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Svg Elements Parsing

Project description


svgelements does high fidelity SVG parsing and geometric rendering. The goal is to successfully and correctly process SVG for use with any scripts that may need or want to use SVG files as geometric data.

This is both facilitated by, and results in, very useful elements within the SVG spec: Path, Matrix, Angle, Length, Color, Point and other SVG and CSS Elements. The SVG spec defines a variety of elements which generally interoperate. In order to have a robust experience with SVGs we must be able to correctly deal with the parsing and interactions of these elements.

This project began as part of meerK40t which does SVG loading of files for laser cutting. It attempts to more fully map out the SVG specification, objects, and paths, while remaining easy to use and largely backwards compatible. These elements are quite useful in their own right. For example, the zooming and panning within meerK40t is done using the SVG matrix which more robust than the wxPython one. Internal console commands within meerK40t allows specifying robustly parsed angles of rotation, colors of objects, and naively uses the Path() and SVGImage objects. The ability to have these robustly manipulated with affine transformations provides considerable utility. There is significant utility in the interactions between these objects, however if you just want to robustly parse some SVG and convert the data to your own structures that is entirely reasonable.

Without robust SVG parsing you'll find repeated edge cases of some svg files that do not parse correctly. svgelements aims to avoid those pitfalls with robust adherence to the SVG spec.


This module is under a MIT License.


pip install svgelements

Then in a script:

from svgelements import *



However, there are some soft dependencies, with some common additions do modify the functionality slightly. If scipy is installed then the arc length code quickly provide the exact correct answer. Some of the SVGImage code is able to load the images if given access to PIL/Pillow. And if numpy exists there's a special npoint() command to do lightning fast linearization for Shapes.


svgelements is compatible with Python 3+. Support for 2.7 was dropped at Python 2 End-Of-Life January 1, 2020.

We remain nominally backwards compatible with svg.path, passing the same robust tests from that project. There may be number of breaking changes. However, since svgelements permit a lot of leeway in what is accepted and how it's accepted it will have a huge degree of compatibility with projects seen and unseen.


The goal of this project is to provide SVG spec-like elements and structures. Conforming to the SVG standard 1.1 and elements of 2.0. These provide much of the implementation decisions, with regard to the implementation of the objects. If there is a question on implementation and the SVG documentation has a methodology, that is the preferred methodology. If the SVG spec says one thing, and svgelements does something else, that is a bug.

The primary goal of this project is to make a more robust version of svg.path to fully parse SVG files. This requires including other elements like Point, Matrix, and Color, etc. with clear emphasis on conforming to the SVG spec in all ways that realworld uses for SVG demands.

svgelements should conform to the SVG Conforming Interpreter class (2.5.4. Conforming SVG Interpreters):

An SVG interpreter is a program which can parse and process SVG document fragments. Examples of SVG interpreters are server-side transcoding tools or optimizer (e.g., a tool which converts SVG content into modified SVG content) or analysis tools (e.g., a tool which extracts the text content from SVG content, or a validity checker).

Real world functionality demands we must correctly and reasonably provide reading, transcoding, and manipulation of SVG content.

The svgelements code should not include any hard dependencies. It should remain a single file with emphasis on allowing projects to merely include a copy of to do any SVG parsing required.

Features Supported

SVG is a huge spec and bleeds into a lot of area. Many of these are supported some are not.


  • Robust SVG parsing.
  • SVG/CSS Lengths: px, pt, pc, cm, mm, in, %
  • SVG/CSS Color: keyword, #rrggbb, #rgb, rgb(r,g,b), rgb(r%,g%,b%), rgba(r,g,b,a), hsl(hue, s, l)
  • SVG/CSS Matrix
    • Full matrix support. All objects have a .transform object with all cascading matrix operations. Including viewport.
  • SVG Viewport. - Correctly processes viewports, including preserveAspectRatio.
  • CSS Angle - deg, rad, grad, turn. Full use of these within rotate(<angle>) transformation command.
  • SVG Shape: Rect - full parsing of x, y, rx, ry, width, height, presentation attributes in length/percent form.
  • SVG Shape: Circle - full parsing of cx, cy, r, presentation attributes in length/percent form.
  • SVG Shape: Ellipse - full parsing of cx, cy, rx, ry, presentation attributes in length/percent form.
  • SVG Shape: Polygon - full parsing of .points
  • SVG Shape: Polyline - full parsing of .points
  • SVG Shape: Line - full parsing of x0, y0, x1, y1 presentation attributes in length/percent form.
    • (Internally this is called SimpleLine since Line is a PathSegment type.)
  • SVG Shape: Path - Perfect path_d parsing. Relative/Absolute, Smooth BezierCurve, preservation of original segment form.
  • PathSegments with advanced geometric functions. eg. point(), npoint(), bbox() reverse()
  • Transformation of Shapes and Paths, within groups as well as with respect to the SVG Viewport.
  • First order use of .stroke, .fill and .stroke_width for all Shapes. Stroke and Fill are colors (Fill may return a Pattern, or Gradient-type in future versions, but is currently always a Color), and stroke_width is a length/percent value (will be rendered to a float during parsing).
  • SVG Spec deconstruction of basic shapes into Paths within regard to the SVG 2.0 spec. Path(shape) or shape.d()
  • Group objects. Container class.
  • clipPath objects, these are assigned as a .clip_path to any object that referenced them.
  • <defs> and <use> functionality within the parsing tree.
  • Accurate referencing of objects in the ShadowDOM.
  • Pattern objects. These are parsed they are not currently assigned.
  • Text objects. The lack of a font engine makes this class more of a parsed stub class.
  • Image creates SVGImage objects which will load Images if Pillow is installed with a call to .load(). Correct parsing of x, y, width, height and viewbox.
  • Desc description object.
  • Title description object.
  • Nested SVG objects. (Caveats see Non-Supported).
  • CSS Styling.

