PHP is not limited to creating just HTML output. It can also be used to create and manipulate image files in a variety of different image formats, including gif, png, jpg, wbmp, and xpm. Even more
convenient, PHP can output image streams directly to a browser. You will need to compile PHP with the GD library of image functions for this to work. GD and PHP may also require other libraries,
depending on which image formats you want to work with.
You can use the image functions in PHP to get the size of JPEG, GIF, PNG, SWF, TIFF and JPEG2000 images.
Note: Read requirements section about how to expand image capabilities to read, write and modify images and to read meta data of pictures taken by digital cameras.
If you have the GD library (available at http://www.boutell.com/gd/) you will also be able to create and
The format of images you are able to manipulate depend on the version of GD you install, and any other libraries GD might need
to access those image formats. Versions of GD older than gd-1.6 support GIF format images, and do not support PNG, where versions greater than gd-1.6 and less than
gd-2.0.28 support PNG, not GIF. GIF support was re-enabled in gd-2.0.28.
Note: Since PHP 4.3 there is a bundled version of the GD lib. This bundled version has some additional features like alpha blending, and should be used in preference to the external library
since its codebase is better maintained and more stable.
You may wish to enhance GD to handle more image formats.
Table 1. Supported image formats
You may wish to enhance GD to deal with different fonts. The following font libraries are supported:
Table 2. Supported font libraries
If you have PHP compiled with --enable-exif you are able to work with information stored in headers of JPEG and TIFF images. This way you can read meta data generated by digital cameras as mentioned above. These functions do not require the GD library.
To enable GD-support configure PHP --with-gd[=DIR], where DIR is the GD base install directory. To use the recommended bundled version of the GD library (which was first
bundled in PHP 4.3.0), use the configure option --with-gd. GD library requires libpng and libjpeg to
In Windows, you'll include the GD2 DLL php_gd2.dll as an extension in php.ini. The GD1 DLL php_gd.dll was removed in
PHP 4.3.2. Also note that the preferred truecolor image functions, such as imagecreatetruecolor(), require GD2.
Note: To enable exif support in Windows, php_mbstring.dll must be loaded prior to php_exif.dll in php.ini.
To disable GD support in PHP 3 add --without-gd to your configure line.
Enhance the capabilities of GD to handle more image formats by specifying the --with-XXXX configure switch to your PHP configure line.
Table 3. Supported image formats
||To enable support for jpeg-6b add --with-jpeg-dir=DIR.
||To enable support for png add --with-png-dir=DIR. Note, libpng requires the zlib library, therefore add --with-zlib-dir[=DIR] to your configure line.
||To enable support for xpm add --with-xpm-dir=DIR. If configure is not able to find the required libraries, you may add the path to your X11 libraries.
Note: When compiling PHP with libpng, you must use the same version that was linked with the GD library.
Enhance the capabilities of GD to deal with different fonts by specifying the --with-XXXX configure switch to your PHP configure line.
Table 4. Supported font libraries
||To enable support for FreeType 1.x add --with-ttf[=DIR].
||To enable support for FreeType 2 add --with-freetype-dir=DIR.
||To enable support for T1lib (Type 1 fonts) add --with-t1lib[=DIR].
|Native TrueType string function
||To enable support for native TrueType string function add --enable-gd-native-ttf.
There are no image specific configurations but you may be interested in the exif extension directives.
This extension has no resource types defined.
The constants below are defined by this extension, and will only be available when the extension has either been compiled into PHP or dynamically loaded at runtime.
Example 1. PNG creation with PHP
$string = $_GET['text'];
$im = imagecreatefrompng("images/button1.png");
$orange = imagecolorallocate($im, 220, 210, 60);
$px = (imagesx($im) - 7.5 * strlen($string)) / 2;
imagestring($im, 3, $px, 9,
This example would be called from a page with a tag like: <img src="button.php?text=text">. The above button.php script then takes this "text" string and overlays it on top of a base image
which in this case is "images/button1.png" and outputs the resulting image. This is a very convenient way to avoid having to draw new button images every time you want to change the text of a button.
With this method they are dynamically generated.