The Rapid Elearning Blog

preview SVG files

SVG is an image format that is becoming more common. The challenge is that it’s not always easy to preview the SVG images you have on your computer.

What is an SVG?

SVG stands for scalable vector graphics, which means that it doesn’t have a defined resolution. Instead it’s made up of data in an XML file. So it can be sized up or down without image degradation which keeps the images are crisp.

On the other hand, most images used in e-learning courses are bitmaps. They’re essentially a grid of pixels. For example, an image that is 500×500 is 500 pixels wide and 500 pixels high. When the images is scaled up the pixels increase in size which degrades the image as you see the pixel blocks. With an SVG image you won’t have that type of degradation which is why they’re popular.

How to Preview an SVG File

SVG example

The problem is that you can’t easily preview an SVG (as noted in the image above).

For example, when I download an SVG icon to my desktop, it looks like a web link. I can’t preview image without opening it in the browser. That doesn’t help if I have to click onto every link to preview the SVG files when I look for something specific.

Welcome Microsoft PowerToys! Install it and you’ll get an SVG previewer in the newly empowered File Explorer.

  • Download Microsoft PowerToys.
  • Open File Explorer and go to the View tab to enable the preview pane.
  • Select an SVG file and you’ll see a preview of the image.

preview SVG file

Now you can preview SVG files to your heart’s content.


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3 responses to “Here’s An Easy Way to Preview SVG Files on Your Computer”

April 29th, 2020

How can I use an SVG in Articulate Storyline?

April 30th, 2020

Good question, Bill. Currently Storyline doesn’t support importing SVG. However, here’s an easy way to get an SVG into Storyline as a vector image.

Very useful tip. Thank you for sharing this.