18 Replies Latest reply on May 2, 2016 3:13 AM by Laubender

    Indesign and SVG


      Helo there - does anyone know if there is a way to convert tabels in Indesign to SVG files for use in e-pub files?

        • 1. Re: Indesign and SVG
          Maria964 Level 1


          This is what I do:


          1. Create pdf for each table.

          2. Open in AI.

          3. Export in AI to SVG




          • 2. Re: Indesign and SVG
            Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            @Stefan – It may sound like a curiosity, but if available, try using InDesign CS3.

            Cannot tell if the generated code is problematic for use in ePub files…


            I'm not kidding.

            SVG export was present in InDesign CS3, but removed in InDesign CS4.



            • 3. Re: Indesign and SVG
              StefanVenter21 Level 1

              Thanks, unfortunately I do not have a CS3 version.


              I have been importing PDF files into Inkscape and saving the file as svg from there and this seems to work fine.


              Maybe Adobe can have a look at bringing svg export back to Indesign CC - for the eBook creators :-)

              • 4. Re: Indesign and SVG
                Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                @Stefan – if you want, you could post a link to an InDesign IDMS snippet file of a table (I have CC not installed). I could convert that back to InDesign CS3 and do a SVG export. Just for testing the SVG files side by side. Or you could send that file to my mail address (just check my user profile) and I send you back an exported SVG file out of CS3…


                SVG export in InDesign CS3 is also possible on selections (e.g. the text frame) not only whole pages.
                Here InDesign CS3 with German UI on Mac OSX:




                Here the exporte SVG in the browser:





                • 5. Re: Indesign and SVG
                  Pickory Level 3



                  SVG export is still in 6. Talked about in the SDK documentation.



                  • 6. Re: Indesign and SVG
                    Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    @Pickory – just searched the DOM documentation for ExtendScript*, but could not find it. Used "SVG" as search term. Can you tell how to access in the UI of InDesign CS6 (or below).


                    Was it renamed? Or is it hidden in a different feature?
                    Can you point me to a specific link?




                    *the CHM files Jongware is providing

                    • 7. Re: Indesign and SVG
                      Pickory Level 3



                      You will probably have to download the 6 SDK. It is talked about in plugin-programming-guide-vol1. You will also see header files, SVGExportID, etc.


                      I have a feeling this is a documentation over sight. SVG export was implemented as a filter and would have been a plugin.


                      I might have a fiddle with this though, you never know it might still be in there.



                      • 8. Re: Indesign and SVG
                        StefanVenter21 Level 1

                        Thanks Pickory - if you do find it in your fiddling, please let me know, it will make life a lot easier if you can find it.



                        • 9. Re: Indesign and SVG
                          Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          @Pickory – thank you for pointing this out.

                          I just opened the PDF documentation of CS6 SDK and indeed, SVG is mentioned there as an export format (chapter 8 "Graphics Fundamentals", p196)


                          Since I am no plug-in programmer how could I do a SVG export with InDesign CS6?


                          In CS3 there are 2 plug-ins installed:


                          SVG Export UI.InDesignPlugin

                          SVG Export.InDesignPlugin


                          In InDesign CS4 and above, these are missing.
                          And if the plug-ins are missing I come to the conclusion the functionality is not provided (opposed to the documentation in the SDK). Please correct me, if I'm wrong…



                          • 10. Re: Indesign and SVG
                            [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant



                            Some years ago I was thinking the same. I knew SVG existed in older versions, so I dug up a working script from CS3-or-earlier. It did not run at all -- "something-something-undefined" -- so I placed the script in a "Version 5.0 Scripts" folder to Make It Run. Alas! That shows the error "This functionality has been removed".


                            So Adobe removed the functionality but did not care to update the SDK manual.


                            (Speaking of which   http://www.adobe.com/products/indesign/features.html still shows "improvements in speed and stability when printing and when exporting PDF and INX files". If one orders CC based on that feature alone, could you consider filing a law suit?


                            (I also see that some overzealous moderator -- for the 8th time! -- removed my Preferred Answer mark from "http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1206280"). Restored.)

                            • 11. Re: Indesign and SVG
                              Pickory Level 3



                              I have just run a plugin that prints out all the names of the supported export providers and SVG or any thing like it was not printed.


                              I think you right in your conclusion.






                              Edited to ask, what is adcf format?

