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Best image Processing Library in PHP | The Blog July 2013 | The Blog 2013 | The Blog
PHP Imaging

Best image Processing Library in PHP

  • Published on Friday, 12 July 2013 02:16
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How many times have I said that an image is worth more than 1 million words??. ..hmmm, countless times, and most surely I am not the only one who thinks that. Wouldn't be a good idea to add some Image features to your website??.

Here are the best Image Processing Libraries that you might find for PHP!!

GD Library

The library was originally developed by Thomas Boutell and is now maintained by Pierre Joye under the umbrella of PHP.net. It gives you the possibilty to create and modify GIFs, JPEGs, PNGs, WBMPs and WebP files.

This library not only supports PHP, but also C, PHP, Perl, Python, OCaml, Tcl, Lua, Pascal, GNU Octave, REXX, Ruby and Go which guarantees a long life to it and a good support from developers which makes it easy for you to find the answer to your questions as well as examples.

You can download it and get the documentation here and also in the PHP site.

Some EASY examples so you can understand very fast how it works:

It is also usefull these links that explains how to install it in your OS:



It can read, convert and write images in a variety of formats (over 200!!) including DPX, EXR, GIF, JPEG, JPEG-2000, PDF, PhotoCD, PNG, Postscript, SVG, and TIFF.

It also supports many programming languages as Ada, C, Ch, COM+, C++, Java, Lisp, Neko/Haxe, .NET, Pascal ,Perl, Python, Ruby and Tcl/TK. It does include — for UNIX-like Operating Systems — a basic native X Window GUI (called IMDisplay) for rendering and manipulating images so you can get a flavour of what can be done with it.

Converting and Image from one format to other is just a child game for ImageMagicK, 

You can download it and get the documentation here and also in the PHP site. Here you have some links with usage examples of ImageMagicK:

The ImageMagicK site is full of examples!!


Do you need to work with vector graphics (geometrical primitives such as points, lines, curves or polygons) instead than with Rasterize graphics(representation of images as an array of pixels)??. If your Answer is YES then this is your Library.

It is also available for many programming languages, including C++, PHP, Factor, Haskell, Lua, Perl, Python, Ruby, Scheme, Smalltalk and several others

You can download it and get the documentation here and also in the PHP site.

Here you have some examples of Cairo developments:


Which is the one for you??. Vector Images Manipulation: Cairo is the chosen one. Rasterized images Manipulation: Go for ImageMagicK when manipulating in many different image formats, for better rendering of True-Type fonts (it takes into consideration kerning hints in the font), for creation of thumbnails from original photos as the quality of ImageMagicK is better and for manipulating larger images....for the rest of the cases choose either of them (fair to say that GD is very fast manipulating many small images)


Sepelka (JL Castellano)

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