Not supported

Some things are currently not supported.

  • Full CSS/DOM specific parsing and modifications.
  • Full CSS StyleSheet. Stylesheets should be read anywhere in the file and styled all matching objects even those already parsed. We accept Styling that occurs before the objects.
  • Color: OS Specific System colors.
  • Script and Scripting.
  • RadialGradiant Fills
  • LinearGradiant Fills
  • Pattern linking to Fill the IRI linked object.
  • a hyperlink text objects
  • Switch elements.
  • Marker elements.
  • Symbol elements.
  • Masking elements.
  • TextPath elements.
  • Metadata elements.
  • Nesting of SVG elements within an Image object.
  • em, ex length and font engine requiring code. (the height of 'm' and 'x' is unknown).
  • Slicing of SVG geometry, outside of viewbox.
  • Slicing of SVG geometry, within clipPath
  • External Loading of SVG files.
  • External loading of SVGz files.
  • External loading of CSS data from another file.
  • SVG Animation
  • Styling based on Descendant, Child, FirstChild, Sibling, Attribute, AttributeWithValue.
  • Glyph - Dropped in SVG 2.0
  • tref - Dropped in SVG 2.0


The primary function of svgelements is to parse svg files. There are two main functions to facilitate this

    def parse(source,

This parse function takes in values that cannot be known to the SVG but which are essential to the the rendering of the shapes. Parsing will pre-apply things like the relative translation by the viewport. It will solve the structural changes for the with the <use> and <defs>, and any items that are known SVG elements will be turned into their requisite values and parsed accordingly. So the .fill and .stroke of a Path will be filled in with a type of Color and the .transform of the Shape will be a type of Matrix. The .values for all the SVGElement will have the relevant inherited values. This permits parsing to deal with even unknown types of objects within the SVG by falling back to something akin to DOM parsing of the file. In cases of <use> and <defs> these unknown elements can still reference other. Since this structural shadow tree will be solved during the parse.

parse() is a static function which takes a source file or stream of svg data to be parsed. This will return an SVG object which is a type of Group. There are several values which can be configured with other values as needed. reify determines whether the parsed elements in the SVG should have their transform matrix applied or not. This includes the effective matrix resulting from viewport.

The ppi value defaults to 96 as this is quite common some other graphics programs use 72 and other values are permitted. Since there's nothing directly in the SVG spec setting this value and other places can vary with their value here. We can't predetermine this value. However it regulates all the relationships between physical values like a 1in by 1in rect to the unitless pixel values of the SVG.

The width and height values are unknown to the SVG parsing. This is the physical view size of the svg itself. This often will have little impact in the SVG rendering however sometimes things widths are set to 100% or heights to 50% and those are according to the spec relative to the actual view we're using. The svg has no direct access to this. If we have a ppi value these height and width can be set to absolute units like 6in or any other acceptable Length value that can be solved with ppi.

The color is the value of the currentColor within the SVG spec. Usually the default stroke and fill values are set but in some cases these are set to currentColor which is a property of the CSS outside the scope of the SVG. In this case that color needs to be provided. It will be a rare edge case.

The transform value is typical CSS/SVG transform matrix code to be preappended to the matrix before even the viewbox. If you need to set some units or apply something to the entire svg without changing things within the CSS this value becomes important. Especially when dealing with edge cases like the difference of transform applied directly to the SVG tag itself.

The context permits giving a context of already set values that are come from outside the current svg context, such as we would find if we had SVG files embedded into SVG files.

The second function within parsing that matters is the .elements() this is a function that exists on any SVG object and will flatten the elements yielding them in order.

