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ImageMagick is a popular suite of open-source programs, libraries and headers used by programmers, scientists, and others to create images and to convert and modify existing images. On all platforms, you can access ImageMagick functions directly from the command line using the ImageMagick tools convert, mogrify, montage, composite, or identify. Use the display program to interactively manipulate your images or animate an image sequence from a graphical panel. However, programmers should note that the Magick++ package and PerlMagick may not be available on certain machines.

The following is taken from the ImageMagick Web site:

ImageMagick is a robust collection of tools and libraries to read, write, and manipulate an image in many image formats (over 68 major formats) including popular formats like TIFF, JPEG, PNG, PDF, PhotoCD, and GIF. With ImageMagick you can create images dynamically, making it suitable for Web applications. You can also resize, rotate, sharpen, color reduce, or add special effects to an image and save your completed work in the same or differing image format. Image processing operations are available from the command line, as well as through C, C++, Perl, or Java programming interfaces.


Machines and Versions

See LC graphics software page.


While many machines already have ImageMagick in their path, to be sure, on all machines, type:

use -q imagemagick

to get the latest version of ImageMagick in your path. To discover the right flags to set for compiling C programs against ImageMagick, try:


or for C++



No special environment settings are required to use the ImageMagick tools. Be aware that on CHAOS 4 systems, a different (older) version of ImageMagick may exists in /usr/bin. This version is not supported by the LC IMGS group.


By far the most common usage of ImageMagick is to convert between image formats. To do this, simply type:

convert file1 file2

If file2 is called image.jpg, then convert will know to make a JPEG image. To make an MPEG-2 movie from a series of jpeg files (named by the pattern *jpg) in the current directory, you can simply type:

convert *jpg mymovie.mpg

See the man page for convert for more details.

Another common usage is to display images, which is done with the 'display' command. If 'display filename' doesn't work on your image, take a look at the man page for 'display' for help or call the hotline.

ImageMagick also has several other binary tools besides 'convert' and 'display.' They are: mogrify, montage, composite, identify and animate. See the ImageMagick[1] man page for an overview of these tools or the man page for any tool to see details.

Note: Not all file formats listed by the ImageMagick man page are supported in the LLNL installation of ImageMagick. This is because of lack of third-party libraries to support them or because of licensing issues.

ImageMagick also provides a C library and headers that can be used to add image manipulation capabilities to your C programs. For more details on how this is done, see the documentation in /usr/local/share/ImageMagick or the ImageMagick website.


Type man ImageMagick for an excellent overview and list of tools with their options and usage.

Help is available from the, (925) 422-4531.


ImageMagick is open source. You can download and install it on your own workstation by visiting the ImageMagick website. Be advised that you may have to install extra software in order to take advantage of all the file formats ImageMagick can manipulate. For example, ImageMagick requires Perl to install PerlMagick and libhtml for HTML support.