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Takes a folder of SVG images and creates a CSS icon kit out of them, serving the icons as SVG / PNG sprite or embedded data URIs (depending on the client's capabilities), along with suitable CSS / Sass / LESS / Stylus etc. resources and a JavaScript loade


iconizr > Node.js version

iconizr is a Node.js module that reads a folder of SVG images and creates a CSS icon kit out of them, including:

  • cleaned versions of the original SVG icons (optional),
  • a single compact SVG icon sprite,
  • optimized single PNG icons (optional),
  • an optimized combined PNG icon sprite,
  • corresponding CSS stylesheets in customizable formats (e.g. CSS, Sass, LESS, Stylus etc.),
  • an HTML fragment including some JavaScript for asynchronously loading the most appropriate stylesheet flavour (depending on the client)
  • and a couple of HTML preview documents (depending on the options you specified) for previewing and testing the different stylesheets (optional).

The stylesheets are rendered using Mustache templates, so you can control which output formats are generated (and how they are structured). For each of them, a set of several stylesheets are created, differing in the way the icons are served to clients:

  • SVG single image icons (optional),
  • SVG data URIs,
  • SVG sprite references,
  • PNG single image icons (optional),
  • PNG data URIs and
  • PNG sprite references.

Installation & usage

To install iconizr, run

npm install iconizr -g

on the command line.


The iconizr module exposes only one method, createIconKit(). Use it like this:

var Iconizr     = require('iconizr'),
var options = {
    // svg-sprite inferred options 
    render : {
        css : false,
        scss : 'sass/output/directory/',
        less : {
            template : 'path/to/less/mustache/template.less',
            dest : '/absolute/path/to/dest/file'
    // ... 
    // iconizr specific options 
    quantize : true,
    level : 5
    /* Further configuration options, see below ... */
callback = function(err, results) { /*
    If no error occurs, `results` will be a JSON object like this one:
       success : true, // Overall success
       length : 3, // Total number of files written
       files : { // Files along with their file size in bytes
          '/path/to/your/cwd/css/output/directory/svg/sprite.svg' : 436823,
          '/path/to/your/cwd/css/output/directory/sprite.css' : 1821,
          '/path/to/your/cwd/sass/output/directory/_sprite.scss' : 2197
       options          : {         // refined configuration options, see above 
           // ...
       data             : {         // Mustache template variables, see below
           // ...
Iconizr.createIconKit('path/with/svg/images', 'css/output/directory', options, callback);

The createIconKit() method will refuse to run if you don't pass exactly four arguments:

  1. A path to be used as the input directory containing the SVG images for sprite creation. A relative path refers to the current working directory.
  2. A main / default output directory, used for creating the stylesheet resources (CSS / Sass / LESS / Stylus etc. if activated and not specified otherwise; see the svg-sprite rendering options) and serving as a base for the sprite subdirectory given by spritedir see (svg-sprite configuration options). A relative path refers to the current working directory.
  3. An object with configuration options (for both svg-sprite and iconizr specific). None of these options is mandatory, so you may pass an empty object {} here.
  4. A callback to be run when the sprite creation has finished (with or without error).


Options inferred from svg-sprite

iconizr is built on top of svg-sprite, which is a Node.js module for SVG sprite generation. All of svg-sprite's configuration options apply for iconizr as well. For a complete reference please see the svg-sprite documentation.

Option Description
render Rendering configuration (output formats like CSS, Sass, LESS, Stylus, HTML with inline SVG, etc.)
variables Custom Mustache rendering variables [{}]
spritedir Sprite subdirectory name ["svg"]
sprite Sprite file name ["sprite"]
prefix CSS selector prefix ["svg"]
common Common CSS selector for all images [empty]
maxwidth Maximum single image width [1000]
maxheight Maximum single image height [1000]
padding Transparent padding around the single images (in pixel) [0]
layout Image arrangement within the sprite ("vertical", "horizontal" or "diagonal") ["vertical"]
pseudo Character sequence for denoting CSS pseudo classes ["~"]
dims Render image dimensions as separate CSS rules [false]
keep Keep intermediate SVG files (inside the sprite subdirectory) [false]
recursive Recursive scan of the input directory for SVG files [false]
verbose Output verbose progress information (0-3) [0]
cleanwith Module to be used for SVG cleaning. Currently "scour" or "svgo" ["svgo"]
cleanconfig Configuration options for the cleaning module [{}]

In particular, iconizr's rendering configuration and output format behaviour is identical to svg-sprite, so please have a look there for further reference.