Here's an example parser with elements().

       for element in svg.elements():
                if element.values['visibility'] == 'hidden':
            except (KeyError, AttributeError):
            if isinstance(element, SVGText):
            elif isinstance(element, Path):
                if len(element) != 0:
            elif isinstance(element, Shape):
                e = Path(element)
                e.reify()  # In some cases the shape could not have reified, the path must.
                if len(e) != 0:
            elif isinstance(element, SVGImage):
                    if element.image is not None:
                except OSError:

Here a few things are checked. The element.values for ['visibility'] is checked if it's hidden it is not added to our flat object list. Texts are specific added. Paths are only added if they have PathSegments and are not completely blank. Any Shape object is converted to a Path() object and reified. Any SVGImage objects are loaded. This is a soft dependency on PIL/Pillow to load images stored within SVG. The SVG .elements() function can also take a conditional function that well be used to test each element before yielding it. In most cases we don't want every single type of thing an svg can produce. We might just want all the Path objects so we check for any Path and include that but also for any non-Path Shape and convert that to a path.


The versatility of the project is provided through through expansive and highly intuitive dunder methods, and robust parsing of object parameters. Points, PathSegments, Paths, Shapes, Subpaths can be multiplied by a matrix. We can add Shapes, Paths, PathSegments, and Subpaths together. And many non-declared but functionally understandable elements are automatically parsed. Such as adding strings of path_d characters to a Path or multiplying an element by the SVG Transform string elements.

While many objects perform a lot of interoperations, a lot many svg elements are designed to also work independently, and be independently useful.


Points define a single location in 2D space. The Point class is intended to take a wide variety of different initial definitions to wrap them into being a point.

  • Point(x,y)
  • (x,y)
  • [x,y]
  • "x, y"
  • x + yj (complex number)
  • a class with .x and .y as methods.

Most objects requiring a point will wrap that object with the included Point class meaning any of these initial arguments is acceptable. Including independent x and y parameters, a tuple of x and y, a list of x and y, a string that parses akin to points within polyline objects, complex numbers with a real x and imag y values. And any class with .x or .y attributes.

>>> Point(10,10) * "rotate(90)"


Matrices define affine transformations of 2d space and objects.

  • Matrix.scale(s)
  • Matrix.scale(sx,sy)
  • Matrix.scale(sx,sy,px,py)
  • Matrix.rotate(angle)
  • Matrix.rotate(angle, px, py
  • Matrix.skew_x(angle)
  • Matrix.skew_x(angle, px, py)
  • Matrix.skew_y(angle)
  • Matrix.skew_y(angle, px, py)
  • Matrix.translate(tx)
  • Matrix.translate(tx, ty)
  • Transform string values.
    • "scale(s)"
    • "scale(sx,sy)"
    • "translate(20,20) scale(2)"
    • "rotate(0.25 turns)"
    • Any valid SVG or CSS transform string will be accepted as a matrix.

>>> Matrix("rotate(100grad)")
Matrix(0, 1, -1, 0, 0, 0)

The matrix class also supports Length translates for x, and y. In some instances, CSS transforms permit length transforms so "translate(20cm, 200mm)" are valid transformations. However, these will cause issues for objects which require non-native units so it is expected that .render() will be called on these before they are used in some manner.


Paths define sequences of PathSegments that can map out any path element in SVG.

  • Path() object
  • String path_d value.

>>> Path() + "M0,0z"
Path(Move(end=Point(0,0)), Close(start=Point(0,0), end=Point(0,0)))


Angles define various changes in direction.

  • Angle.degrees(degree_angle)
  • Angle.radians(radians_angle)
  • Angle.turns(turns)
  • Angle.gradians(gradian_angles)
  • CSS angle string.
    • "20deg"
    • "0.3turns"
    • "1rad"
    • "100grad"

>>> Point(0,100) * "rotate(1turn)"
>>> Point(0,100) * "rotate(0.5turn)"


Colors define object color.

  • XHTML color names: "red", "blue", "dark grey", etc.
  • 3 digit hex: "#F00"
  • 4 digit hex: "#FF00"
  • 6 digit hex: "#FF0000"
  • 8 digit hex: "#FFFF0000"
  • "RGB(r,g,b)"
  • "RGB(r%, g%, b%)"

>>> Circle(stroke="yellow")
Circle(center=Point(0,0), r=1, stroke="#ffff00")


Lengths define the amount of linear space between two things.

  • "20cm"
  • "200mm"
  • "3in"
  • Length('200mm')


Parse an SVG file:

>>> svg = SVG.parse(file)
>>> list(svg.elements())

Make a PathSegment

>>> Line((20,20), (40,40))
Line(start=Point(20,20), end=Point(40,40))

Rotate a PathSegment:

>>> Line((20,20), (40,40)) * Matrix.rotate(Angle.degrees(45))
Line(start=Point(0,28.284271247462), end=Point(0,56.568542494924))

Rotate a PathSegment with a parsed matrix:

>>> Line((20,20), (40,40)) * Matrix("Rotate(45)")
Line(start=Point(0,28.284271247462), end=Point(0,56.568542494924))

Rotate a PathSegment with an implied parsed matrix:

