Android SVG Drawable plugin

Build Status Maven Central

Every Android application should provide alternative resources to support specific device configurations such as portrait, landscape, small, large, us, fr, ... Because we don't want to edit thousands of several images every time we need to change a single pixel, a color, a shadow size or a text value, this plugin generates for you density specific bitmap drawable resources from qualified SVG files at build time.

The only thing you have to do is to provide one or more qualified SVG files that will be converted for you at build time into as many as needed bitmaps and organized into configuration-specific drawable directories... at least one for each targeted screen density ! You'll never deal with raster resources anymore...

This plugin handles any configuration <qualifier> supported by the Android SDK and can generate NinePatch drawable as well. To increase your productivity, a (incubating) mask functionnality allow you to define generic layers, filters, clip-path, etc... and let you reuse them across multiple SVG files. That's DRY applied to Android drawable resources.

Enjoy :wink: !

:warning: Read when upgrading the plugin version


Add maven central repository and the plugin reference to your build script :

buildscript {
    repositories {
    dependencies {
        classpath ''
        classpath('fr.avianey.androidsvgdrawable:gradle-plugin:+') {
            // should be excluded to avoid conflict
            exclude group: 'xerces'

You can configure one or more Task with the desired configuration into your build.gradle and apply the androidsvgdrawable plugin. Tasks will be executed for you when necessary to generate drawable resources :

apply plugin: ''
apply plugin: "androidsvgdrawable"

// create a task to convert SVG to PNG
task svgToPng(type: fr.avianey.androidsvgdrawable.gradle.SvgDrawableTask) {
    // configuration, see sample project

If you don't want the plugin to execute the task automatically, you can call your task directly through Gradle :

gradlew svgToPng

You can define as many task as you need.


Add the plugin to your pom.xml :

            <configuration><!-- see sample project --></configuration>

The plugin gen mojo can also be executed on demand through its goal prefix :

mvn svgdrawable:gen

How to use

The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.

Input SVG files

This plugin is based on Apache Batik 1.7 and thus supports most of the SVG 1.1 Specification. See the Batik status page for the list of supported, not-supported and partially supported SVG 1.1 features.

Expected file names

Input SVG file names MUST match the following pattern : \w+(-{qualifier})+.svg. It is composed of three parts :

  1. \w+ is the SVG unqualified name part
  2. (-{qualifier})+ is the SVG qualified name part
  3. .svg is the extension of the file

Each SVG file MUST provide a valid reference density qualifier in its name. The generated bitmap (JPG or PNG) will be scaled relatively to its reference density. The generated bitmap for the reference density will have the same dimensions as defined by the SVG bounding box.

Qualifiers can appear in any order within the SVG file name. The plugin takes care of re-ordering the qualifiers properly as expected by the Android SDK. For a full list of supported qualifiers, see Providing Alternative Resources on the Android developper website.

Example of valid SVG file name :

Example of invalid SVG file name :

Bounding Box

As explained above, each input SVG file name MUST provide a density qualifier. This qualifier is used to compute the scaled width and height of the generated bitmaps. The reference width and height for the reference density are those defined by the width and height attributes of the <svg> root element of the input SVG file :


This will define the bounding box of the drawable content. Everything that is drawn outside off this bounding box will not be rendered in the generated bitmaps. x and y attributes are default to 0px if not present.

Inkscape provides a way to make the SVG bounding box match the content of the document :

  1. Open File > Document Properties [CTRL]+[SHIFT]+[D]
  2. In the Page tab select Page Size > Custom Size > Resize page to content

If you want the bounding box to be larger than the content (with extra border), you'll need to add an extra transparent shape that is larger than the content and that match the desired width and height before using this tip.

You SHOULD adjust your input SVG file width and height to be a multiple of 32 and set its reference density to mdpi so they can be scaled to any density without rounding the bounding box. The width and height attributes of the <svg> element are rouded (when necessary) to the smallest integer that is greater than or equal to the value of the scaled attribute. You SHOULD use round integer values expressed in pixels px or without unit of length as much as possible...

It's also possible to use valid SVG unit of length such as mm, cm, pt, in. Use it with caution :-).

Adjusting the Bounding Box

If you don't want to adjust your input SVG file width and height you can use a constrained density qualifier that will adjust the input SVG border to the given size in pixels.

Given the following SVG file you don't want to edit :


You can adjust it to be 32 pixels width or height at the mdpi density by changing its name to :

This will force the given size in pixel for the output drawable width or height at the specified density (preserving the aspect ratio of the SVG Bounding Box). Output drawable for other densities will be scaled regarding the constrained size specified in the SVG file name instead of the size specified in the width and height attribute of the <svg> element.

Generated bitmaps

The generated bitmaps are named against \w+.png, \w+.jpg or \w+.9.png if it's a nine-patch drawable and are generated into a /res/drawable(-{qualifier})* directory where :

Nine-Patch support

If you want to generate bitmaps as NinePatch Drawable, you MUST provide Nine-Patch configuration file that specifies the stretchable area and the padding box as defined in the Android documentation related to nine-patch. The Nine-Patch configuration file consists in a JSON Array containing at least one entry :

        "name" : "phone.*",  // unqualified part of the SVG file name (JAVA regexp)
        "qualifiers" : [ // optionnal array of qualifiers to filter input SVG 
            "land" // this config applies only to \w+.*-land.*.svg files
        "stretch" : { // the stretchable area configuration
            "x" : [ // segments of the top edge of the NinePatch
                [3, 43],
                ... // you can add as many segments as you want
            "y" : [ // segments of the left edge of the NinePatch
                [3, 29]
                ... // you can add as many segments as you want
        "content" : { // the padding box configuration
            "x" : [ // segments of the bottom edge of the NinePatch
                [3, 43]
                ... // you should provide only one segment here
            "y" : [ // segments of the right edge of the NinePatch
                [3, 29]
                ... // you should provide only one segment here
    // ... other nine-patch config

If no segment is provided along an edge, the whole edge will be filled.

