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Man Pages

Manual Reference Pages  -  IMGTOPS (1)


imgtops - convert images to PostScript




imgtops [options]... [filename(s)]...


This program reads one or more images in any of a wide variety of formats (including JPEG, PNG, GIF, Targa, TIFF, BMP, and many others) and produces a Encapsulated PostScript Level 2 or 3 file as output. The goal is to produce the most space-efficient encoding of the image.

The files output will print only on PostScript devices supporting Level 2 features, but Level 2 has been around since 1991 so virtually all printers today support it.

If no input file is specified, imgtops reads from stdin.

The output of this program with no options will be a one-page PostScript document with the image centered on a US letter-size page with one-inch margins. The file will contain a tight bounding box for the image and other necessary DSC comments to make the output a legal Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) file, suitable for inclusion in other documents.


-?, --help Causes the program to show an option summary and usage information, then exit.
  Causes the program to show version and license information, then exit.
-e, --strict-eps
  The normal output of imgtops is a page with a centered image. The exact size and position depends on the various page size, image size, and margin parameters listed below. The document always contains a tight EPS bounding box around the image, but since bounding boxes must have integral coordinates, there may be small slivers of empty page contained in the bounding box as well. The -e option makes the bounding box fit the image exactly, at the expense of centering it on the page. These files are suitable only for EPS inclusion in other documents; parts of the image will likely be cut off if they are printed directly. -e causes the image size, page size, and page margin options to be ignered.

The summary is: use -e if you’re only using the output file by including it in another document. Don’t use -e if you want to print the output file by itself.

-w, --width=<dim>
-h, --height=<dim>
  Set the desired image width and height. See the DIMENSIONS section below for legal dimension values. If both of these options are given, the image may be scaled nonuniformly. If the result does not fit on the page minus the margins, the image is scaled down to fit while maintaining its aspect ratio. The default if neither is given is to make the image as large as possible.
-s, --paper-size=SIZE
  Set the output page size. The size value may be "letter", "legal", or "a4" to select one of the builtin sizes, or it may be two dimensions (width and height) separated by a comma.
-m, --margin=<dim>
  Sets the size of the page margin. The default is one inch.
-l, --landscape
  Rotates the image 90 degrees on the page. This may be used in conjunction with -e.
-2, --level-2
  Forces all output to be Level 2 PostScript. This is the default. If both -3 and -2 are given, the one that appears last takes effect.
-3, --level-3
  Allows the use of Level 3 PostScript features, which may result in smaller output files.
-8, --allow-8-bit
  By default the output file is 7-bit clean, containing only printable ASCII characters and whitespace. This option allows arbitrary binary data to appear in the output, which reduces the size of the output file by about 20%. However, some PostScript document managers (such as gv, as of this writing) choke on binary data. For maximum portability of the resulting PostScript, do not use this option.
-x, --hex-encoding
  Uses a hexadecimal encoding of binary data instead of the default ASCII85 encoding. This option is primarily for debugging -- it results in an output file that is 60% larger, with no corresponding benefit. This option has no effect if -8 is specified (since then the binary data is not encoded at all, but appears in the output file directly).
-n, --line-length=#
  By default, ASCII-encoded data is broken into lines of 75 characters or less. The -n option changes that limit. Setting it to zero or a negative value disables line breaking; the output will be one very long line. This option effects only the image data portion of the output file. The header of a typical output file contains lines of around 75 characters; -n has no effect on these lines. This option has no effect when -8 is specified.
-b, --batch
  In batch mode, imgtops accepts multiple input images and processes them all. It outputs one file per image; the output filenames are constructed by replacing the input file’s extension with ".eps" (if -e is used) or ".ps" (if it is not). The -o option can be used to specify the directory where the output files should be placed.

At least one input image filename must be given; batch input images can not come from stdin.

-o, --output <filename>
-o, --output <dirname>
  Normally imgtops processes a single input image, and -o is used to specify the output filename. The default is stdout.

In batch mode (selected with -b), this option specifies a directory for the output files to go into; the filenames are constructed automatically from the input filenames.

-q, --quiet
  Normally imgtops prints a message to stderr as each input file is processed. -q suppresses all output to stderr, except for actual error messages.
-v, --verbose
  The opposite of -q, this causes additional information to be printed to stderr as the program runs.


Any option requiring a dimension may be given as a number followed by "in", "cm", "mm", "pt", "ft", or "m" to indicate the units. A number given without units is assumed to be a distance in PostScript points (1/72-inch).


Copyright © 2003 Doug Zongker
This is free software; see the source for copying conditions. There is NO warranty; not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

PostScript is a registered trademark of Adobe Systems Incorporated.

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imgtops 1.0 IMGTOPS (1) September 2003

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