PHP library to manipulate and generate responsive images

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Language: PHP

v1.3.1 2015-04-30 08:48 UTC


Build Status Scrutinizer Code Quality

Created by Oscar Otero

What is Imagecow?

It's a php library to manipulate images to web.

  • Written in PHP 5.3
  • Use GD2 or Imagick libraries (and can be extended with more)
  • Has an optional client-side javascript to generate responsive images
  • Very simple and easy to use. There is not a lot of features, just only the basics: crop, resize, resizeCrop, etc.
  • Use the PSR-4 autoloader standard

Notes on 1.x version

The API in 1.x version changes a little bit (not much, only on create the instances).

How use it?

Use the static function Imagecow\Image::create() to load an image and returns an imageCow instance. This function has two arguments:

  • image: The image file path or a binary string with the image data
  • library: The library used (Gd or Imagick). If it's not provided, it's detected automatically (in order of preference: Imagick, Gd)
use Imagecow\Image;

//Create an Imagick instance of "my-image.jpg" file:
$image = Image::create('my-image.jpg', 'Imagick');

//Create an instance detecting the library automatically
$image = Image::create('my-image.jpg');

//Create an instance from a binary file
$data = file_get_contents('my-image.jpg');

$image = Image::create($data);

//You can use also the direct functions:
$image = Image::createFromString($data);
$image = Image::createFromFile($file);
Crop the image
//Arguments: ($width, $height, $x = 'center', $y = 'middle');

$image->crop(200, 300); //Crops the image to 200x300px
$image->crop(200, 300, 'left', 'top'); //Crops the image to 200x300px starting from left-top
$image->crop(200, 300, 20, '50%'); //Crops the image to 200x300px starting from 20px (x) / 50% (y)
$image->crop('50%', '50%'); //Crops the image to half size
Resize the image
//Arguments: ($width, $height = 0, $enlarge = false)

$image->resize(200, 300); //Resizes the image to max size 200x300px (keeps the aspect ratio. If the image is lower, don't resize it)
$image->resize(800, 600, 1); //Resizes the image to max size 800x600px (keeps the aspect ratio. If the image is lower enlarge it)
$image->resize(800); //Resizes the image to 800px width and calculates the height maintaining the proportion.
Resize and Crop the image
//Arguments: ($width, $height, $x = 'center', $y = 'middle')

$image->resizeCrop(200, 300); //Resizes and crops the image to this size.
$image->rotate(90); //Rotates the image 90 degrees
$image->autoRotate(); //Rotates the image according its EXIF data.
Convert the image to other formats:
Save the image to a file

//Overwrite the image (only if has been loaded from a file)
Execute multiple functions (resize, crop, resizeCrop, format)

This is useful to get images transformed dinamically using get variables: image.php?transform=resize,200,300|format,png

Show the image
Other functions:

$image->getString(); //Returns the image in a string

$image->setBackground(array(255, 255, 255)); //Set a default background used in some transformations (for example, convert a transparent png to jpg)
$image->setCompressionQuality(80); //Define the image compression quality for jpg images

Responsive images

Include the Imagecow.js library in the html page and execute the function Imagecow.init();

<script src="Imagecow.js" type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8"></script>

<script type="text/javascript">

This function saves a cookie with the client information (width, height, connection speed). You can configurate the cookie. The default values are:

Imagecow.cookie_seconds = 3600*24;
Imagecow.cookie_name = 'Imagecow_detection';
Imagecow.cookie_path = '/';

In the server-side, use the cookie to generate the responsive operations:

use Imagecow\Image;

$operations = Image::getResponsiveOperations($_COOKIE['Imagecow_detection'], $_GET['transform']);

$image = Image::create();


Now you can transform the image according with the client dimmensions. The available options are:

  • max-width
  • min-width
  • max-height
  • min-height
  • width
  • height

You can use the same syntax than transform, but separate the "media-query" with ";".


Get me the image "my_picture.png" with resizeCrop to 800x600. If the max-width of the client side is 400, resize to 400.

Usage in PHP frameworks

For Laravel and PHP FuelPHP users you can use the wrapper by @kevbaldwyn:

Other utils

IconExtractor. Class to extract the images from an .ico file and convert to png. Only for Imagick:

use Imagecow\Utils\IconExtractor;

$icon = new IconExtractor('favicon.ico');

//Gets the better image from the icon (quality = color_depth + (width * height))
$image = $icon->getBetterQuality();

//Do imagecow stuff

SvgExtractor. This class allows generate images from a svg file (usefull for browsers that don't support svg format):

use Imagecow\Utils\SvgExtractor;

$svg = new SvgExtractor('image.svg');

//Gets the image
$image = $svg->get();

//Now you can execute the imagecow methods:


  • @oscarotero (creator)
  • @eusonlito (contributor)
  • @AndreasHeiberg (contributor)
  • @kevbaldwyn (contributor)