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Generate sprites from SVG icons

Project Description

© 2014 Thomas Khyn

Python package to generate sprites from SVG icons

This package takes its inspiration from Iconizr and grunt-iconizr by Joschi Kuphal.

From Joschi’s words, Iconizr …:

... takes a folder of SVG images and creates a CSS icon kit out of them.
Depending on the client's capabilities, icons are served as SVG / PNG
sprite or embedded data URIs. iconizr creates suitable CSS / Sass / LESS
etc. resources and a JavaScript loader for easy integration into your
HTML documents.

Not all the functionnalities from the original Iconizr are implemented yet, but most of them are here.

Works on Python 2.6 and 2.7.


As straighforward as it can be, using pip:

pip install pyconizr


Pyconizr will install all the required dependencies, except Cairo and librsvg and their python bindings, which are needed to generate PNG images. Please make sure they are installed in your environment if you want to use the pyconizr’s PNG functionalities.

If you are on Windows, the quickest way to install them is to use either PyGTK (for python 2.6 and 2.7) or PyGI (for python 2.7).


From the command line:

pyconizr [options]

From python:

from pyconizr import iconize
iconize(option1=val1, option2=val2, ...)

Default behavior

By default, pyconizr will:
  • optimize every SVG file in the current working directory using scour (without overwriting them)
  • concatenate them to create an optimized SVG sprite in current_working_dir/sprites/sourcedir_name.svg
  • create a PNG sprite from the SVG sprite as current_working_dir/sprites/sourcedir_name.png
  • create a CSS/SCSS/whatever file at current_working_dir/sourcedir_name

This can be configured using the following options.


All options should be prefixed by -- in the command line (if not using the shortcut), or should be provided as keyword arguments to the iconize function.

in, -i
The input directory or files (as a wildcard) that should be used to generate the sprite. Only valid SVG files will be taken into account, so there is no need to add a *.svg wildcard (“dir/*” will only include the *.svg files in dir). Defaults to the current working directory.
out, -o
The output path for the generated output file (CSS, SASS…). The directory will be created if it does not already exist. Defaults to the ‘out’ directory in the current working directory.
out-sprite, -s
The output path for the SVG and PNG sprites. The directory will be created if it does not already exist. Defaults to the ‘sprites’ directory in the output directory.
The output path for the optimized SVG and rasterized PNG individual icons. If left blank, no icons will be generated. If defined, a supplementary output file will be generated with a ‘-icons’ suffix. Defaults to blank (no icons generated).
render, -r
How the output should be rendered. Can be:
  • css: for CSS output [default]
  • scss: for SASS output
  • no or Falsy from python: no output (to simply generate the sprite)
  • a path to a custom Jinja2 template file for a 100% custom output (see existing templates for available variables)
The absolute URL to the static directory. Used for links towards sprites and icons files from within the generated outputs. Defaults to /static
The absolute or relative (to static-url) URL to the sprites directory. Used for links towards sprite files. Defaults to sprites
The absolute or relative (to static-url) URL to the icons directory. Used for links towards individual icons. Not used if out-icons is not defined. Defaults to icons
Padding around the icons, in pixels. Defaults to 0.
The sprite layout. Can be vertical, horizontal or diagonal. Defaults to vertical.
By default, png fallbacks will be generated. When using the iconize, function, use png=False to disable the behavior. With the command line, use --nopng. Defaults to True
Should SVG and PNG images be linked as dataURIs? Remember that a page loads faster (thanks to caching vs dataURI decoding) if the CSS does not use dataURIs. Defaults to False
A common CSS class for all the icons in the sprite. Default to None.
Comma-separated list of selectors that can be embedded in icons filenames, using the _ separator. For example, there a file name_hover.svg will be taken as the hovered version of the icon name. Defaults to hover,target,active
The unit to be used for the background-position property. Only supposed to work with px and %. Defaults to px

All the options from scour, using the ‘scour-‘ prefix. For example, ‘strip-xml-prolog’ becomes ‘scour-strip-xml-prolog’. Defaults to best possible optimisation parameters for sprite generation.

There are 2 command-line options added for scour parameters:


Pyconizr enables comment stripping by default. When using the iconize function, use enable_comment_stripping=False to disable this feature. From the command line you need to use --scour-disable-comment-stripping


Pyconizr runs scour in quiet mode by default. If you need to see scour’s non-error output, use quiet=False with the iconize function, or --scour-verbose from the command line.
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