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Controlling dimensions of SVG export

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Is there a way to specify the output dimensions when exporting to SVG? I make a lot of SVGs for cutting and engraving, and I've had a terrible time getting my finished project from Designer to other software - the dimensions are always off, and I usually end up having to import the SVG into Illustrator to set the dimensions by inches (or mm) so I can cut/engrave it properly.

Pink Floyd was right. | Windows 10 · MacOS 10.14 · Arch Linux

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Using SVGs with cutting machines

SVGs are the preferred file type for use with cutting machines such as Cricut, Silhouette, Eclips, Brother, and Cameo. This is for a number of reasons:

  • They contain directional information (or paths) that help guide the cutting machine in the right direction when cutting out the image.
  • The lines in SVG files are very precise, and will not lose quality even if you completely resize them.
  • SVGs can be easily edited from the cutting program itself.

To prepare an SVG file for export to the web:

  • Ensure the design is sitting in an area of whole pixels (e.g., no decimal points) to keep the image crisp.
  • The SVG export settings may automatically alter the DPI of the file to ensure a reasonable file size. For a file that is to be viewed on a retina screen, a DPI of 144 or higher is preferred.
  • Ensure Export text as curves for font independence is checked to ensure your file is displayed precisely as intended.

To prepare an SVG file for export to a cutting program:

  • Ensure your document is set to 72 DPI.
  • Your cutting machine's application may push all layers within your document to the edge of the material when cutting to prevent material wastage. To add padding around the edges of your document, create a new rectangle layer underneath your curve layers.
  • Your cutting machine's application may take all layers within your document and reorder them before cutting to prevent material wastage. If your design contains multiple curve layers but you want to retain the layout of your document, you will need to merge all of the separate curve layers into a single curve layer. You can do this by selecting each of the curve layers and going to Layer>Geometry>Merge curves.
  • We advise that you export to SVG using the default settings.


  • Export settings (switch on that page below pull-down menu to: "Settings unique to SVG format")

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.6 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.6 ◆ Affinity Publisher 1.10.6 ◆ OSX El Capitan
☛ Affinity V2 apps still not installed and thus momentary not in use under MacOS

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There are several workarounds posted here on this forum, but from my experience, the only thing that matters is setting the dimensions of the file manually, by editing the SVG using a text editor. So:

  • In Affinity Designer, set the document size using inches or mm. Let's say it's 2"x2". The resolution does not matter.
  • Export the SVG using any preset. "SVG (for export)" works fine.
  • Open the SVG in a text editor and look for this piece of text somewhere at the beginning of the file (usually it's on the third line):
  • <svg width="100%" height="100%"

    Change it to this:

  • <svg width="2in" height="2in"
  • Save it and it's done.

All the apps I've tried imported the SVG at the correct size.

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