GraphicsMagick Supported Formats

GraphicsMagick uses an ASCII string known as "magick" (e.g. "GIF") to identify file formats, algorithms acting as formats, built-in images, and embedded profile types. After a file has been read or "pinged", the associated magick string is stored in the "magick" member of the Image structure, and is reported in the default output of 'gm identify'.

GraphicsMagick supports reading over 88 major file formats (not including sub-formats). The following table provides a summary of the supported image formats.

Supported Image Formats
Format Mode Description Notes
ART RW PFS: 1st Publisher Format originally used on the Macintosh (MacPaint?) and later used for PFS: 1st Publisher clip art.
AVI R Microsoft Audio/Visual Interleaved  
AVS RW AVS X image  
BMP RW Microsoft Windows bitmap  
CALS R Continuous Acquisition and Life-cycle Support Type 1 image Specified in MIL-R-28002 and MIL-PRF-28002. Standard blueprint archive format as used by the US military to replace microfiche.
CIN R Kodak Cineon Kodak Cineon Log format (4.5 draft). Precursor to SMPTE DPX
CGM R Computer Graphics Metafile Requires ralcgm to render CGM files.
CMYK RW Raw cyan, magenta, yellow, and black samples Use -size, -depth, -endian, and -interlace to specify the image width, height, depth, byte order, and interlace.
CUR R Microsoft Cursor Icon  
CUT R DR Halo  
DCM R Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) image Used by the medical community for images like X-rays. See the NEMA DICOM web site for more information. DICOM is the basis for the DICONDE format.
DCX RW ZSoft IBM PC multi-page Paintbrush image  
DIB RW Microsoft Windows Device Independent Bitmap DIB is a BMP file without the BMP header. Used to support embedded images in compound formats like WMF.
DPX RW Digital Moving Picture Exchange RGB and grayscale are fully supported at 1, 8, 10, 12, and 16 bits as per the SMPTE 268M-2003 (V2.0) specification. This includes support for images stored in a planar (multi-element) configuration and Cineon Log RGB. Rec. 601 and 709 YCbCr are fully supported with 4:4:4 and 4:2:2 subsampling. DPX is commonly used to store image frames in film and HDTV production.
EMF R Microsoft Enhanced Metafile (32-bit) Only available under Microsoft Windows.
EPDF RW Encapsulated Portable Document Format  
EPI RW Adobe Encapsulated PostScript Interchange format Requires Ghostscript to read.
EPS RW Adobe Encapsulated PostScript Requires Ghostscript to read.
EPS2 W Adobe Level II Encapsulated PostScript Requires Ghostscript to read.
EPS3 W Adobe Level III Encapsulated PostScript Requires Ghostscript to read.
EPSF RW Adobe Encapsulated PostScript Requires Ghostscript to read.
EPSI RW Adobe Encapsulated PostScript Interchange format Requires Ghostscript to read.
EPT RW Adobe Encapsulated PostScript Interchange format with TIFF preview Requires Ghostscript to read.
FAX RW Group 3 FAX Note that FAX machines use non-square pixels which are 1.5 times wider than they are tall but computer displays use square pixels, so FAX images may appear to be narrow unless they are explicitly resized using a resize specification of "150x100%". Please note that this is not a TIFF format.
FIG R FIG graphics format Requires TransFig.
FITS RW Flexible Image Transport System  
FPX RW FlashPix Format Requires FlashPix SDK.
GIF RW CompuServe Graphics Interchange Format

8-bit RGB PseudoColor with up to 256 palette entires. Specify the format "GIF87" to write the older version 87a of the format.

The PNG format provides a superior set of features to GIF. Consider using PNG format rather than GIF if clients are able to read PNG.

