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Pnmtorle User Manual(0) Pnmtorle User Manual(0)


pnmtorle - convert a Netpbm image file into an RLE image file.



[-header] [-verbose] [-alpha] [-outfile=outfile] [pnmfile]

Minimum unique abbreviation of option is acceptable. You may use double hyphens instead of single hyphen to denote options. You may use white space in place of the equals sign to separate an option name from its value.


This program is part of Netpbm(1).

This program converts Netpbm image files into Utah RLE image files. You can include a transparency mask. If the input is a multiple image file, the output consists of several concatenated RLE images.

pnmfile is the name of the Netpbm image input file. If you don't specify this argument, input is from Standard Input.

The RLE file will contain either a three channel color image (24 bits) or a single channel grayscale image (8 bits) depending upon the type of Netpbm input. If the Netpbm input is color, the RLE output is 3 channel 24 bit color. If the Netpbm input is grayscale or black and white, the RLE output is single channel grayscale.


In addition to the options common to all programs based on libnetpbm (most notably -quiet, see
Common Options
), pnmtorle recognizes the following command line options:

This option will cause pnmtorle to operate in verbose mode. The
program writes header information to Standard Error. Actually, there is not
much header information stored in a Netpbm file, so this information is

Before Netpbm 10.98 (March 2022), this option is just -v.

This option causes the program to dump the header of the Netpbm image to be Standard Error without converting the file. It is equivalent to using the -verbose option except that no file conversion takes place.

Before Netpbm 10.98 (March 2022), this option is just -h.

This option causes pnmtorle to include a transparency channel in the output image. The transparency channel is based on the image: Wherever a pixel is black, the corresponding transparency value is transparent. Everywhere else, the transparency value is fully opaque.

If you specify this option, pnmtorle writes the output to this file. If outfile is - or you don't specify -outfile, pnmtorle writes the output to Standard Output.

Before Netpbm 10.98 (March 2022), this option is just -o.and
must be separated from its value by a space, not an equal sign.


pnmtorle -verbose file.ppm -outfile=file.rle

While running in verbose mode, convert file.ppm to RLE format and store resulting data in file.rle.

pnmtorle -header file.pgm

Dump the header information of the Netpbm file called file.pgm.




Wes Barris,
Army High Performance Computing Research Center (AHPCRC)
Minnesota Supercomputer Center, Inc.


This manual page was generated by the Netpbm tool 'makeman' from HTML source. The master documentation is at
07 March 2022 netpbm documentation