>>> Line((20,20), (40,40)) * "Rotate(45)"
Line(start=Point(0,28.284271247462), end=Point(0,56.568542494924))

Rotate a Partial Path with an implied matrix: (Note: The SVG does not allow us to specify a start point for this invalid path)

>>> Path("L 40,40") * "Rotate(45)"
Path(Line(end=Point(40,40)), transform=Matrix(0.707106781187, 0.707106781187, -0.707106781187, 0.707106781187, 0, 0), stroke='None', fill='None')
>>> abs(Path("L 40,40") * "Rotate(45)")
Path(Line(end=Point(0,56.568542494924)), stroke='None', fill='None')

Since Move() is a qualified element we can postpend the SVG text:

>>> (Move((20,20)) + "L 40,40")
Path(Move(end=Point(20,20)), Line(start=Point(20,20), end=Point(40,40)), stroke='None', fill='None')

Define the entire qualified path:

>>> Path("M 20,20 L 40,40")"
Path(Move(end=Point(20,20)), Line(start=Point(20,20), end=Point(40,40)))

Combine individual PathSegments together:

>>> Move((2,2)) + Close()
Path(Move(end=Point(2,2)), Close())

Print that as SVG path_d object:

>>> print(Move((2,2)) + Close())
M 2,2 Z

Scale a path:

>>> Path("M1,1 1,2 2,2 2,1z") * "scale(2)"
Path(Move(end=Point(1,1)), Line(start=Point(1,1), end=Point(1,2)), Line(start=Point(1,2), end=Point(2,2)), Line(start=Point(2,2), end=Point(2,1)), Close(start=Point(2,1), end=Point(1,1)), transform=Matrix(2, 0, 0, 2, 0, 0), stroke='None', fill='None')

Print that:

>>> print(Path("M1,1 1,2 2,2 2,1z") * "scale(2)")
M 2,2 L 2,4 L 4,4 L 4,2 Z

Reverse a scaled path:

>>> p = (Path("M1,1 1,2 2,2 2,1z") * "scale(2)")
>>> p.reverse()
Path(Move(end=Point(2,1)), Line(start=Point(2,1), end=Point(2,2)), Line(start=Point(2,2), end=Point(1,2)), Line(start=Point(1,2), end=Point(1,1)), Close(start=Point(1,1), end=Point(2,1)), transform=Matrix(2, 0, 0, 2, 0, 0), stroke='None', fill='None')
>>> print(p)
M 4,2 L 4,4 L 2,4 L 2,2 Z

Query length of paths:

>>> QuadraticBezier("0,0", "50,50", "100,0").length()

Apply a translations:

>>> Path('M 0,0 Q 50,50 100,0') * "translate(40,40)"
Path(Move(end=Point(0,0)), QuadraticBezier(start=Point(0,0), control=Point(50,50), end=Point(100,0)), transform=Matrix(1, 0, 0, 1, 40, 40), stroke='None', fill='None')
>>> abs(Path('M 0,0 Q 50,50 100,0') * "translate(40,40)")
Path(Move(end=Point(40,40)), QuadraticBezier(start=Point(40,40), control=Point(90,90), end=Point(140,40)), stroke='None', fill='None')

Query lengths of translated paths:

>>> (Path('M 0,0 Q 50,50 100,0') * "translate(40,40)").length()
>>> Path('M 0,0 Q 50,50 100,0').length()

Query a subpath:

>>> Path('M 0,0 Q 50,50 100,0 M 20,20 v 20 h 20 v-20 h-20 z').subpath(1).d()
'M 20,20 L 20,40 L 40,40 L 40,20 L 20,20 Z'

Reverse a subpath:

>>> p = Path('M 0,0 Q 50,50 100,0 M 20,20 v 20 h 20 v-20 h-20 z')
>>> print(p)
M 0,0 Q 50,50 100,0 M 20,20 L 20,40 L 40,40 L 40,20 L 20,20 Z
>>> p.subpath(1).reverse()
Path(Move(start=Point(100,0), end=Point(20,20)), Line(start=Point(20,20), end=Point(40,20)), Line(start=Point(40,20), end=Point(40,40)), Line(start=Point(40,40), end=Point(20,40)), Line(start=Point(20,40), end=Point(20,20)), Close(start=Point(20,20), end=Point(20,20)))
>>> print(p)
M 0,0 Q 50,50 100,0 M 20,20 L 40,20 L 40,40 L 20,40 L 20,20 Z

Query a bounding box:

>>> QuadraticBezier("0,0", "50,50", "100,0").bbox()
(0.0, 0.0, 100.0, 50.0)

Query a translated bounding box:

>>> (Path('M 0,0 Q 50,50 100,0') * "translate(40,40)").bbox()
(40.0, 40.0, 140.0, 90.0)

Query a translated path's untranslated bounding box.