If you have different SVG with the same name but with different qualifiers, you can provide a specific Nine-Patch configuration by using an array of qualifiers. A Nine-Patch configuration apply only to input SVG files which qualified name part match ALL of the Nine-Patch qualifiers.

For input SVG files that use a constrained density qualifier (adjusted Bounding Box), the stretchable area and the padding box segments MUST NOT be specified using the adjusted Bounding Box. They MUST use the regular Bounding Box of the input SVG file.

SVG Masking

SVG Masking takes advantage of the SVG <image> element and allow you to define generic layers, masks and filters as well as Nine-Patch configuration for the generated bitmaps.

MASK file format

SVGMASK files are particular SVG files named against the same rule as input SVG files except for the .svgmask extension. SVGMASK files MUST contain at least one capturing <image> element with a xlink:href attribute which value matches against #\{(.*)\} and where the captured part of the attribute value is a valid JAVA Pattern :

SVGMASK files MAY contains more than one capturing <image> element as well as standard SVG <image> elements.

Generated masked files

SVGMASK files are not directly converted into bitmaps. SVGMASK files are converted into temporary SVG files that are added to the list of input SVG files to convert. Those temporary SVG files are copies of the SVGMASK files DOM in which the xlink:href attribute value of each capturing <image> is replaced by a file:/// URI linking to an captured input SVG file.

An input SVG file is captured by a capturing <image> element of a SVGMASK if it verifies the two following conditions :

  1. The unqualified name of the input SVG file match the capturing regexp of the capturing <image> element
  2. The qualified name of the input SVG file contains all of the qualifiers values defined in the SVGMASK qualified name (except for the density qualifier that is not taken into account)

A carthesian product is made between each set of captured input SVG file for each capturing <image> element of the SVGMASK file. A temporary SVG file is created for each xlink:href attribute combination in the resulting product set except for combinations that contains input SVG files with incompatible qualifiers. Incompatible SVG files are input SVG files that defines different values for a same configuration qualifier type.

Combination that uses the same URI for two capturing <image> elements can be skipped or not depending on the value of the useSameSvgOnlyOnceInMask parameter.

For each kept entry of the product set the generated temporary SVG file name is the concatenation of :

  1. The SVGMASK unqualified name
  2. The input SVG file unqualified name for each capturing <image> element xlink:href URI
    • in the order of the capturing <image> element in the SVG file DOM
  3. The union of the qualifier values for the SVGMASK and all of the linked input SVG files
    • The density qualifier of the SVGMASK is used
    • The SVGMASK bounding box is used as reference
    • Linked input SVG files are scalled according to the <image>element specifications

Resulting bitmaps are generated from those temporary SVG files following the same rules as for standard Generated bitmaps. They can also produce Nine-Patch drawable as the Nine-Patch configuration file elements MAY reference temporary SVG files,see Nine-Patch support.

Plugin options

Options list

The plugin can be configured using the following options :

Name Format Description
from FileCollection Collection of Path that contains the SVG files to generate drawable from. SVG files MUST be named against \w+(-{qualifier})+.svg and MUST contain a valid density qualifier (ldpi, mdpi, hdpi, xhdpi, xxhdpi, xxxhdpi, tvdpi). Could point to single files or to directories that will be scanned to find SVG files.
to File Path to the Android res/ directory that contains the various drawable/ directories.
createMissingDirectories boolean Set it to false if you don't want the plugin to create missing drawable(-{qualifier})*/ directories. The default value is set to true.
ninePatchConfig File Path to the 9-Patch JSON configuration file.
overwriteMode always, never or ifModified Whether or not already existing and up to date PNG should be overridden at build time.
targetedDensities List List of the desired densities for the generated drawable. If not specified, a drawable is generate for each density qualifier that is supported by the android SDK.
outputFormat PNG or JPG The format of the generated bitmaps. Nine-Patch support apply only for the PNG output format.
outputType drawable or mipmap or raw The output directory for the generated bitmaps. Nine-Patch support apply only for the drawable output type. The raw output type will generate exactly one instance of each file found under from directory to the output directory specified by to (ignoring targetDensities if any and using the density qualifier from the input file name)
jpgQuality Integer The quality use for the JPG compression between 0 and 100 (higher is better). Default value is 85 (like Gimp).
jpgBackgroundColor Integer The background color used for the generated JPG bitmaps. Default is 0xFFFFFFFF (opaque white).
svgMaskFiles FileCollection An optionnal collection of Path to pick the SVGMASK files from. Default to the same directory as the from parameter.
svgMaskResourceFiles FileCollection An optionnal collection of Path to pick the SVG files to mask from. Default to the same directory as the svgMaskedSvgOutputDirectory parameter.
useSameSvgOnlyOnceInMask boolean Tell the plugin to skip SVGMASK combinations that use the same SVG resource more than once. Default is true.

Typical Gradle configuration

Check the Gradle sample project .

Typical Maven configuration

Check the Maven sample project .

Typical LibGDX configuration

Check the LibGDX sample project .

Best practices

  1. Use a custom temporary output directory for every configuration
  2. overwriteMode SHOULD be forced to always for release build
  3. Perform a clean when you upgrade androidsvgdrawable-plugin

Who's using it

Pull Request to add yours !


Copyright 2013, 2014, 2015 Antoine Vianey  

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at  

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.