                              • 12. Re: Indesign and SVG
                                StefanVenter21 Level 1

                                Thank you all for the help and the feedback. I don't know who all agrees but it seems like .svg support in Indesign CC is a good idea - what do you think Adobe?

                                • 13. Re: Indesign and SVG
                                  Douglas.Waterfall Adobe Employee

                                  Hi Stefan:


                                  We have heard this request before and are looking into it.


                                  SVG Export support was brought back in CS6 but for various reasons was not made generally available - it was used as part of the late "EPUB3 with Liquid Layout" export.


                                  For CC.Next, I was investigating supporting SVG for converting Objects for epub/html in addition to the already supported rasterization - so if you had placed some vector content it would effectively stay vector.


                                  Anyway, your interest in using it for Tables support interests me as I have not heard about this particular path and I wonder how this would work considering that tables can flow through multiple frames - perhaps your Tables do not do that.


                                  Are your Tables in individual Text Frames? Would Text Frame -> SVG work for you?


                                  Douglas Waterfall

                                  InDesign Engineering

                                  • 14. Re: Indesign and SVG
                                    Pickory Level 3

                                    Hello Douglas,


                                    Presumably I could use ISVGExportSuite to export the current selection in an InDesign 6 plugin.


                                    Any chance of some sample code so I can create a free export selection plugin.





                                    • 15. Re: Indesign and SVG
                                      StefanVenter21 Level 1



                                      Thanks for the feedback - yes that would work, although Selected -> SVG would be great too as some of the tables have blocks around some of the text for explanation purposes.


                                      We have accounting books that need to be converted to ePub, and the only way we found is to have the tables as SVG files. The tables can be done in HTML and CSS. But we have to find a fast efficient way to have tables without the coding required by this. Also if you do HTML tables, and you change the font size in your E-reader and the content gets too big, you have some more difficulties.


                                      SVG would work best in order to keep the file size down but still keep the quality while zooming the image.


                                      If you can help with a solution that would be great!





                                      • 16. Re: Indesign and SVG
                                        Pickory Level 3

                                        Hello Stefan,


                                        Time has flown!


                                        I have been working on a project which involves exporting various elements from InDesign. Early days, here is a SVG table and a button out of InDesign.

                                        button.indd 1



                                        • 17. Re: Indesign and SVG
                                          Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                                          Maria964 schrieb:



                                          This is what I do:


                                          1. Create pdf for each table.

                                          2. Open in AI.

                                          3. Export in AI to SVG




                                          No, you can only open PDFs in Illustrator which were created in Illustrator with its editing capability. Any other PDF will be damaged if opened in Illustrator. Not really a good idea.

                                          Adobe Illlustrator is not a common PDF editor nor an EPS editor!

                                          • 18. Re: Indesign and SVG
                                            Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                            Hi Willi,

                                            yes, but it is to note here, that in this special case we have to distinguish two scenarios:


                                            1. A table for EPUB where text is selectable as text and rendered like the original formatted layout. Not HTML. The reasons were layed out by Stefan the OP here 3 years ago.


                                            2. A table for EPUB where text shapes are simply rendered as SVG vector paths.

                                            Pickory is showing scenario 2. The text is not selectable.


                                            By using InDesign's transparency flattener functionality where text is converted to paths, exporting to PDF and using Adobe Illustrator, one could create a table with SVG vector shapes for that as well. This way is not very efficient, to say the least.


                                            For scenario 1 you were able to do that with InDesign CS2 and CS3, but the results were often unsatisfactory (depending on the used typefaces and other factors like kerning etc.pp.).


                                            Below one example for a table using Calibri as font exported as SVG with live text where we can see some bugs at work.
                                            Note, this all is in InDesign CS3 !!


                                            Two tables on a page selected plus the SVG Export settings, that should export this selection to SVG.

                                            A. The table at the top is just a table.

                                            Nothing unusual.

                                            B. The table below is a duplicate of table A with some modifications.

                                            The text is converted to outlines and the texts in the table that is stacked underneath the converted outlines are colored in the background colors of the cells or with color "Paper":





                                            A screen shot of the rendered SVG in Firefox where one can see some issues immediately:





                                            Both tables have some issues. The wrong formatting of the text in the table at the top is obvious.
                                            What is less obvious: The text in the first row cannot be selected in the browser. Neither for A or B.

                                            All other texts are selectable.