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A Script to Export SVG Content From InDesign


Once upon a time, when designosaurs roamed the Earth (2002, to be exact), Adobe released InDesign 2.0 with a slew of important new features that put the program on par with QuarkXPress. One of those features allowed users to export InDesign content to SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) format. However, the SVG export feature would not last, as it was removed six years later with the release of InDesign CS4.

In recent years, SVG support has been slowly creeping back into InDesign, with features like support for SVG color fonts and SVG import. But SVG export remains missing.

But now you can export InDesign content to SVG, with the aid of a script by Keith Gilbert. Since InDesign can’t export SVG by itself, the script employs Illustrator to do the deed. This means that your output might look different from the input, if that input uses InDesign features that Illustrator doesn’t understand (e.g. transparency effects, advanced typographic features, etc.)

Before running the script, select the content you want to export. If you have several items in your selection, it’s not necessary to group them. Live text can remain live, as long as the fonts are also available to Illustrator.

InDesign script to export SVG

When you run the script, it copies selected content, pastes it into Illustrator, and then exports the SVG.

InDesign script to export SVG output

You can can grab a copy of the script at the Gilbert Consulting website.

Thanks, Keith!

Editor in Chief of CreativePro. Instructor at LinkedIn Learning with courses on InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, GIMP, Inkscape, and Affinity Publisher.
  • Jon Jensen says:

    Yes! With every new update to InDesign, I’m looking for this feature. My normal workflow would be to copy/paste into Illustrator, then export that to SVG. It saves a few steps, yes, but it definitely needs to be added to the Export options — I will definitely be buying Mr. Gilbert a coffee, or two.

    One quirky thing I found though, with SVG graphics used in, say, PowerPoint: an object was created (using Pathfinder in InDesign) to make five separate frames converted into one object, with a gradient stroke to spread across all five frames (instead of that gradient on each one individually). When the SVG graphic was placed in PowerPoint, it looked as intended. Once the PP file closed, then reopened, the gradient in the SVG graphic was gone (it reverted to a solid color).

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