>>> (Path('M 0,0 Q 50,50 100,0') * "translate(40,40)").bbox(transformed=False)
(0.0, 0.0, 100.0, 50.0)

Add a path and shape:

>>> print(Path("M10,10z") + Circle("12,12", 2))
M 10,10 Z M 14,12 A 2,2 0 0,1 12,14 A 2,2 0 0,1 10,12 A 2,2 0 0,1 12,10 A 2,2 0 0,1 14,12 Z

Add two shapes, and query their bounding boxes:

>>> (Circle() + Rect()).bbox()
(-1.0, -1.0, 1.0, 1.0)

Add two shapes and query their length:

>>> (Circle() + Rect()).length()
>>> tau + 4



The elements are the core functionality of this class. These are svg-based objects which interact in coherent ways.


The Path element is based on regebro's code and methods from the svg.path project. The primary methodology is to use different PathSegment classes for each segment within a pathd code. These should always have a high degree of backwards compatibility. And for most purposes importing the relevant classes from svgelements should be highly compatible with any existing code.

For this reason svgelements tests include svg.path tests in this project. And while the Point class accepts and works like a complex it is not actually a complex. This permits code from other projects to quickly port without requiring an extensive rewrite. But, the custom class allows for improvements like making the Matrix object easy.

  • Path(*segments)

Just as with svg.path the Path class is a mutable sequence, and it behaves like a list. You can add to it and replace path segments etc:

>>> path = Path(Line(100+100j,300+100j), Line(100+100j,300+100j))
>>> path.append(QuadraticBezier(300+100j, 200+200j, 200+300j))
>>> print(path)
L 300,100 L 300,100 Q 200,200 200,300

>>> path[1] = Line(200+100j,300+100j)
>>> print(path)
L 300,100 L 300,100 Q 200,200 200,300

>>> del path[1]
>>> print(path)
L 300,100 Q 200,200 200,300

>>> path = Move() + path
>>> print(path)
M 100,100 L 300,100 Q 200,200 200,300

The path object also has a d() method that will return the SVG representation of the Path segments:

>>> path.d()
'M 100,100 L 300,100 Q

200,200 200,300'

The d() parameter also takes a value for relative:

>>> path.d(relative=True)
'm 100,100 l 200,0 q -100,100 -100,200'

More modern and preferred methods are to simply use path_d strings where needed.

 >>> print(Path("M0,0v1h1v-1z"))
M 0,0 L 0,1 L 1,1 L 1,0 Z

And to use scaling factors as needed.

>>> (Path("M0,0v1h1v-1z") * "scale(20)").bbox()
(0.0, 0.0, 20.0, 20.0)

A Path object that is a collection of the PathSegment objects. These can be defined by combining a PathSegment with another PathSegment initializing it with Path() or Path(*segments) or Path(<svg_text>).


Subpaths provide a window into a Path object. These are backed by the Path they are created from and consequently operations performed on them apply to that part of the path.

>>> p = Path('M 0,0 Q 50,50 100,0 M 20,20 v 20 h 20 v-20 h-20 z')
>>> print(p)
M 0,0 Q 50,50 100,0 M 20,20 L 20,40 L 40,40 L 40,20 L 20,20 Z
>>> q = p.subpath(1) 
>>> q *= "scale(2)"
>>> print(p)
M 0,0 Q 50,50 100,0 M 40,40 L 40,80 L 80,80 L 80,40 L 40,40 Z

or likewise .reverse() (notice the path will go 80,40 first rather than 40,80.)

>>> q.reverse()
>>> print(p)
M 0,0 Q 50,50 100,0 M 40,40 L 80,40 L 80,80 L 40,80 L 40,40 Z


There are 6 PathSegment objects: Line, Arc, CubicBezier, QuadraticBezier, Move and Close. These have a 1:1 correspondence to the commands in a pathd.

>>> from svgelements import Path, Line, Arc, CubicBezier, QuadraticBezier, Close

All of these objects have a .point() function which will return the coordinates of a point on the path, where the point is given as a floating point value where 0.0 is the start of the path and 1.0 is end.

You can calculate the length of a Path or its segments with the .length() function. For CubicBezier and Arc segments this is done by geometric approximation and for this reason may be very slow. You can make it faster by passing in an error option to the method. If you don't pass in error, it defaults to 1e-12. While the project has no dependencies, if you have scipy installed the Arc.length() function will use to the hypergeometric exact formula contained and will quickly return with the exact answer.

>>> CubicBezier(300+100j, 100+100j, 200+200j, 200+300j).length(error=1e-5)

CubicBezier and Arc also has a min_depth option that specifies the minimum recursion depth. This is set to 5 by default, resulting in using a minimum of 32 segments for the calculation. Setting it to 0 is a bad idea for CubicBeziers, as they may become approximated to a straight line.

Line.length() and QuadraticBezier.length() also takes these parameters, but they unneeded as direct values rather than approximations are returned.

