The <symbol> element is used to define graphical template objects which can be instantiated by a <use> element.

The use of symbol elements for graphics that are used multiple times in the same document adds structure and semantics. Documents that are rich in structure may be rendered graphically, as speech, or as Braille, and thus promote accessibility.

<svg viewBox="0 0 80 20" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg"
     xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink">
  <!-- Our symbol in its own coordinate system -->
  <symbol id="myDot" width="10" height="10" viewBox="0 0 2 2">
    <circle cx="1" cy="1" r="1" />
  </symbol>
 
   <!-- A grid to materialized our symbol positionning -->
  <path d="M0,10 h80 M10,0 v20 M25,0 v20 M40,0 v20 M55,0 v20 M70,0 v20" fill="none" stroke="pink" />
 
  <!-- All instances of our symbol -->
  <use xlink:href="#myDot" x="5"  y="5" style="opacity:1.0" />
  <use xlink:href="#myDot" x="20" y="5" style="opacity:0.8" />
  <use xlink:href="#myDot" x="35" y="5" style="opacity:0.6" />
  <use xlink:href="#myDot" x="50" y="5" style="opacity:0.4" />
  <use xlink:href="#myDot" x="65" y="5" style="opacity:0.2" />
</svg>

Attributes

height
This attribute determines the height of the symbol.
Value type: <length>|<percentage> ; Default value: auto; Animatable: yes
preserveAspectRatio
This attribute defines how the svg fragment must be deformed if it is embedded in a container with a different aspect ratio.
Value type: (none| xMinYMin| xMidYMin| xMaxYMin| xMinYMid| xMidYMid| xMaxYMid| xMinYMax| xMidYMax| xMaxYMax) (meet|slice)? ; Default value: xMidYMid meet; Animatable: yes
refX
This attribute determines the x coordinate of the reference point of the symbol.
Value type: <length>|<percentage>|left|center|right ; Default value: 0; Animatableyes
refY
This attribute determines the y coordinate of the reference point of the symbol.
Value type: <length>|<percentage>|top|center|bottom ; Default value: 0; Animatableyes
viewBox
This attribute defines the bound of the SVG viewport for the current symbol.
Value type: <list-of-numbers> ; Default value: none; Animatableyes
width
This attribute determines the width of the symbol.
Value type: <length>|<percentage> ; Default value: auto; Animatable: yes
x
This attribute determines the x coordinate of the symbol.
Value type: <length>|<percentage> ; Default value: 0; Animatable: yes
y
This attribute determines the y coordinate of the symbol.
Value type: <length>|<percentage> ; Default value: 0; Animatable: yes

Global attributes

Core Attributes
Most notably: id
Styling Attributes
class, style
Event Attributes
Global event attributes, Document element event attributes, Graphical event attributes
Presentation Attributes
Most notably: clip-path, clip-rule, color, color-interpolation, color-rendering, cursor, display, fill, fill-opacity, fill-rule, filter, mask, opacity, pointer-events, shape-rendering, stroke, stroke-dasharray, stroke-dashoffset, stroke-linecap, stroke-linejoin, stroke-miterlimit, stroke-opacity, stroke-width, transform, vector-effect, visibility
Aria Attributes
aria-activedescendant, aria-atomic, aria-autocomplete, aria-busy, aria-checked, aria-colcount, aria-colindex, aria-colspan, aria-controls, aria-current, aria-describedby, aria-details, aria-disabled, aria-dropeffect, aria-errormessage, aria-expanded, aria-flowto, aria-grabbed, aria-haspopup, aria-hidden, aria-invalid, aria-keyshortcuts, aria-label, aria-labelledby, aria-level, aria-live, aria-modal, aria-multiline, aria-multiselectable, aria-orientation, aria-owns, aria-placeholder, aria-posinset, aria-pressed, aria-readonly, aria-relevant, aria-required, aria-roledescription, aria-rowcount, aria-rowindex, aria-rowspan, aria-selected, aria-setsize, aria-sort, aria-valuemax, aria-valuemin, aria-valuenow, aria-valuetext, role

Usage notes

CategoriesContainer element, Structural element
Permitted contentAny number of the following elements, in any order:
Animation elements
Descriptive elements
Shape elements
Structural elements
Gradient elements
<a>, <altGlyphDef>, <clipPath>, <color-profile>, <cursor>, <filter>, <font>, <font-face>, <foreignObject>, <image>, <marker>, <mask>, <pattern>, <script>, <style>, <switch>, <text>, <view>

Note: A <symbol> element itself is not meant to be rendered. Only instances of a <symbol> element (i.e., a reference to a <symbol> by a <use> element) are rendered. That means that some browsers could refuse to directly display a <symbol> element even if the CSS display property tells otherwise.

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 2
The definition of '<symbol>' in that specification.
Candidate Recommendation Allowed geometry properties to be specified on a symbol
Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.1 (Second Edition)
The definition of '<symbol>' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
DesktopMobile
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge MobileFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
Basic supportChrome Full support 1Edge Full support YesFirefox Full support 1.5IE Full support 9Opera Full support 9Safari Full support 3.1WebView Android Full support 3Chrome Android Full support 18Edge Mobile Full support YesFirefox Android Full support 4Opera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support 3.1Samsung Internet Android ?
preserveAspectRatioChrome ? Edge ? Firefox ? IE ? Opera ? Safari ? WebView Android ? Chrome Android ? Edge Mobile ? Firefox Android ? Opera Android ? Safari iOS ? Samsung Internet Android ?
viewBoxChrome ? Edge ? Firefox ? IE ? Opera ? Safari ? WebView Android ? Chrome Android ? Edge Mobile ? Firefox Android ? Opera Android ? Safari iOS ? Samsung Internet Android ?

Legend

Full support  
Full support
Compatibility unknown  
Compatibility unknown

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Last updated by: Jeremie,