Provided by: netpbm_10.0-15_amd64 bug

NAME

       pbm - portable bitmap file format

DESCRIPTION

       The  portable  bitmap  format  is  a lowest common denominator monochrome file format.  It
       serves as the common language of a large family of bitmap conversion filters.  Because the
       format  pays  no  heed  to efficiency, it is simple and general enough that one can easily
       develop programs to convert to and from just  about  any  other  graphics  format,  or  to
       manipulate the image.

       This  is  not  a  format  that one would normally use to store a file or to transmit it to
       someone -- it's  too  expensive  and  not  expressive  enough  for  that.   It's  just  an
       intermediary  format.   In  it's  purest  use,  it  lives only in a pipe between two other
       programs.

       The format definition is as follows.

       A PBM file consists of a  sequence  of  one  or  more  PBM  images.  There  are  no  data,
       delimiters, or padding before, after, or between images.

       Each PBM image consists of the following:

       - A  "magic  number" for identifying the file type.  A pbm image's magic number is the two
         characters "P4".

       - Whitespace (blanks, TABs, CRs, LFs).

       - The width in pixels of the image, formatted as ASCII characters in decimal.

       - Whitespace.

       - The height in pixels of the image, again in ASCII decimal.

       - Newline or other single whitespace character.

       - A raster of Height rows, in order from top to bottom.  Each row is Width bits, packed  8
         to  a  byte,  with  don't  care  bits  to  fill  out the last byte in the row.  Each bit
         represents a pixel: 1 is black, 0 is white.  The order of the pixels is left  to  right.
         The  order  of  their  storage  within  each  file byte is most significant bit to least
         significant bit.  The order of the file bytes is from the beginning of the  file  toward
         the end of the file.

       - Characters  from  a  "#"  to  the  next  end-of-line,  before the width/height line, are
         comments and are ignored.

       There is actually another version of the PBM  format,  even  more  more  simplistic,  more
       lavishly wasteful of space than PBM, called Plain PBM.  Plain PBM actually came first, but
       even its inventor couldn't stand its recklessly squanderous use of resources after a while
       and switched to what we now know as the regular PBM format.  But Plain PBM is so redundant
       -- so overstated -- that it's virtually impossible to break.  You can send it through  the
       most  liberal  mail  system (which was the original purpose of the PBM format) and it will
       arrive still readable.  You can flip a dozen random bits and easily  piece  back  together
       the  original image.  And we hardly need to define the format here, because you can decode
       it by inspection.

       The difference is:

       - There is exactly one image in a file.

       - The "magic number" is "P1" instead of "P4".

       - Each pixel in the raster  is  represented  by  a  byte  containing  ASCII  '1'  or  '0',
         representing black and white respectively.  There are no fill bits at the end of a row.

       - White space in the raster section is ignored.

       - You  can  put  any  junk  you  want  after  the  raster, if it starts with a white space
         character.

       - No line should be longer than 70 characters.

       Here is an example of a small bitmap in the plain PBM format:
       P1
       # feep.pbm
       24 7
       0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
       0 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 0
       0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0
       0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 0
       0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
       0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
       0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

       You can generate the Plain PBM format from the regular PBM format (first image in the file
       only) with the pnmtoplainpnm program.

       Programs  that  read this format should be as lenient as possible, accepting anything that
       looks remotely like a bitmap.

COMPATIBILITY

       Before July 2000, there could be at most one image in a PBM file.  As a result, most tools
       to process PBM files ignore (and don't read) any data after the first image.

SEE ALSO

       libpbm(3),pnm(5),pgm(5),ppm(5)

AUTHOR

       Copyright (C) 1989, 1991 by Jef Poskanzer.

                                          05 March 2000                                    pbm(5)