CubicBezier and QuadraticBezier also have is_smooth_from(previous) methods, that checks if the segment is a "smooth" segment compared to the given segment.

Unlike svg.path the preferred method of getting a Path from a pathd string is as an argument:

>>> from svgelements import Path
>>> Path('M 100 100 L 300 100')
Path(Move(end=Point(100,100)), Line(start=Point(100,100), end=Point(300,100)))

PathSegment Classes

These are the SVG PathSegment classes. See the SVG specifications <>_ for more information on what each parameter means.

  • Move(start, end) The move object describes a move to the start of the next subpath. It may lack a start position but not en end position.

  • Close(start, end) The close object describes a close path element. It will have a length if and only if the end point is not equal to the subpath start point. Neither the start point or end point is required.

  • Line(start, end) The line object describes a line moving straight from one point to the next point.

  • Arc(start, radius, rotation, arc, sweep, end) The arc object describes an arc across a circular path. This supports multiple types of parameterizations. The given default there is compatible with svg.path and has a complex radius. It is also valid to divide radius into rx and ry or Arc(start, end, center, prx, pry, sweep) where start, end, center, prx, pry are points and sweep is the radians value of the arc distance traveled.

  • QuadraticBezier(start, control, end) the quadratic bezier object describes a single control point bezier curve.

  • CubicBezier(start, control1, control2, end) the cubic bezier curve object describes a two control point bezier curve.


This SVG path example draws a triangle:

>>> path1 = Path('M 100 100 L 300 100 L 200 300 z')

You can format SVG paths in many different ways, all valid paths should be accepted:

>>> path2 = Path('M100,100L300,100L200,300z')

And these paths should be equal:

>>> path1 == path2

You can also build a path from objects:

>>> path3 = Path(Move(100 + 100j), Line(100 + 100j, 300 + 100j), Line(300 + 100j, 200 + 300j), Close(200 + 300j, 100 + 100j))

And it should again be equal to the first path::

>>> path1 == path3

Paths are mutable sequences, you can slice and append::

>>> path1.append(QuadraticBezier(300+100j, 200+200j, 200+300j))
>>> len(path1[2:]) == 3

Note that there is no protection against you creating paths that are invalid. You can for example have a Close command that doesn't end at the path start:

>>> wrong = Path(Line(100+100j,200+100j), Close(200+300j, 0))
>>> wrong.d()
'L 200,100 Z'

Matrix (Transformations)

SVG 1.1, 7.15.3 defines the matrix form as:

[a c  e]
[b d  f]

Since we are delegating to SVG spec for such things, this is how it is implemented in elements.

To be compatible with SVG 1.1 and SVG 2.0 the matrix class provided has all the SVG functions as well as the CSS functions:

  • translate(x,[y])
  • translateX(x)
  • translateY(y)
  • scale(x,[y])
  • scaleX(x)
  • scaleY(y)
  • skew(x,[y])
  • skewX(x)
  • skewY(y)

Since we have compatibility with CSS for the SVG 2.0 spec compatibility we can perform length translations:

>>> Point(0,0) * Matrix("Translate(1cm,1cm)")

Do note, however that this isn't an intended purpose. Points are expected in native units. You should render the Matrix prior to using it. This means you must give it the correct units to translate the information from one form to another.

>>> Point(0,0) * (Matrix("Translate(1cm,1cm)").render(ppi=96.0))

We can also rotate by turns, grad, deg, rad which are permitted CSS angles:

>>> Point(10,0) * Matrix("Rotate(1turn)")
>>> Point(10,0) * Matrix("Rotate(400grad)")
>>> Point(10,0) * Matrix("Rotate(360deg)")

A goal of this project is to provide a robust modifications of Path objects including matrix transformations. This is done by three major shifts from svg.paths methods.

  • Points are not stored as complex numbers. These are stored as Point objects, which have backwards compatibility with complex numbers, without the data actually being backed by a complex.
  • A matrix is added which conforms to the SVGMatrix element. The matrix contains valid versions of all the affine transformations elements required by the SVG Spec.
  • The Arc object is fundamentally backed by a different point-based parameterization.

The objects themselves have robust dunder methods. So if you have a path object you may simply multiply it by a matrix.

>>> Path(Line(0+0j, 100+100j)) * Matrix.scale(2)
Path(Line(start=Point(0,0), end=Point(100,100)), transform=Matrix(2, 0, 0, 2, 0, 0), stroke='None', fill='None')

Or rotate a parsed path.

>>> Path("M0,0L100,100") * Matrix.rotate(30)
Path(Move(end=Point(0,0)), Line(start=Point(0,0), end=Point(100,100)), transform=Matrix(0.154251449888, -0.988031624093, 0.988031624093, 0.154251449888, 0, 0))

Or modify an SVG path.

