[cairo-bugs] [Bug 38516] Make Text in generated SVG file selectable

bugzilla-daemon at freedesktop.org bugzilla-daemon at freedesktop.org
Wed Oct 16 12:41:42 PDT 2013


elmar at pruesse.net changed:

           What    |Removed                     |Added
                 CC|                            |elmar at pruesse.net

--- Comment #21 from elmar at pruesse.net ---
I would argue that having <text> tags in the SVG output is more important than
reproducing the precise glyph positions. From an end-user-perspective the
current behaviour classifies as "bug" and not just as "minor". 

As an application developer I chose Cairo not least because it promised to make
it trivial to produce PDF and SVG exports of the graphics my software renders
on screen. The typical use case for PDF is printing. Here, exact reproduction
of the rendered output is indeed critical. Editing of PDFs works these days,
but it's expected to be less than perfect. The typical use case for SVG, on the
other hand, is as an exchange format for vector graphics, say for
post-processing the drawing in a full blown vector graphics editor such as

However, the PDFs produced by Cairo are actually more suitable to editing than
the SVGs. When opening a cairo-generated SVG in Inkscape, any user will quickly
be frustrated by the fact that text is not text but a container object holding
a bunch of individual characters. This is illustrated by numerous bug-reports
filed with applications relying on Cairo to create vector graphics files (e.g.
the Cairo device implementation for R).

The only use case I see currently where exact glyph positioning would be
desirable is when using cairo to generate SVGs to be used in websites. In this
case I'd still argue for the text tag, simply because all the glyph tags make
the SVG unreasonably large.

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