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How to Convert an Existing PNG or GIF Image to SVG Vector

by Ryan Irelan

Let’s learn a bit about using online tools to convert images to vectors.

Sometimes you have an image, like a logo, and you need it converted to SVG. Ideally, you’d open up the source file in Adobe Illustrator or another vector capable app.

But, as we’ve all seen in a project, sometimes the source files aren’t available and we have to make do with what we have.

Let’s say I wanted to convert my company logo to an SVG but all I had was a PNG. How do I do that?

Online Conversion Tools

The simplest way is to use an online conversion tool. But: beware of the image to SVG conversion tools online.

Some of them do not actually convert the image to SVG, which requires retracing the image and turning it into a set of coordinates and lines, but instead just encodes the image as base64. That’s fairly easy to do without needing an online tool and doesn’t help us at all on our goal of creating a real SVG file, not another form of a bitmap image.

Vector Magic

The best online tool I’ve found for converting images to SVG is Vector Magic. This service actually traces and plots the images into SVG. Vector Magic does a nice job and allows you to compare the original image and the new vector image. It then spits out the SVG code you need to use to display your logo or image as an SVG.

Using the online tool Vector Magic to convert image to vector

I only tried it with the Mijingo logo, but it probably works best with simple line-based artwork, like logos or icons.

Ready to learn more about SVG?

Learn more about SVG with my video course Up and Running with SVG. It will teach you everything you need to know to get started.

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Filed Under: Free Tutorials, SVG