>>> str(Path("M0,0L100,100") * Matrix.rotate(30))
'M 0,0 L 114.228,-83.378'

The Matrix objects can be used to modify points:

>>> Point(100,100) * Matrix("scale(2)")

>>> Point(100,100) * (Matrix("scale(2)") * Matrix("Translate(40,40)"))

Do note that the order of operations for matrices matters:

>>> Point(100,100) * (Matrix("Translate(40,40)") * Matrix("scale(2)"))

The first version is:

>>> (Matrix("scale(2)") * Matrix("Translate(40,40)"))
Matrix(2, 0, 0, 2, 40, 40)

The second is:

>>>> (Matrix("Translate(40,40)") * Matrix("scale(2)"))
Matrix(2, 0, 0, 2, 80, 80)

This is:

>>>> Point(100,100) * Matrix("Matrix(2,0,0,2,80,80)")

SVG Dictionary Parsing

>>> node = { 'd': "M0,0 100,0, 0,100 z", 'transform': "scale(0.5)"}
>>> print(Path(node['d']) * Matrix(node['transform']))
M 0,0 L 50,0 L 0,50 Z

SVG Viewport Scaling, Unit Scaling

There is need in many applications to append a transformation for the viewbox, height, width. So as to prevent a variety of errors where the expected size is vastly different from the actual size. If we have a viewbox of "0 0 100 100" but the height and width show that to be 50cm wide, then a path "M25,50L75,50" within that viewbox has a real size of length of 25cm which can be quite different from 50 (unitless value).

This conversion is done through the Viewbox object. This operation is automatically done for during SVG parsing.

Viewbox objects have a call to .transform() which will provide the string for an equivalent transformation for the given viewbox.

The Viewbox.transform() code conforms to the algorithm given in SVG 1.1 7.2, SVG 2.0 8.2 'equivalent transform of an SVG viewport.' This will also fully implement the preserveAspectRatio, xMidYMid, and meetOrSlice values for the viewboxes.

SVG Shapes

Another important SVG elements are the shapes. While all of these can be converted to paths. They can serve some usages in their original form. There are methods to deform a rectangle that simple don't exist in the path form of that object.

  • Rect
  • Ellipse
  • Circle
  • Line (SimpleLine)
  • Polyline
  • Polygon

The Line shape is converted into a shape called SimpleLine to not interfere with the Line(PathSegment).

A Shape is said to be equal to another Shape or a Path if they decompose to same Path.

>>> Circle() == Ellipse()
 >>> Rect() == Path('m0,0h1v1h-1z')


Rectangles are defined by x, y and height, width. Within SVG there are also rounded corners defined with rx and ry.

>>> Rect(10,10,8,4).d()
'M 10,10 L 18,10 L 18,14 L 10,14 Z'

Much like all the paths these shapes also contain a .d() function that produces the path data for them. This could then be wrapped into a Path().

>>> print(Path(Rect(10,10,8,4).d()) * "rotate(0.5turns)")
M -10,-10 L -18,-10 L -18,-14 L -10,-14 Z

Or simply passed to the Path:

>>> print(Path(Rect(10,10,8,4)) * "rotate(0.5turns)")
M -10,-10 L -18,-10 L -18,-14 L -10,-14 L -10,-10 Z

Or simply multiplied by the matrix itself:

>>> print(Rect(10,10,8,4) * "rotate(0.5turns)")
Rect(x=10, y=10, width=8, height=4, transform=Matrix(-1, 0, -0, -1, 0, 0), stroke='None', fill='None')

And you can equally decompose that Shape:

>>> (Rect(10,10,8,4) * "rotate(0.5turns)").d()
'M -10,-10 L -18,-10 L -18,-14 L -10,-14 L -10,-10 Z'

Matrices can be applied to Rect objects directly.

>>> from svgelements import *
>>> Rect(10,10,8,4) * "rotate(0.5turns)"
Rect(x=10, y=10, width=8, height=4, transform=Matrix(-1, 0, -0, -1, 0, 0), stroke='None', fill='None')

>>> Rect(10,10,8,4) * "rotate(0.25turns)"
Rect(x=10, y=10, width=8, height=4, transform=Matrix(0, 1, -1, 0, 0, 0))

Rotated Rects produce path_d strings.:

>>> Rect(10,10,8,4) * "rotate(14deg)"
Rect(x=10, y=10, width=8, height=4, transform=Matrix(0.970295726276, 0.2419218956, -0.2419218956, 0.970295726276, 0, 0))
>>> (Rect(10,10,8,4) * "rotate(14deg)").d()
'M 7.28373830676,12.1221762188 L 15.046104117,14.0575513836 L 14.0784165346,17.9387342887 L 6.31605072436,16.0033591239 Z'

This also works with rx and ry: (Note: the path will now contain Arcs)

>>> (Rect(10,10,8,4, 2, 1) * "rotate(0.25turns)").d()
'M -10,12 L -10,16 A 2,1 90 0,1 -11,18 L -13,18 A 2,1 90 0,1 -14,16 L -14,12 A 2,1 90 0,1 -13,10 L -11,10 A 2,1 90 0,1 -10,12 Z'

You can also decompose the shapes in relative modes:

>>> (Rect(10,10,8,4, 2, 1) * "rotate(0.25turns)").d(relative=True)
'm -10,12 l 1.77636E-15,4 a 2,1 90 0,1 -1,2 l -2,0 a 2,1 90 0,1 -1,-2 l -1.77636E-15,-4 a 2,1 90 0,1 1,-2 l 2,0 a 2,1 90 0,1 1,2 z'

Ellipse & Circle

Ellipses and Circles are different shapes but since a circle is a particular kind of Ellipse much of the functionality here is duplicated.

