Library/Tools to convert Microsoft (MS) Visio documents (VSS and VSD) to SVG
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Latest commit d69aa12 Mar 22, 2018


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Library/Utilities to convert Microsoft (MS) Visio Documents and Stencils (VSS and VSD) to SVG.


There are tons of publicly available MS Visio stencils, for example the Cisco ones or the stencils from VisioCafe. This library and utilities were created to be able to convert these stencils to SVG and reuse them outside of Microsoft Visio, in programs like yEd, Inkscape, Dia, Calligra Flow...

This library is mainly the glue between librevenge/libvisio, libemf2svg and libwmf.

About libemf2svg

libemf2svg is another library of mine. It was developed to handle MS EMF (Enhanced Metafile) blobs which constitute most of Visio VSS shapes.

Librevenge/Libvisio would otherwise only dump the EMF blob as base64 in an <image> SVG tag, which most viewer/editor/browser would be unable to display.


Libvisio2svg is licensed under GPLv2.



Commands to build this project:

# CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX is optional, default is /usr/local/
$ cmake . -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr/

# compilation
$ make

# installation
$ make install


The vss2svg and vsd2svg utilities rely on regular expressions to construct safe file names from stencils/sheets names. It will replace anything that is not matching [A-Za-z0-9-] by an underscore.

This functionality relies on regexp from libstdc++ (c++11 standard), but older libraries doesn't support regex.

Yet you can compile without this file name sanitization:

$ make

However, be cautious with the stencil/sheet names, otherwise some files might be written outside the output directory.


Command Line

Convert VSS:

# conversion
$ vss2svg-conv -i ./2960CX.vss -o ./out/ -s 4.5

$ ls out/
'Cisco R42610 Front.svg'      'WS-C2960CX-8PC-L Rear.svg'   'WS-C2960CX-8TC-L Rear.svg'
'WS-C2960CX-8PC-L Front.svg'  'WS-C2960CX-8TC-L Front.svg'

# help
$ vss2svg-conv --help

Convert VSD:

# conversion
$ vsd2svg-conv -i ./my.VSD -o ./out/ -s 7

$ ls out/
Page-1.svg  Page-2.svg  Page-3.svg  Page-4.svg

# help
$ vsd2svg-conv --help


Convert Visio Documents


#include <fstream>
#include <iostream>
#include <unordered_map>
#include <visio2svg/Visio2Svg.h>

int main(int argc, char **argv) {
    // Put visio file in an std::string
    // (no error checking, should be done in actual code)
    std::ifstream stin(argv[1]);

    std::string visio_in((std::istreambuf_iterator<char>(stin)),

    // Initialize converter and output map
    visio2svg::Visio2Svg converter;
    std::unordered_map<std::string, std::string> out;

    // return code
    int ret = 0;

    // Pick one of the following

    // Convert vsd documents
    ret = converter.vsd2svg(visio_in, out);

    // Convert vss (Stencils) documents
    ret = converter.vss2svg(visio_in, out);

    // or with rescaling
    ret = converter.vsd2svg(visio_in, out, 4.5);
    ret = converter.vss2svg(visio_in, out, 4.5);

    if (ret)
        std::cerr << "Conversion errors occured"
                  << "\n";

    // Do something with the output
    for (const auto &rule_pair : out) {
        std::cout << "Sheet Title: " << rule_pair.first << std::endl;
        std::cout << rule_pair.second << std::endl;

Recover symbol titles

This library also comes with a RVNG generator to recover symbol titles:

#include <iostream>
#include <librevenge-generators/librevenge-generators.h>
#include <librevenge-stream/librevenge-stream.h>
#include <librevenge/librevenge.h>
#include <libvisio/libvisio.h>
#include <visio2svg/TitleGenerator.h>

int main(int argc, char **argv) {
    // put the Visio document in an RVNGFileStream 
    // (no error checking, should be done in actual code)
    librevenge::RVNGFileStream input(argv[1]);

    /* String stream version (need to be set)
    librevenge::RVNGStringStream input;

    // Recover Titles of each sheets
    librevenge::RVNGStringVector output_names;
    visio2svg::TitleGenerator generator_names(output_names);

    bool ret = libvisio::VisioDocument::parseStencils(&input, &generator_names);
    /* or this for vsd
    ret = libvisio::VisioDocument::parse(&input, &generator_names);

    if (!ret || output_names.empty()) {
        std::cerr << "ERROR: Failed to recover sheets titles failed!"
                  << std::endl;
        return 1;

    // do something with the names
    for (unsigned k = 0; k < output_names.size(); ++k) {
        std::cout << "Title of stencil " << std::to_string(k) << std::endl;
        if (output_names[k].empty()) {
            std::cout << "no title set in stencil number " << std::to_string(k)
                      << std::endl;
        } else {
            std::cout << output_names[k].cstr() << std::endl;



  • add LIB_INSTALL_DIR variable in cmake


  • fix freetype discovery in cmake


  • fix segfault if shape doesn't contain title


  • fix error in setting title field with titles containing "&"
  • add XML_PARSE_HUGE in xml parsing to allow big image blobs.
  • better precision for image dimensions (keep 10 decimals)


  • add support for OSX


  • adding support to convert wmf blob (using libwmf)
  • requires new libraries as dependencies: libwmf and freetype)
  • requires libemf2svg version >= 1.0.0
  • cleaner and more explicit dependencies resolving in cmake


  • adding safeguard regarding unsafe output file paths


  • better error handling


  • add rescaling option + title


  • first release