How to make a <svg> element expand or contract to its parent container?


The goal is to have the <svg> element expand to the size of its parent container, in this case a <div>, no matter how big or small that container may be.

The code:

    svg, #container{
        height: 100%;
        width: 100%;

<div id="container">
    <svg xmlns="" version="1.1" >
         <rect x="0" y="0" width="100" height="100" />

The most common solution to this problem seems to be setting the viewBox attribute on the <svg> element.

viewBox="0 0 widthOfContainer heightOfContainer"

However, this does not seem to work in cases where elements within the <svg> element have predefined widths and/or heights. For example, the <rect> element, in the above code, has its width and height explicitly set.

So the obvious solution is to use % widths and % heights on those elements as well. But does this even have to be done? Especially, since <img src=test.svg > works fine and expands/contracts without any problems with explicitly set <rect> heights and widths.

If elements like <rect>, and other elements like it, have to have their widths and heights defined in percentages, is there a way in Inkscape to set it so that all elements with the <svg> document use percentage widths, heights, etc.. instead of fixed dimensions?

This question is tagged with css html svg responsive-design

~ Asked on 2012-01-18 23:29:51

The Best Answer is


The viewBox isn't the height of the container, it's the size of your drawing. Define your viewBox to be 100 units in width, then define your rect to be 10 units. After that, however large you scale the SVG, the rect will be 10% the width of the image.

~ Answered on 2012-01-18 23:41:50


Suppose I have an SVG which looks like this: pic1

And I want to put it in a div and make it fill the div responsively. My way of doing it is as follows:

First I open the SVG file in an application like inkscape. In File->Document Properties I set the width of the document to 800px and and the height to 600px (you can choose other sizes). Then I fit the SVG into this document.


Then I save this file as a new SVG file and get the path data from this file. Now in HTML the code that does the magic is as follows:

<div id="containerId">    
    viewBox="0 0 800 600"
       <path d="m0 0v600h800v-600h-75.07031l-431 597.9707-292.445315-223.99609 269.548825-373.97461h-271.0332z" fill="#f00"/>

Note that width and height of SVG are both set to 100%, since we want it to fill the container vertically and horizontally ,but width and height of the viewBox are the same as the width and height of the document in inkscape which is 800px X 600px. The next thing you need to do is set the preserveAspectRatio to "none". If you need to have more information on this attribute here's a good link. And that's all there is to it.

One more thing is that this code works on almost all the major browsers even the old ones but on some versions of android and ios you need to use some javascrip/jQuery code to keep it consistent. I use the following in document ready and resize functions:

    'width': $('#containerId').width() + 'px',
    'height': $('#containerId').height() + 'px'

Hope it helps!

~ Answered on 2015-02-11 00:07:01

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