Options for iconizr

Property Type Description
quantize Boolean Whether to quantize PNG images (reduce to 8-bit depth) using pngquant. The quantized images are only used if they are smaller in file size than their the originals (and this is not necessarily the case for all PNG files). Quantization may also impact the visual image quality, so please make sure to compare the result to the original images. Defaults to false.
level Number (0-11) This is the optimization level for PNG files. It has to lie between 0 and 11 (inclusive) and defaults to 4, with 0 meaning "no optimization", 1 meaning "fast & rough" and 11 meaning "slow & high quality". Setting this to a high value may result in a very long processing time. Defaults to 3.
embed String If given, iconizr will use this value as path prefix to embed the stylesheets into your HTML documents (used for the JavaScript loader fragment). By default, the path segment between the current working directory and the main output directory will be used as a root-relative embed path (i.e. giving path/to/css as output directory will result in the loader fragment expecting the CSS stylesheets to lie at /path/to/css/<stylesheet-flavour>.css). You may specify a period . here to make the embed path relative to your HTML document (i.e. ./<stylesheet-flavour>.css), or use any other relative path (e.g. ../resources for the embed path ../resources/<stylesheet-flavour>.css).
svg Number This is the maximum length a SVG data URI may have. If only one icon exceeds this threshold, all data URIs of this icon set will be changed to external SVG sprite references. Defaults to 1048576 (1MB), minimum is 1024 (1kB).
png Number This is the maximum length a PNG data URI may have. If only one icon exceeds this threshold, all data URIs of this icon set will be changed to external PNG sprite references. Defaults to 32768 (32KB = Internet Explorer 8 limit), minimum is 1024 (1kB).
preview String If given and not empty, a set of preview HTML documents will be rendered that can be used for previewing and testing the icon kit. The given value will be used as directory path relative to the main output directory, whereas the main preview document will be named after your CSS file name ({render: {css: '...'}}) or the prefix option (in case no CSS files are generated).
loader Object With this option you get some control about the format and destination of the JavaScript loader fragment: loader.type may be "html" (for an HTML loader fragment; this is the default) or "js" (for a JavaScript file only). The Boolean loader.minify controls whether the loader script will get uglyfied (defaults to TRUE). Finally, loader.dest is the path (relative to the main output directory) where the loader resource will be written to (defaulting to ".").

Custom output formats & inline SVG embedding

The output rendering of iconizr is based on Mustache templates, which enables full customization of the generated results. You can even introduce completely new output formats. For details please see the svg-sprite documentation.

Also, you may use iconizr to create an inline SVG sprite that can be embedded directly into your HTML documents. Please see the svg-sprite documentation for details.

Other versions

Besides this Node.js module there are several different versions of iconizr:

  • A Grunt plugin wrapping around this module.
  • A PHP command line version (that in fact is the "original" one, but compared to the Node.js / Grunt branch it's a little outdated at the moment ...).
  • The online service at that's based on the aforementioned PHP version (you can use it for creating CSS icon kits without the need of a local installation).
  • Finally, Haithem Bel Haj published a Grunt plugin that's also based on the PHP version. I never tried this one myself, though.

Release History


  • Added concurrent task limit (#11)
  • Updated dependencies (#9)
  • Added support for JS-only loader fragment (#10)



  • Fixed invalid background-position style in Sass / LESS templates (#4)


  • Switched to mustache.js for extended function support
  • Fixed full disabling of output rendering (#2)
  • Don't crash with empty input directory (#3)
  • Fixed bug with the SVG sprite not used by the Sass & LESS output types (grunt-iconizr issue #6)
  • Added new HTML output format for rendering an inline SVG HTML implementation (#1)
  • Added new SVG output format for rendering an inline SVG sprite (#1)
  • Documentation corrections


  • Initial release



Copyright © 2014 Joschi Kuphal / @jkphl

iconizr is licensed under the terms of the MIT license.

The contained example SVG icons are part of the Tango Icon Library and belong to the Public Domain.