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April 17, 2024

The Trick to Animating SVG Viewbox

Justin Golden

Photo credit @mattseymour on Unsplash

The Expectation

You may think you could animate SVG viewbox in CSS per usual:

svg {
	transition: viewBox 1s linear;

and then set the values with JS:

mySvg.setAttribute('viewBox', '0 0 100 100');

But this doesn’t work. The JS sets the viewBox, but it doesn’t animate.

(by the way, remember “viewBox” has a capital “B”)

Animate Element

You can use the <animate> element in SVG:

<animate attributeName="viewBox" to="0 0 100 100" dur="1s" fill="freeze" />

But this runs on page load and doesn’t have dynamic data.

For example, if you wanted a dynamic width and height:

mySvg.setAttribute('viewBox', `0 0 ${width} ${height}`);

then you wouldn’t be able to.

The Solution

The solution is to add the animate element without a to attribute:

<animate attributeName="viewBox" dur="1s" fill="freeze" />

Then set the to in JS, and then call the beginElement() method on the animate:

mySvg.querySelector('animate').setAttribute('to', `0 0 ${width} ${height}`);

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