Book Review – ImageMagick Tricks by Sohail Salehi

Book Review – ImageMagick Tricks by Sohail Salehi

Author: Sohail Salehi
ISBN: 1904811868
Publisher: Packt Publishing
232 pages
Published: June 2006

ImageMagickTM is a command-line image processing system from ImageMagick Studio, LLC. It is used by websites for dynamic processing and displaying images. If the number of images on your site is not too large, you will probably process the images in a graphics program such as PhotoshopR and display the images on your site using HTML and CSS. Although it is mostly used by websites with huge numbers of images, another option is to use a command-line system such as ImageMagick to process and display your images on the fly. For example, the free online encyclopedia WikipediaR uses ImageMagick’s command-line utilities for their imaging needs.

In this book, Sohail Salehi teaches what ImageMagick is and how to do some nice tricks with it. There are many small workshop exercises throughout the book that reinforce what you have learned. Salehi begins with an introduction and then walks you through installing and configuring ImageMagic on your system. Next, he covers the basic command-line utilities ranging from the simple resizing and formatting of images to applying special effects, watermarks and creating animation all from text-based commands.

I found the second half of the book to be the most useful. It presents several web applications using ImageMagick and PHP. The first was a confirmation-code box. You have probably encountered one of these when you opened an account on the web. It is that little box containing a mystery code of numbers and letters and you must enter this code in the web form to prove that you are a real person filling out the form and not a web robot. Salehi shows you how to use ImageMagick and PHP to generate the mystery code and display it in the web form. Another application that I really liked was a three-step process for a customizable e-card application which uses ImageMagick utilities to create the thumbnail and gallery images for an HTML-based web gallery. He also shows you how to use ImageMagick to dynamically customize the e-cards with text and graphics based on user input.

Sohail Salehi has contributed to over twenty books and many articles related to graphics and programming.

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