GPLT R Gnuplot plot files Requires Gnuplot 3.5 or later.
GRAY RW Raw gray samples Use -size, -depth, and -endian to specify the image width, height, depth, and byte order.
HPGL R HP-GL plotter language Requires hp2xx 3.2.0 or later
HTML RW Hypertext Markup Language with a client-side image map Also known as "HTM". Requires html2ps to read.
ICO R Microsoft icon Also known as "ICON".
JBIG RW Joint Bi-level Image experts Group file interchange format Also known as "BIE" and "JBG". Requires jbigkit 1.0 or later
JNG RW JPEG Network Graphics JPEG in a PNG-style wrapper with transparency. Requires libjpeg and libpng-1.0.2 or later, libpng-1.2.5 or later recommended.
JP2 RW JPEG-2000 JP2 File Format Syntax Requires jasper 1.600.0 or later
JPC RW JPEG-2000 Code Stream Syntax Requires jasper 1.600.0 or later
JPEG RW Joint Photographic Experts Group JFIF format Requires jpegsrc.v6b.tar.gz
MAN R Unix reference manual pages Requires that GNU groff and Ghostcript are installed.
MAT RW MATLAB image format Coming from MathWorks for storing matrices. Currently supported types are 2D matrices: byte, word, double, complex and 3D matrices containing RGB [x*y*3] byte, word.
MIFF RW Magick image file format ImageMagick's lossless image format (with ASCII header) which ensures that no image attributes understood by ImageMagick or GraphicsMagick are lost.
MONO RW Bi-level bitmap in least-significant-byte first order  
MNG RW Multiple-image Network Graphics Requires libpng-1.0.2 or later, libpng-1.2.5 or later recommended.
MPEG RW Motion Picture Experts Group file interchange format (version 1) Requires mpeg2vidcodec_v12.tar.gz.
M2V RW Motion Picture Experts Group file interchange format (version 2) Requires mpeg2vidcodec_v12.tar.gz.
MPC RW Magick Persistent Cache image file format

The native "in-memory" GraphicsMagick uncompressed file format. This file format is identical to that used by Open ImageMagick to represent images in memory and is read in "zero time" via memory mapping. The MPC format is not portable and is not suitable as an archive format. It is suitable as an intermediate format for high-performance image processing.

The MPC format requires two files to support one image. When writing the MPC format, a file with extension ".mpc" is used to store information about the image, while a file with extension .cache stores the image pixels. The storage space required by a MPC image (or an image in memory) may be calculated by the equation (QuantumDepth*Rows*Columns*5)/8.

MSL RW Magick Scripting Language MSL is the XML-based scripting language supported by the conjure utility.
MTV RW MTV Raytracing image format  
MVG RW Magick Vector Graphics. The native GraphicsMagick vector metafile format. A text file containing vector drawing commands accepted by convert's -draw option.
OTB RW On-the-air Bitmap  
P7 RW Xv's Visual Schnauzer thumbnail format  
PALM RW Palm pixmap  
PAM RW Portable Arbitrary Map format Superset of PNM (PPM, PGM, PPM) raw type formats. Supports bilevel, gray, RGB, CMYK, alpha channel.
PBM RW Portable bitmap format (black and white)  
PCD RW Photo CD The maximum resolution written is 768x512 pixels since larger images require huffman compression (which is not supported).
PCDS RW Photo CD Decode with the sRGB color tables.
PCL W HP Page Control Language For output to HP laser printers.
PCX RW ZSoft IBM PC Paintbrush file  
PDB RW Palm Database ImageViewer Format  
PDF RW Portable Document Format Requires Ghostscript to read.
PFA R Postscript Type 1 font (ASCII) Opening as file returns a preview image.
PFB R Postscript Type 1 font (binary) Opening as file returns a preview image.
PGM RW Portable graymap format (gray scale)  
PICON RW Personal Icon  
PICT RW Apple Macintosh QuickDraw /PICT file  
PIX R Alias/Wavefront RLE image format  
PNG RW Portable Network Graphics Requires libpng-1.0.2 or later, libpng-1.2.5 or later recommended.
PNM RW Portable anymap

PNM is a family of formats supporting portable bitmaps (PBM) , graymaps (PGM), and pixmaps (PPM). There is no file format associated with pnm itself. If PNM is used as the output format specifier, then GraphicsMagick automatically selects the most appropriate format to represent the image.

