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IDProjectCategoryView StatusLast Update
0000591FreeCADBugpublic2012-02-10 12:09
Reporterseb_kuzminskyAssigned Toyorik 
Status closedResolutionfixed 
Product Version0.12 
Target VersionFixed in Version0.13 
Summary0000591: exported svg has incorrect units
DescriptionSketches in FreeCAD are done in millimeters.

Exporting a sketch as SVG produces an SVG that does not have units specified on its coordinates. By the SVG spec, this means the units default to "user units", aka "px".

This means the exported sketch has the wrong size.

The fix is to append "mm" to all the coordinates in the exported SVG.

To reproduce, open the attached circle-test.fcstd file in Freecad, select the 'circle' sketch (a single 10mm radius circle), and File->Export as SVG.

Open the SVG in inscape and hit Ctrl-A to select the circle. Find the "W" (width) and "H" (height) fields in the toolbar at the top and the Units selection next to them, and note that the selection is just over 20 px (it's a little bigger than 20 because of the thickness of the stroke).

Then change the units (in the toolbar at the top) from "px" to "mm", and note that the selection size is *not* 20x20 mm, as the sketch in FreeCAD specified. On my machine the selection is 5.680x5.680 mm.

This particular number is because FreeCAD incorrectly wrote an SVG with a 20x20 px circle, the default raster resolution is 90 dots per inch, so that 20x20 px is 0.222x0.222 inch, which is about 5.680x5.680 mm (modulo stroke thickness).
TagsNo tags attached.


2012-02-07 14:59


circle-test.fcstd (Attachment missing)


2012-02-08 08:40

developer   ~0001618

Last edited: 2012-02-08 11:06

There are elements like path and polyline which do not allow coordinates to have units. I can't see any explaination how to work with units and those elements in the same file (in the spec )
"Note that use of px units or any other absolute unit identifiers can cause inconsistent visual results on different viewing environments since the size of "1px" may map to a different number of user units on different systems; thus, absolute units identifiers are only recommended for the ‘width’ and the ‘height’ on and situations where the content contains no transformations and it is desirable to specify values relative to the device pixel grid or to a particular real world unit size."

Therefore i suggest rather to multiply all the coordinates by 900/254 for export and 254/900 for import.


2012-02-08 14:31

reporter   ~0001619

Yes, I see that you're right, the path element coordinates do not accept units. However, all the Basic Shapes do: <>

"Mathematically, these shape elements are equivalent to a ‘path’ element that would construct the same shape."

Strange, that seems like a bug in the SVG spec.

Unfortunately there are things you can do (that we currently use) in a Path that you can't do with a Basic Shape. The one that sticks out is arcs that are just parts of (not complete) circles and ellipses. :-(


2012-02-08 15:01

reporter   ~0001620

I've implemented your suggestion and tested it, and it works! Thanks!

Please review:;a=shortlog;h=refs/heads/scale-svg-export

Let me know if you want me to rework the patch in any way, or if you're happy with it, please pull:

git pull scale-svg-export


2012-02-08 16:44

developer   ~0001621

Last edited: 2012-02-08 16:47

Using a single <g transform="scale(3.5433070866141732)"> around all graphic elements might be better in case someone wants to read nice clean values in millimeter in the source code.


2012-02-08 20:11

administrator   ~0001622

I'll assign this to myself, and check ASAP. Seb Hoogen, I still need to pull your latest changes, maybe we can combine these 2?


2012-02-10 06:44

reporter   ~0001627

I've reworked my patches. Please consider pulling the svg-export-3 branch:;a=shortlog;h=refs/heads/svg-export-3

This latest version of the patchset:

* incorporates Yorik's Preference suggestion from the forum ( This means you can now select at run-time whether you want to export a picture (just like before), or an untranslated SVG, where all the coordinates are preserved from the sketch, which is more suitable for CAM work.

* incorporates Tag and Brian's viewBox suggestion from the svg-w3c list ( This means undimensioned path elements now have coordinates that correspond to millimeters.


2012-02-10 12:09

administrator   ~0001630

Okay, the patch is included in master now. Thanks for your work!
Since all seems to work fine, I'll close this issue. Don't hesitate to reopen if needed.

Issue History

Date Modified Username Field Change
2012-02-07 14:59 seb_kuzminsky New Issue
2012-02-07 14:59 seb_kuzminsky File Added: circle-test.fcstd
2012-02-08 08:40 shoogen Note Added: 0001618
2012-02-08 08:44 shoogen Note Edited: 0001618
2012-02-08 11:06 shoogen Note Edited: 0001618
2012-02-08 14:31 seb_kuzminsky Note Added: 0001619
2012-02-08 15:01 seb_kuzminsky Note Added: 0001620
2012-02-08 16:44 shoogen Note Added: 0001621
2012-02-08 16:44 shoogen Note Edited: 0001621
2012-02-08 16:47 shoogen Note Edited: 0001621
2012-02-08 20:09 yorik Status new => assigned
2012-02-08 20:09 yorik Assigned To => yorik
2012-02-08 20:11 yorik Note Added: 0001622
2012-02-10 06:44 seb_kuzminsky Note Added: 0001627
2012-02-10 12:09 yorik Note Added: 0001630
2012-02-10 12:09 yorik Status assigned => closed
2012-02-10 12:09 yorik Resolution open => fixed
2012-02-10 12:09 yorik Fixed in Version => 0.13