While the objects are different they can be checked for equivalency:

>>> Ellipse(center=(0,0), rx=10, ry=10) == Circle(center="0,0", r=10.0)


SimpleLine is renamed from the SVG form of Line since we already have Line objects as PathSegment.

>>> s = SimpleLine(0,0,200,200)
>>> s
SimpleLine(x1=0.0, y1=0.0, x2=200.0, y2=200.0)
>>> s *= "rotate(45)"
>>> s
SimpleLine(x1=0.0, y1=0.0, x2=200.0, y2=200.0, transform=Matrix(0.707106781187, 0.707106781187, -0.707106781187, 0.707106781187, 0, 0))
>>> abs(s)
SimpleLine(x1=0.0, y1=0.0, x2=2.842170943040401e-14, y2=282.842712474619, stroke='None', fill='None')
>>> s.d()
'M 0,0 L 2.84217094304E-14,282.842712475

Polyline and Polygon

The difference here is polylines are not closed while Polygons are closed.

>>> p = Polygon(0,0, 100,0, 100,100, 0,100)
>>> p *= "scale(2)"
>>> p.d()
'M 0,0, L 200,0, L 200,200, L 0,200 Z'

and the same for Polyline:

>>> p = Polyline(0,0, 100,0, 100,100, 0,100)
>>> p *= "scale(2)"
>>> p.d()
'M 0,0, L 200,0, L 200,200, L 0,200'

You can just append a "z" to the polyline path though.

>>> Path(Polyline((20,0), (10,10), 0)) + "z" == Polygon("20,0 10,10 0,0")

CSS Length

The conversion of lengths to utilizes another element Length It provides conversions for mm, cm, in, px, pt, pc, %. You can also parse an element like the string '25mm' calling Length('25mm').value(ppi=96) and get the expected results. You can also call Length('25mm').in_inches() which will return 25mm in inches. This can be independently useful when dealing with lengths, etc.

>>> Length('25mm').in_inches()


Color is another fundamental element within SVG that is also useful elsewhere. The object contains an 'int' as 'value' in the form of an ARGB 32-bit integer. It will parse all the SVG color functions.

If we get the .fill or .stroke of an object. This can be expressed in many ways, and needs to be converted to a consistent form. We could have a 3, 4, 6, or 8 digit hex. rgb(r,g,b) value, a static dictionary name or percent rgb(r,g,b). And must be properly parsed according to the spec.

>>> Color("red").hex

>>> Color('red').red

>>>Color('hsl(120, 100%, 50%)')

>>> c = Color('hsl(120, 100%, 50%)')
>>> = 50
>>> c

In addition you can set various properties of a particular color. Check distances to other colors.

>>> Color.distance('red', 'lightred')
>>> Color.distance('red', 'blue')
>>> Color('red').distance_to('blue')


Angle is backed by a 'float' and contains all the CSS angle values. 'deg', 'rad', 'grad', 'turn'.

>>> Angle.degrees(360).as_radians

The Angle element is used automatically with the Skew and Rotate for matrix.

>>> Point(100,100) * Matrix("SkewX(0.05turn)")


Point is used in all the SVG path segment objects. With regard to svg.path it is not back by, but implements all the same functionality as a complex and will take a complex as an input. This is so that older svg.path code will remain valid. While also allowing for additional functionality like finding a distance.

>>> Point(0+100j).distance_to([0,0])

The class supports complex subscribable elements, .x and .y methods, and .imag and .real. As well as providing several of these indexing methods.

It includes a number of point functions like:

  • move_towards(point,float): Move this point towards the other point. with an amount [0,1]
  • distance_to(point): Calculate the Euclidean distance to the other point.
  • angle_to(point): Calculate the angle to the given point.
  • polar_to(angle,distance): Return a point via polar coords at the angle and distance.
  • reflected_across(point): Returns a point reflected across another point. (Smooth bezier curves use this).

This for example takes the 0,0 point turns 1/8th of a turn, and moves forward by 5cm.

>>> Point(0).polar_to(Angle.turns(0.125), Length("5cm").value(ppi=96))


The Path element of this project is based in part on the regebro/svg.path ( ) project. It is also may be based, in part, on some elements of mathandy/svgpathtools ( ).

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