The default is to write the binary version of the formats. Use '-quality 0' to write the ASCII version of the formats.

PPM RW Portable pixmap format (color)  
PS RW Adobe PostScript file Requires Ghostscript to read.
PS2 RW Adobe Level II PostScript file Requires Ghostscript to read.
PS3 RW Adobe Level III PostScript file Requires Ghostscript to read.
PSD RW Adobe Photoshop bitmap file  
PTIF RW Pyramid encoded TIFF Multi-resolution TIFF containing successively smaller versions of the image down to the size of an icon. The desired sub-image size may be specified when reading via the -size option.
PWP R Seattle File Works multi-image file  
RAS R TopoL (GIS)  
RAD R Radiance image file Requires that ra_ppm from the Radiance software package be installed.
RGB RW Raw red, green, and blue samples Use -size, -depth, -endian, and -interlace to specify the image width, height, depth, byte order, and interlace.
RGBA RW Raw red, green, and blue and matte samples Use -size, -depth, -endian, and -interlace to specify the image width, height, depth, byte order, and interlace.
RLA R Alias/Wavefront image file  
RLE R Utah Run length encoded image file  
SCT R Scitex Continuous Tone Picture  
SFW R Seattle File Works image  
SGI RW Irix RGB image  
SHTML W Hypertext Markup Language client-side image map Used to write HTML clickable image maps based on a the output of montage or a format which supports tiled images such as MIFF.
SUN RW SUN Rasterfile  
SVG RW Scalable Vector Graphics Requires libxml2 and freetype2. Note that SVG is a very complex specification so support is still not complete.
TGA RW Truevision Targa image Also known as formats "ICB", "VDA", and "VST".
TIFF RW Tagged Image File Format Also known as "TIF". Requires tiff-v3.5.4.tar.gz or later. Note that since the Unisys LZW patent recently expired, libtiff may still require a separate LZW patch in order to support LZW. LZW is included in libtiff by default since v3.7.0.
TIM R PSX TIM file  
TTF R TrueType font file Requires freetype2. Opening as file returns a preview image.
TXT RW Raw text file  
UIL W X-Motif UIL table  
UYVY RW Interleaved YUV raw image Use -size command line option to specify width and height.
VICAR RW VICAR rasterfile format  
VIFF RW Khoros Visualization Image File Format  
WBMP RW Wireless bitmap Support for uncompressed monochrome only.
WMF   Windows Metafile Requires libwmf. By default, renders WMF files using the dimensions specified by the metafile header. Use the -density option to adjust the output resolution, and thereby adjust the ouput size. The default output resolution is 72DPI so "-density 144" results in an image twice as large as the default. Use -background color to specify the WMF background color (default white) or -texture filename to specify a background texture image.
WPG R Word Perfect Graphics File  
XBM RW X Windows system bitmap, black and white only Used by the X Windows System to store monochrome icons.
XCF R GIMP image  
XPM RW X Windows system pixmap Also known as "PM". Used by the X Windows System to store color icons.
XWD RW X Windows system window dump Used by the X Windows System to save/display screen dumps.
YUV RW CCIR 601 4:1:1 Use -size command line option to specify width and height.

GraphicsMagick supports a number of image format specifications which refer to images prepared via an algorithm, or input/output targets. The following table lists these pseudo image formats:

Pseudo Image Formats
Tag Mode Description Notes
CAPTION R Image caption fixme
CLIPBOARD RW Windows Clipboard Only available under Microsoft Windows.
FRACTAL R Plasma fractal image  
GRADIENT R Gradual passing from one shade to another

