smoother and crisper than the equivalent images in other formats like JPEG or even PNG.
- Smaller file sizes
We already established that raster images do not scale well. In fact, they scale terribly when compared to vector images. Consider a JPEG image. When you resize the original image to make it smaller, the image retains its quality. However, when you resize the original image to make it larger, the image loses its quality.
When you are looking to convert the slides in a presentation to raster images (JPEG, for example), you will find yourself having to deliver the images in the largest displayable size. The same thing goes for scenarios where you try to use raster images on responsive sites. You will almost always have to choose the largest image size available because it is easier to scale down images than scale them up.
Since vector graphics—SVG—are extremely scalable, you don’t have to worry about their size. Where (or how large) the image has to be displayed does not matter. You always get to use very small image sizes irrespective of the conditions.
Small images size generally translate to gains in performance or speed—and this is always a good thing.
If the need arises, you can easily style and animate SVGs with CSS.
- Future proof
Unlike raster images, vector images (SVG) give you no reason to worry about the future because they are always going to look good on newer screens with higher pixel densities, which are constantly being rolled out.
When Not to Use SVG in PowerPoint
Modern PowerPoint apps allow users to import SVGs into their slides. Of course, an SVG logo or illustration, which looks crisp and perfect at any resolution, is smaller than a JPEG or PNG in terms of file size. However, due to certain PowerPoint limitations, you may want to reconsider things before inserting an SVG into your presentations.
SVGs on slides are unlikely to help you control the size of a presentation file. When you import SVG into a slide, PowerPoint automatically creates and saves a PNG for that SVG. PowerPoint does this to maintain backward compatibility with older PowerPoint versions that do not support SVGs.
For example, if you place a 25KB SVG logo on a slide
- PowerPoint automatically creates a PNG companion for that SVG image.
- The PNG image is likely to be much larger than the 25KB SVG.
- When someone with an old PowerPoint version opens your file, PowerPoint automatically loads the PNG image (in place of the SVG).
Is SVG the best image format?
SVG is by no means a perfect image format. In fact, JPEG and PNG are better image formats than SVG in many situations. For example, if you are dealing with photographs—which typically contain many shapes, colors, gradients, masks—a raster-based format like JPEG or PNG is likely to be your best option.
But when you are dealing with icons, logos, or regular images for which you can use SVG, then you definitely should use SVG.