SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphics. Scalable refers to the notion that a drawing can be scaled to an arbitrary size without losing detail.

Scalable also refers to the idea that a drawing can be composed of an unlimited number of smaller parts, parts that can be reused many times.

The SVG standard is directed toward a complete description of two-dimensional graphics including animation in an XML (eXtensible Markup Language) format. XML is an open standard for describing a document in a way that can be easily extended and is resistant to future changes in the document specification. A drawing saved in one version of SVG by one version of a drawing program should be viewable, to the full extent possible, by any previous or future version of any drawing program that adheres to the SVG standard. If a program doesn't support something in the SVG standard, it should just skip over any part of a drawing that uses it, rendering the rest correctly.

SVG files are small, and drawings described by the standard adapt well to different presentation methods. This has led to great interest in the standard. Support is included in many web browsers (Firefox Opera, and Safari), is being added to others (e.g., Konqueror), or is available through plug-ins (e.g., Adobe). At least ten companies produce mobile phones that utilize a subset of the full SVG standard that has been tailored for devices with limited resources.