Returns a rendered gradient image using the specified image size. Specify the desired shading as part of the filename. For example:

gradient:red-blue or gradient:#F00-#00F
HISTOGRAM W Histogram of the image

Generate an RGB histogram of the input image. The output format is always ImageMagick MIFF (regardless of file extension). For example:

gm convert file.tiff histogram:file.miff
IDENTITY R Hald CLUT identity image Generate a Hald CLUT identity image of a specified order. The order is specified as an argument like "IDENTITY:8". The default order is eight, producing a 512x512 image.
INFO W Image descriptive information and statistics Writes descriptive information similar to 'identify'
LABEL R Text image format Specify the desired text as the filename (e.g. "label:This is a label").
MAP RW Colormap intensities and indices Set -depth to set the sample size of the intensities; indices are 16-bit if colors > 256.
MATTE W MATTE format Write only.
NULL RW NULL image Useful for creating blank tiles with montage (use "NULL:"). Also useful as an output format when evaluating image read performance.
PLASMA R Plasma fractal image

Creates an image using the plasma fractal. For example:

gm convert -size 640x480 plasma: file.miff
PREVIEW W Show a preview an image enhancement, effect, or f/x

Creates a preview montage of images prepared over a parameteric range in order to assist with parameter selection. Specify the desired preview type via the -preview option). The output file is always written in the ImageMagick MIFF format.

For example:

gm convert file.tiff -preview gamma preview:file.miff
PRINT W Send image to your computer printer Unix users may set the PRINTER (for 'lp') or LPDEST (for 'lpr') environment variables to select the desired printer.
SCAN R Import image from a scanner device Requires SANE Specify the device name and path as the filename (e.g. "scan:mustek:/dev/scanner").
STEGANO R Steganographic image Use -size command line option to specify width, height, and offset of the steganographic image
TILE R Tiled image

Create a tiled version of an image at by tiling a image. Use -size to specify the tiled image size. The image is specified similar to "TILE:image.miff". For example:

gm convert -size 800x600 tile:image.jpg out.jpg
VID RW Visual Image Directory

Used to create a thumbnailed directory (tiled thumbnails) of a set of images which may be used to select images to view via the display program, or saved to a MIFF or SHTML file. For example:

gm convert vid:"*.jpg" index.miff
WIN RW Select image from or display image to your computer screen

Only supported under Microsoft Windows. For example:

gm convert file.jpg -rotate 90 win:
X RW Select image from or display image to your X server screen

Also see the import and display programs. For example:

gm convert file.jpg -rotate 90 x:
XC R Canvas image of specified color

Useful to create solid color "canvas" images. Use -size and -depth to specify the image width, height, and depth. Example XC color specifications include "XC:red" and "XC:# FF0000". See the color reference for the numeric values used for named colors. For example:

gm convert -size 640x480 xc:red red.jpg

GraphicsMagick includes a number of built-in (embedded) images which may be referenced as if they were an image file. The IMAGE: format tag may be used via the syntax "IMAGE:name" to request an embedded image (e.g. IMAGE:LOGO). For backwards compatibility, the image specifications GRANITE:, LOGO:, NETSCAPE:, and ROSE: may also be used to request images with those names.

A new canvas image of a specified size may be created using one of these pattern images using a command similar to:

gm convert -size 640x480 PATTERN:BRICKS bricks.miff

The TILE: virtual image type may also be used similar to:

