Fontawesome SVG Alternative

— 7 minute read

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The other day we made our first start in using Fontawesome for our website. And some people pointed out it's quite a heavy resource to load and use.

They are right, Fontawesome is fantastic because it has a lot of icons, but the downside is, you're loading a lot of icons.

Today we are going to be looking at loading just the SVG icons.

Loading Raw SVG permalink

One method that I personally use because of the better browser support is just using the raw SVG code in the html:

<svg
width="16px"
height="16px"
viewBox="0 0 16 16"
version="1.1"
xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg"
xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"
>

<g id="Page-1" stroke="none" stroke-width="1" fill="none" fill-rule="evenodd">
<g id="sun-solid" fill="#173854" fill-rule="nonzero">
<path
d="M8,5 C6.346875,5 5,6.346875 5,8 C5,9.653125 6.346875,11 8,11 C9.653125,11 11,9.653125 11,8 C11,6.346875 9.653125,5 8,5 Z M15.7,7.515625 L12.740625,6.0375 L13.7875,2.9 C13.928125,2.475 13.525,2.071875 13.103125,2.215625 L9.965625,3.2625 L8.484375,0.3 C8.284375,-0.1 7.715625,-0.1 7.515625,0.3 L6.0375,3.259375 L2.896875,2.2125 C2.471875,2.071875 2.06875,2.475 2.2125,2.896875 L3.259375,6.034375 L0.3,7.515625 C-0.1,7.715625 -0.1,8.284375 0.3,8.484375 L3.259375,9.9625 L2.2125,13.103125 C2.071875,13.528125 2.475,13.93125 2.896875,13.7875 L6.034375,12.740625 L7.5125,15.7 C7.7125,16.1 8.28125,16.1 8.48125,15.7 L9.959375,12.740625 L13.096875,13.7875 C13.521875,13.928125 13.925,13.525 13.78125,13.103125 L12.734375,9.965625 L15.69375,8.4875 C16.1,8.284375 16.1,7.715625 15.7,7.515625 Z M10.828125,10.828125 C9.26875,12.3875 6.73125,12.3875 5.171875,10.828125 C3.6125,9.26875 3.6125,6.73125 5.171875,5.171875 C6.73125,3.6125 9.26875,3.6125 10.828125,5.171875 C12.3875,6.73125 12.3875,9.26875 10.828125,10.828125 Z"
id="Shape"
>
</path>
</g>
</g>
</svg>

I don't expect you to fully understand this code, but it's the raw SVG markup. I get this by opening the downloaded SVG from Fontawesome in Sketch and copying the SVG code.

You can also use this online tool.

The advantage here is we are only using the icons we need.

SVG Sprite File permalink

Another cleaner way of loading them is by using something called a SVG Sprite file. These are inline files you can create with a tool like: Icomoon

<svg
aria-hidden="true"
style
="position: absolute; width: 0; height: 0; overflow: hidden;"

version="1.1"
xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg"
xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"
>

<defs>
<symbol id="icon-money" viewBox="0 0 30 28">
<path
d="M12 18h6v-1.5h-2v-7h-1.781l-2.312 2.141 1.203 1.25c0.375-0.328 0.609-0.5 0.859-0.891h0.031v4.5h-2v1.5zM20 14c0 2.844-1.719 6.5-5 6.5s-5-3.656-5-6.5 1.719-6.5 5-6.5 5 3.656 5 6.5zM28 18v-8c-2.203 0-4-1.797-4-4h-18c0 2.203-1.797 4-4 4v8c2.203 0 4 1.797 4 4h18c0-2.203 1.797-4 4-4zM30 5v18c0 0.547-0.453 1-1 1h-28c-0.547 0-1-0.453-1-1v-18c0-0.547 0.453-1 1-1h28c0.547 0 1 0.453 1 1z"
>
</path>
</symbol>
<symbol id="icon-gavel" viewBox="0 0 28 28">
<path
d="M27.672 24c0 0.531-0.219 1.047-0.578 1.406l-1.672 1.687c-0.375 0.359-0.891 0.578-1.422 0.578s-1.047-0.219-1.406-0.578l-5.672-5.688c-0.375-0.359-0.594-0.875-0.594-1.406 0-0.594 0.25-1.078 0.672-1.5l-4-4-1.969 1.969c-0.141 0.141-0.328 0.219-0.531 0.219s-0.391-0.078-0.531-0.219c0.469 0.469 0.906 0.812 0.906 1.531 0 0.406-0.156 0.766-0.438 1.062-0.531 0.562-1.094 1.313-1.937 1.313-0.391 0-0.781-0.156-1.062-0.438l-6.375-6.375c-0.281-0.281-0.438-0.672-0.438-1.062 0-0.844 0.75-1.406 1.313-1.937 0.297-0.281 0.656-0.438 1.062-0.438 0.719 0 1.062 0.438 1.531 0.906-0.141-0.141-0.219-0.328-0.219-0.531s0.078-0.391 0.219-0.531l5.437-5.437c0.141-0.141 0.328-0.219 0.531-0.219s0.391 0.078 0.531 0.219c-0.469-0.469-0.906-0.812-0.906-1.531 0-0.406 0.156-0.766 0.438-1.062 0.531-0.562 1.094-1.313 1.937-1.313 0.391 0 0.781 0.156 1.062 0.438l6.375 6.375c0.281 0.281 0.438 0.672 0.438 1.062 0 0.844-0.75 1.406-1.313 1.937-0.297 0.281-0.656 0.438-1.062 0.438-0.719 0-1.062-0.438-1.531-0.906 0.141 0.141 0.219 0.328 0.219 0.531s-0.078 0.391-0.219 0.531l-1.969 1.969 4 4c0.422-0.422 0.906-0.672 1.5-0.672 0.531 0 1.047 0.219 1.422 0.578l5.672 5.672c0.359 0.375 0.578 0.891 0.578 1.422z"
>
</path>
</symbol>
</defs>
</svg>

We can use each symbol as follows:

<svg class="icon icon-money">
<use xlink:href="#icon-money"></use>
</svg>

<svg class="icon icon-gavel">
<use xlink:href="#icon-gavel"></use>
</svg>

Cool right!

CSS SVG? permalink

The cool thing is, we can still use CSS to style these SVG icons.

.icon {
width: 50px;
height: 50px;
}

See it in action on this Codepen:

See the Pen Fontawesome SVG Alternative by Chris Bongers (@rebelchris) on CodePen.

Browser Support permalink

The standard SVG method has a pretty good browser support IE9+ and most mobile browsers even!

SVG support

The Sprite method is less supported but overall very strong:

SVG Fragment support

Thank you for reading, and let's connect! permalink

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