Monday, 2 November 2009

Visio and Linux or what I call "Want SVG, use PDF"

I tend to get Visio diagrams from people every once in a while. Most of the time it's the vsd type, not even the xvsd (or xml based) version. Even if I had the xvsd, I'm not sure what exactly I could do with it.

Visio does have the capabilities of exporting to SVG (at least the latest release does) but I find that they don't import properly into Inkscape. It's strange but they seem to display properly elsewhere.

The answer to this issue? Another intermediate step -- use PDF. Visio can also export to PDF directly. (Or maybe you need a plugin?)

This PDF renders correctly and when you import it into Inkscape it shows up correctly too.

Now to test another file type... Visio can export into Autocad format!!!

I just recently discovered that you can convert DWG to SVG. I haven't tried the Cad2SVG tool yet, but I'm hopeful it will also provide an SVG that's usable in Inkscape.

By the way, if you're wondering why I'm so eager to go with SVG? It's simple -- it looks good and you can zoom without losing detail (very handy with an iPhone!) And if you don't believe that there's a lot of SVG out there, check out http://svg.startpagina.nl/.

-P
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