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Inkscape + matplotlib's svg = one strange love child

Heh, heh. Just when my analysis was coming along at a nice clip...

Here is part of figure1 (png shot of)

Here is part of fig2

And here is what happens when I copy fig2 and paste it into fig1

Note that the above figure should look exactly like fig2...
I LOVE Inkscape, I LOVE matplotlib, and I'm attached to my toolchain, I hope this can be fixed.

  1. See this thread
  2. Mike has fixed the problem is SVN - you should replace the with the one linked in Mike's post.


  1. Got a reply from Mike on the matplotlib-users mailing list:

    When matplotlib outputs an SVG, each unique character is assigned a numeric id (these are just assigned in order), and inserted as a "def", and then "use"d (referenced) wherever they are used.

    When you paste on SVG into another, those names clash, and Inkscape is pulling in the wrong characters when it goes to draw.

    Now, my gut feels that this is actually a bug in Inkscape -- pasting of referenced objects from one file into another should reassign new ids. However, I'm not an SVG expert, so I could be wrong, but I think I will take this question over to the Inkscape mailing list anyway.

    That said, there are probably some workarounds that matplotlib could make (using a hash of the character's content as the id, for instance). I'll look into that and reply when progress has been made.


  2. SVG is a great basis for cooperation between designers and coders (of for example web apps). Now SVG is becoming more mainstream, one of the advantages of being an open standard becomes more visible: easier cooperation. One of the 'disadvantages' however is that certain implied constraints ON the content, or allowed errors IN the content for one program could easily give trouble in the next program. Number of eyeballs with network effect ++. And this is 'only' a visual example of such a thing. If you also care about semantics or code readability, there's more to gain from SVG, plus more for SVG programs to actually make you enjoy it fully.

  3. Save the figures as PDF and open them in Inkscape. The text is saved as real text, rather than as paths.

    Unfortunately, the image is not structured as nicely with groups anymore...


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