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GGplot transparency svg appears black

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I am using the popular ggplot2 package for R to make my scientific plots.

The transparency doesn't seem to work at all in affinity designer (1.10.5) with a very basic plot. All background appears black.


Browsers and Inkscape open it just fine.

The R code is really basic:

    panel.background = element_rect(fill = "transparent"), # bg of the panel
    plot.background = element_rect(fill = "transparent", color = NA),
    legend.background = element_rect(fill = "transparent"), # get rid of legend bg
    legend.box.background = element_rect(fill = "transparent", colour = NA), # get rid of legend panel bg
    legend.key = element_rect(fill = "transparent", colour = NA)

ggplot(cars, aes(speed, dist)) +



I am attaching the test.svg file.

Your help would be much appreciated.




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Hi jonasfoe, welcome to the forums!

I can see that there are a few extra (maybe unnecessary?)  layers in the output SVG but we'd need to know what it should look like to offer any advice on how to resolve it.

removing the solid layers reveals this:



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The plot is meant to look like the png attached here. In any other software that I can open the svg with, I get this result.

Only with Affinity Designer do I get the solid layer. Removing the solid layer removes important parts of the figure, as you demonstated (the axes).


Thanks for the swift feedback.


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There a quite a few things in SVGs that the Affinity applications can’t handle.

Out of the (probably many) possible options, one might be to check the ggplot2 export options to see if you can export in the simplest way possible – e.g. no CSS/HTML code, no clip-paths, etc.

Other than that you may have to do various manual changes to the SVG before using it which could affect the overall accuracy of your plot and that could cause further problems ‘down the road’.

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