Converting bitmap (jpg, png...) to vectors (svg)

Created by jazzynico on on 2010-01-07
bitmap tracing svg
Last updated by:
jazzynico on on 2010-01-07

*** Question ***

How to convert a bitmap (jpg, png, gif...) to vectors (svg)?

*** Answer (based on Question #95081) ***

First - you can not convert png to svg directly.

PNG is 'raster' format - i.e. data of image represented in binary form.
SVG is 'vector' format - data represented as XML (by other words in plain

In other words it is completely different formats of data.

You could simply convert SVG to PNG (in another words - making snapshot or
'render' SVG), but for opposite transaction you must perform so called
'tracing'. Tracing could be performed by hand (imagine that you outline the
picture) and automatically.

I think you are mostly interesting in automatic tracing, so I advise you
take a look at Tavmjong Bah book, available online absolutely for free (by
the way when you choose Help - Inkscape Manual, you go directly to that
book). The link is