SVG, standing for “Scalable Vector
Graphics”, is an increasingly popular file format for
vector graphics, in which graphical elements are
represented in a resolution-independent format, in contrast to
raster graphics; in which graphical elements are
represented as arrays of pixels. GIMP is mainly a raster graphics
program, but paths are vector entities.
Fortunately, paths are represented in SVG files in
almost exactly the same way they are represented in GIMP. (Actually
fortune has nothing to do with it: GIMP's path handling was rewritten
for GIMP 2.0 with SVG paths in mind.) This compatibility makes it
possible to store GIMP paths as SVG files without
losing any information. You can access this capability in the Paths
It also means that GIMP can create paths from
SVG files saved in other programs, such as
two popular open-source vector graphics applications. This is nice
because those programs have much more powerful path-manipulation tools
than GIMP does. You can import a path from an SVG
file using the Paths dialog.
format handles many other graphical elements than just paths: among
other things, it handles figures such as squares, rectangles, circles,
ellipses, regular polygons, etc. GIMP cannot do anything with these
entities, but it can load them as paths.
Creating paths is not the only thing GIMP can do with
SVG files. It can also open
SVG files as GIMP images, in the usual way.