I'm searching for a tool for command line image manipulation. I want something similar to pinpoint presentation tool where I edit a file and can directly see the results on another window.

I can get a similar result with tikz and latex but I need to compile anything any time I change something and I am hoping for something more efficient.

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    I don't understand your question: “command line” and “see the results on another window” seem contradictory. Are you trying to automate something, or to change an image interactively? Feb 12, 2012 at 15:16
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    @Gilles I think he wants to have CLI control over the image manipulation itself, and see the results in real time in another window without having to save the image first.
    – Chris Down
    Feb 12, 2012 at 15:38
  • @chris-down, that'd be cool by the way, IMHO.
    – Ivan
    Feb 12, 2012 at 20:12
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    Imagemagick is probably not what you want, but I thought I'd mention it. And you can generally hit refresh for image display, so I don't think real time updating is a big deal myself. Feb 13, 2012 at 14:14
  • @ChrisDown: You are right. do you know anything similar?
    – Yotam
    Feb 14, 2012 at 8:23

3 Answers 3


ImageMagick provides a super-nice set of command-line tools for image manipulation. Check it out at http://www.imagemagick.org/.


I haven't used it myself but the gimp has scripting tools available which are cli based, script-Fu I think it's called. It may be more for filter application rather than image generation unfortunately.

http://docs.gimp.org/en/gimp-using-script-fu-tutorial.html Is a script-Fu guide

http://www.gimp.org/tutorials/Basic_Batch/ Is about using gimp from the command line


If you'd like to continue using TikZ, you could just try a LaTeX editor that supports some kind of live preview, e.g. Gummi (but there're more, see the "integrated viewer" column here) Gummi, for example, continuously runs the TeX engine of your choice in the background and shows you the output almost instantaneously.

  • TikZ is too clumsy for my needs. Generating this figure (I have contributed it) texample.net/tikz/examples/membrane-surface is generated in about two seconds on my machine and toying with parameters is frustrating.
    – Yotam
    Feb 14, 2012 at 8:22

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