I often use Inkscape for generating SVG images. However, these images contain data which doesn't seem to affect the visual output, so I want to remove it. To do that, I wrote the following code:

Use: python inkscape-svg-shortener.py [original_file] [destination]

import os
import sys

    original_file, target = sys.argv[1:3]
    with open(original_file) as f:
        text = f.read()
except FileNotFoundError:
    quit("ERROR: File does not exist!")
except IndexError:
    quit("ERROR: Not enough values given!")

if os.path.isfile(target):
    if input(f"A file named {target} already exists! Overwrite? (y)  ") != "y":

quote = "\""
pairs = {
    "<!--": "-->",
    "<metadata": "</metadata>",
    "<?xml": "?>",
    " version=\"": quote,
    "<inkscape:perspective": "/>",
    "<sodipodi:namedview": "/>",
    "xmlns:dc=\"": quote,
    "xmlns:rdf=\"": quote,
    "xmlns:cc=\"": quote,
    "stroke-linecap:butt;": "",
    "fill-opacity:1;": "",
    "stroke-linejoin:miter;": "",
    "font-weight:normal;": "",
    "stroke-opacity:1;": "",
    "stroke-dasharray:none": "",
    "stroke-miterlimit:": ";",
    "fill-rule:": ";",
    "xml:space=\"": quote,
    "letter-spacing:0px;": "",
    "font-style:normal;": "",
    "word-spacing:0px;": "",
    "stroke:none;": "",
    "xmlns:sodipodi=\"": quote,
    "xmlns:inkscape=\"": quote

if "<use" not in text:
    pairs[" id=\""] = quote

for start, end in pairs.items():
    while start in text:
        startpos = text.find(start)
        endpos = text.find(end, startpos + len(start)) + len(end)
        text = text[:startpos] + text[endpos:]

for a in ("sodipodi", "inkscape"):
    while a in text:
        start = text.find(a)
        sep1 = text.find(":", start + 8)
        sep2 = text.find("=\"", sep1 + 1) + 1
        end = text.find(quote, sep2 + 2)
        text = text[:start] + text[end + 1:]

with open(target, "w") as f:
    for line in text.split("\n"):
        keep = False
        for c in line:
            if c not in (" ", "\n"):
                keep = True
        if keep:
            f.write(line + "\n")

print("File was saved sucessfully!")

How could it be improved?

  • \$\begingroup\$ You might find svgminify.com handy. \$\endgroup\$
    – chicks
    Apr 12, 2022 at 22:17

1 Answer 1


SVG is written in XML. As a rule, you should prefer using proper XML tools to process XML rather than doing ad hoc text substitutions, for robustness and maintainability. Look into using XSL Transforms instead.


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