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Introduction to ImageMagick

ImageMagick®, version 6.2.3, is a free software suite to create, edit, and compose bitmap images. It can read, convert and write images in a large variety of formats. Images can be cropped, colors can be changed, various effects can be applied, images can be rotated and combined, and text, lines, polygons, ellipses and Bézier curves can be added to images and stretched and rotated.

ImageMagick is free software: it is delivered with full source code and can be freely used, copied, modified and distributed. Its license is compatible with the GPL. It runs on all major operating systems.

Most of the functionality of ImageMagick can be used interactively from the command line; more often, however, the features are used from programs written in the programming languages C, Ch, C++, Java, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, Tcl/Tk, for which ready-made ImageMagick interfaces (PerlMagick, Magick++, PythonMagick, MagickWand for PHP, RMagick, TclMagick, and JMagick) are available. This makes it possible to modify or create images automatically and dynamically.

ImageMagick supports many image formats (over 90 major formats) including formats like GIF, JPEG, JPEG-2000, PNG, PDF, PhotoCD, TIFF, and DPX.

Features and Capabilities

Here are just a few examples of what ImageMagick can do:

  • Convert an image from one format to another (e.g. PNG to JPEG)
  • Resize, rotate, sharpen, color reduce, or add special effects to an image
  • Create a montage of image thumbnails
  • Create a transparent image suitable for use on the Web
  • Turn a group of images into a GIF animation sequence
  • Create a composite image by combining several separate image
  • Draw shapes or text on an image
  • Decorate an image with a border or frame
  • Describe the format and characteristics of an image

User Community

To join the ImageMagick user community, try the discourse server or mailing lists. Both permit you to review questions or comments (with informed responses) posed by ImageMagick users as well as an opportunity to ask your own questions.

Books About ImageMagick

The Definitive Guide to ImageMagick is scheduled for publication near the end of this year. You can preorder it from Amazon, UK.

 
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