How can I simplify SVG files (all the paths inside it) using a Windows command line tool? It's important that it be fast because I should use it in production.
Adobe Illustrator has a good simplifier (Object->Path->Simplify) but can't be used as CLI. https://github.com/mourner/simplify-js is another good tool but it doesn't have a CLI.
Please comment below this question if you know any non CLI tool (in any languages including C++ and Python) that works directly with SVG files.

  • 1
    Your last sentence should be a separate question (Please don't ask two questions in one on SE sites). You can have both questions point to each other to emphasize that you want a CLI tool in one and a library in the other.
    – user416
    Oct 29, 2018 at 8:42
  • If you can code, it would be simple to write a script with AutoIt to automate Adobe Illustrator to do this for as many files as you like
    – Mawg
    Nov 29, 2018 at 13:54

4 Answers 4


Scour is a python tool which removes redundant and spurious data from SVG files and then optimizes them.


If you are on debian you can install it by typing this command:

sudo apt install scour

On most platforms you can install with:

pip install scour

If your current permissions are not sufficient you can either use:

pip install --user scour


sudo pip install scour



scour -i input.svg -o output.svg

Better (for older versions of Internet Explorer):

scour -i input.svg -o output.svg --enable-viewboxing

Maximum scrubbing:

scour -i input.svg -o output.svg --enable-viewboxing --enable-id-stripping \
  --enable-comment-stripping --shorten-ids --indent=none

Maximum scrubbing and a compressed SVGZ file:

scour -i input.svg -o output.svgz --enable-viewboxing --enable-id-stripping \
  --enable-comment-stripping --shorten-ids --indent=none

Note that Scour is a python library that also provides a command line tool by utilizing entry points so will require a working python (2.7 or 3.4+ installation) - it is cross platform.

  • I couldn't find any tools for simplifying SVG paths in Scour. Are you sure it does that?
    – J. Mando
    Oct 29, 2018 at 19:46
  • 1
    @J.Mando yes I am reasonably sure that it does optimize not quite the same as simplify svg files - depending on the origin of the file and the options selected the saving can be quite significant. Oct 30, 2018 at 6:13
  • I'm not looking for optimization. Please read the question.
    – J. Mando
    Oct 30, 2018 at 6:47
  • @J.Mando Please clarify what you mean by simplify most optimizations are also simplifications as a simpler SVG will download, load and render more quickly than a complex one and fast download, load & render is the goal of optimization - the only definition of simplification that I know of that is not also optimization is attempting to make things more human readable which may run counter to optimization. Oct 31, 2018 at 6:01
  • 1
    I think the question is clear. I want path simplification. Just like the one in Adobe Illustrator - which I mentioned.
    – J. Mando
    Oct 31, 2018 at 15:46

You could install node.js and use command line JavaScript along with SVG Optimizer (SVGO) for optimizing SVG vector graphics files.

  • 1
    I couldn't find any tools for simplifying SVG paths in SVGO. Are you sure it does that?
    – J. Mando
    Oct 29, 2018 at 14:06

There is also svgcleaner.

As of the time that I am posting this, the latest release was in April of 2018, and the latest (unreleased) commit in November of 2019, so it can still be considered in active development.

I do not know how it compares feature-wise to the other utilities listed, but the main benefit I see in this utility is that it is written in a real programming language (Rust) instead of some scripting rimgarole like javascript or python.

One feature that I already know it does not have is the ability select a subset of the original svg file to export.

svgcleaner comes with builds for linux, windows, and macos.



If you already have inkscape installed, you can use it as a command-line utility.

Type inkscape --help for instructions.

inkscape contains the python runtime and makes use of scour (mentioned in another answer) to perform these command-line operations.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.