Ppmtogif User Manual(0)                                Ppmtogif User Manual(0)


       ppmtogif - convert a PPM image to a GIF image





       [-mapfile mapfile] [-transparent=[=]color]



       [-nolzw] [ppmfile]

       All  options  can  be abbreviated to their shortest unique prefix.  You
       may use two hyphens instead of one to designate an option.  You may use
       either  white  space  or  equals  signs  between an option name and its


       This program is part of Netpbm(1).

       ppmtogif reads a PPM iamge as input and produces a GIF file as  output.

       This  program  creates only individual GIF images.  To combine multiple
       GIF images into an animated GIF, use gifsicle  (not part of the  Netpbm

       ppmtogif  creates either an original GIF87 format GIF file or the newer
       GIF89 format.  It creates GIF89 when you request features that were new
       with GIF89, to wit the -transparent or -comment options.  Otherwise, it
       creates GIF87.  Really old GIF readers conceivably could not  recognize


              Produce an interlaced GIF file.

       -sort  Produce a GIF file with a sorted color map.


              Use  the colors found in the file mapfile to create the colormap
              in the GIF file, instead of the colors  from  ppmfile.   mapfile
              can  be  any PPM file; all that matters is the colors in it.  If
              the colors in ppmfile do not match those  in  mapfile,  ppmtogif
              matches  them  to  a  ’best match.’ You can obtain a much better
              result by using pnmremap to change the colors in  the  input  to
              those in the map file.

              The mapfile file is not a palette file, just an image whose col-
              ors you want to use.  The order of colors  in  the  GIF  palette
              have  nothing to do with where they appear in the mapfile image,
              and duplication of colors in the image is irrelevant.

              ppmtogif marks the specified color as  transparent  in  the  GIF

              If  you  don’t  specify -transparent, ppmtogif does not mark any
              color transparent (except as indicated by the -alpha option).

              Specify the color (color) as described for the argument  of  the
              ppm_parsecolor() library routine .

              If  the  color you specify is not present in the image, ppmtogif
              selects instead the color in the image that is  closest  to  the
              one  you specify.  Closeness is measured as a cartesian distance
              between colors in RGB space.  If multiple  colors  are  equidis-
              tant, ppmtogif chooses one of them arbitrarily.

              However,  if  you prefix your color specification with ’=’, e.g.
              -transparent==red, only the exact  color  you  specify  will  be
              transparent.   If that color does not appear in the image, there
              will be no transparency.  ppmtogif issues an information message
              when this is the case.

              You cannot specify both -transparent and -alpha.

               This  option  names  a PGM file that contains an alpha mask for
              the image.  ppmtogif creates fully transparent  pixels  wherever
              the  alpha  mask  indicates  transparency greater than 50%.  The
              color of those pixels  is  that  specified  by  the  -alphacolor
              option, or black by default.

              To  do  this,  ppmtogif  creates an entry in the GIF colormap in
              addition to the entries for colors  that  are  actually  in  the
              image.   It  marks  that  colormap entry as transparent and uses
              that colormap index in the output image to create a  transparent

               The alpha image must be the same dimensions as the input image,
              but may have any maxval.  White means  opaque  and  black  means

               You cannot specify both -transparent and -alpha.

              See -alpha.

              Include a comment in the GIF output with comment text text.

              Without this option, there are no comments in the output.

              Note that in a command shell, you’ll have to use quotation marks
              around text if it contains characters (e.g.  space)  that  would
              make the shell think it is multiple arguments:
              $ ppmtogif -comment "this is a comment" <xxx.ppm >xxx.gif


              This  option is mainly of historical interest -- it involves use
              of a patent that is now expired.

              This option causes the GIF output, and thus ppmtogif, not to use
              LZW  (Lempel-Ziv)  compression.   As a result, the image file is
              larger and, before the patent expired,  no  royalties  would  be
              owed  to  the  holder  of  the  patent  on LZW.  See the section
              LICENSE below.

              LZW is a method for combining the information from multiple pix-
              els  into  a  single GIF code.  With the -nolzw option, ppmtogif
              creates one GIF code per pixel, so it is not doing any  compres-
              sion  and  not  using LZW.  However, any GIF decoder, whether it
              uses an LZW decompressor or  not,  will  correctly  decode  this
              uncompressed  format.   An  LZW decompressor would see this as a
              particular case of LZW compression.

              Note that if someone uses an LZW decompressor such as the one in
              giftopnm  or pretty much any graphics display program to process
              the output of ppmtogif -nolzw , he is then using the LZW patent.
              But  the  patent holder expressed far less interest in enforcing
              the patent on decoding than on encoding.


       giftopnm(1), ppmquant(1), pngtopnm(1),

       gifsicle http://www.lcdf.org/gifsicle , ppm(1).


       Based on GIFENCOD by David Rowley <mgardi@watdcsu.waterloo.edu>.   Lem-
       pel-Ziv compression based on ’compress’.

       The  non-LZW format is generated by code based on djpeg by the Indepen-
       dent Jpeg Group.

       Copyright (C) 1989 by Jef Poskanzer.


       If you use ppmtogif without the -nolzw option, you are using  a  patent
       on the LZW compression method which is owned by Unisys.  The patent has
       expired (in 2003 in the US and in 2004 elsewhere), so it  doesn’t  mat-
       ter.   While the patent was in force, most people who used ppmtogif and
       similar programs did so without a license from Unisys to do so.  Unisys
       typically  asked  $5000  for  a  license for trivial use of the patent.
       Unisys never enforced the patent against trivial users.

       Rumor has it that IBM also owns or owned a patent covering ppmtogif.

       A replacement for the GIF format that never required any patents to use
       is the PNG format.

netpbm documentation           15 September 2002       Ppmtogif User Manual(0)

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