gm convert -size 640x480 TILE:IMAGE:BRICKS bricks.miff
Built-In Images And Patterns
Name Description Notes/Sample
BRICKS 16x16 brick pattern bricks
CHECKERBOARD 30x30 checkerboard pattern checkerboard
CIRCLES 16x16 circles pattern circles
CROSSHATCH 8x4 crosshatch pattern crosshatch
CROSSHATCH30 8x4 crosshatch pattern with lines at 30 degrees. crosshatch30
CROSSHATCH45 8x4 crosshatch pattern with lines at 45 degrees. crosshatch45
FISHSCALES 16x8 fish scales pattern fishscales
GRANITE 128x128 granite texture pattern granite
GRAY0 32x32 0% intensity gray gray0
GRAY5 32x32 5% intensity gray gray5
GRAY10 32x32 10% intensity gray gray10
GRAY15 32x32 15% intensity gray gray15
GRAY20 32x32 20% intensity gray gray20
GRAY25 32x32 25% intensity gray gray25
GRAY30 32x32 30% intensity gray gray30
GRAY35 32x32 35% intensity gray gray35
GRAY40 32x32 40% intensity gray gray40
GRAY45 32x32 45% intensity gray gray45
GRAY50 32x32 50% intensity gray gray50
GRAY55 32x32 55% intensity gray gray55
GRAY60 32x32 60% intensity gray gray60
GRAY65 32x32 65% intensity gray gray65
GRAY70 32x32 70% intensity gray gray70
GRAY75 32x32 75% intensity gray gray75
GRAY80 32x32 80% intensity gray gray80
GRAY85 32x32 85% intensity gray gray85
GRAY90 32x32 90% intensity gray gray90
GRAY95 32x32 95% intensity gray gray95
GRAY100 32x32 100% intensity gray gray100
HEXAGONS 30x18 hexagon pattern hexagons
HORIZONTAL 8x4 horizontal line pattern horizontal
HORIZONTALSAW 16x8 horizontal saw-tooth pattern horizontalsaw
HS_BDIAGONAL 8x8 backward diagonal line pattern (45 degrees slope) hs_bdiagonal
HS_CROSS 8x8 cross line pattern hs_cross
HS_DIAGCROSS 8x8 diagonal line cross pattern (45 degrees slope) hs_diagcross
HS_FDIAGONAL 8x8 forward diagonal line pattern (45 degrees slope) hs_fdiagonal
HS_HORIZONTAL 8x8 horizontal line pattern hs_horizontal
HS_VERTICAL 8x8 vertical line pattern hs_vertical
LEFT30 8x4 forward diagonal pattern (30 degrees slope) left30
LEFT45 8x8 forward diagonal line pattern (45 degrees slope) left45
LEFTSHINGLE 24x24 left shingle pattern leftshingle
LOGO 640x480, GraphicsMagick Logo logo
NETSCAPE 216x144 image using colors in Netscape 216 (6x6x6 ) color cube. Most commonly used with the convert/mogrify -map option to create web safe images.
OCTAGONS 16x16 octagons pattern octagons
RIGHT30 8x4 backward diagonal line pattern (30 degrees) right30
RIGHT45 8x8 backward diagonal line pattern (30 degrees) right45
RIGHTSHINGLE 24x24 right shingle pattern rightshingle
ROSE 70x46, Picture of a rose. rose
SMALLFISHSCALES 8x8 small fish scales pattern smallfishscales
VERTICAL 8x8 vertical line pattern vertical
VERTICALBRICKS 16x16 vertical brick pattern verticalbricks
VERTICALLEFTSHINGLE 24x24 vertical left shingle pattern verticalleftshingle
VERTICALRIGHTSHINGLE 24x24 vertical right shingle pattern verticalrightshingle
VERTICALSAW 8x16 vertical saw-tooth pattern verticalsaw

GraphicsMagick provides a number of format identifiers which are used to add, remove, and save embedded profiles for images which can support embedded profiles. Image types which may contain embedded profiles are TIFF, JPEG, PDF, and PNG.

Supported Embedded Profile Formats
Format Mode Description Notes
8BIM RW Photoshop resource format (binary)  
8BIMTEXT RW Photoshop resource format (ASCII) An ASCII representation of the 8BIM format.
APP1 RW Raw application information  
APP1JPEG RW Raw JPEG binary data Profile in JPEG wrapper.
ICC RW International Color Consortium color profile Also known as "ICM". To read, use -profile with convert.
IPTC RW IPTC Newsphoto (binary) To read, use -profile with convert
IPTCTEXT RW IPTC Newsphoto (ASCII) An ASCII representation of the IPTC format.

Support for some of the formats are delegated to libraries or external programs. The README describes where to find these distributions and any special configuration options required.

To get a complete listing of the image formats which are supported on your system, type

gm convert -list format

On some platforms, GraphicsMagick automatically processes these extensions: .gz for Zip compression, .Z for Unix compression, and .bz2 for block compression. For example, a PNM image called image.pnm.gz is automatically uncompressed while the image is read.


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