PHP library to manipulate and generate responsive images

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v1.5.0 2015-09-07 21:30 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, fast and easy to use. There is not a lot of features, just the basics: crop, resize, resizeCrop, etc.
  • Use the PSR-4 autoloader standard

Simple usage example:

use Imagecow\Image;

    ->resizeCrop(300, 400, 'center', 'middle')

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: Image::LIB_IMAGICK, Image::LIB_GD)
use Imagecow\Image;

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


Image::resize($width, $height = 0, $enlarge = false, $cover = false)

Resizes the image keeping the aspect ratio.

  • $width: The new max-width of the image. You can use percentages or numbers (pixels). If it's 0, it will be calculated automatically using the height
  • $height: The new max-height of the image. As width, you can use percentages or numbers and it will be calculated automatically if it's 0
  • $enlarge: By default is false. This means that the image won't be scaled if the new value is bigger.
  • $cover: If it's true, the new dimensions will cover both width and height values. It's like css's image-size: cover.
//Assuming the original image is 1000x500

$image->resize(200);                    // change to 200x100
$image->resize(0, 200);                 // change to 400x200
$image->resize(200, 300);               // change to 200x100
$image->resize(2000, 2000);             // keeps 1000x500
$image->resize(2000, 2000, true);       // enlarge to 2000x1000
$image->resize(2000, 2000, true, true); // enlarge to 4000x2000


Image::crop($width, $height, $x = 'center', $y = 'middle')

Crops the image:

  • $width: The width of the cropped image. It can be number (pixels) or percentage
  • $height: The height of the cropped image. It can be number (pixels) or percentage
  • $x: The horizontal offset of the crop. It can be a number (for pixels) or percentage. You can also use the keywords left, center and right. If it's not defined, used the value by default (center).
  • $y: The vertical offset of the crop. As with $x, it can be a number or percentage. You can also use the keywords top, middle and bottom. If it's not defined, used the value by default (middle).
$image->crop(200, 300);                 // crops to 200x300px
$image->crop(200, 300, 'left', 'top');  // crops to 200x300px from left and top
$image->crop(200, 300, 20, '50%');      // crops to 200x300px from 20px left and 50% top
$image->crop('50%', '50%');             // crops to half size
Automatic cropping

Imagecow includes some code copied from the great library stojg/crop to calculate the most important parts of the image to crop and resizeCrop automatically. The available methods are:

Note: these methods are available only for Imagick. If you use Gd, the methods fallback to "center", "middle" positions.

To use them:

$image->crop(500, 200, Image::CROP_ENTROPY);  // crops to 500x200 using the Entropy method to calculate the center point
$image->crop(500, 200, Image::CROP_BALANCED); // The same as above but using the Balanced method


Image::resizeCrop($width, $height, $x = 'center', $y = 'middle', $enlarge = false)

Resizes and crops the image. See resize and crop for the arguments description.

$image->resizeCrop(200, 300);                  //Resizes and crops to 200x300px.
$image->resizeCrop('50%', 300);                //Resizes and crops to half width and 300px height
$image->resizeCrop(200, 300, 'left', '100%'); //Resizes and crops to 200x300px from left and bottom
$image->resizeCrop(200, 300, Image::CROP_BALANCED); //Resizes and crops to 200x300px using the CROP_BALANCED method



Rotates the image

  • $angle: Rotation angle in degrees (anticlockwise)
$image->rotate(90); // rotates the image 90 degrees



Autorotates the image according its EXIF data




Converts the image to other format.

  • $format: The format name. It can be "jpg", "png" or "gif".
$image->format('png'); // converts to png


Save the image to a file.

  • $filename: The filename for the saved image. If it's not defined, overwrite the file (only if has been loaded from a file).
$image->save('my-new-image.png'); // save to this file
$image->save(); // overwrite file


Image::setBackground(array $background)

Set a default background used in some transformations: for example on convert a transparent png to jpg.

  • $background: An array with the RGB value of the color
$image->setBackground(array(255, 255, 255)); // set the background to white



Defines the image compression quality for jpg images

  • $quality: An integer value between 0 and 100
$image->setCompressionQuality(80); // change the quality to 80

Display the image

Send the HTTP header with the content-type, output the image data and die:

$image->show(); // you should see this image in your browser

Insert the image as base64 url:

echo '<img src="' . $image->base64() . '">';

Get image info:

There are other functions to returns image info:

  • $image->getWidth(): Returns the image width in pixels
  • $image->getHeight(): Returns the image height in pixels
  • $image->getMimeType(): Returns the image mime-type
  • $image->getExifData(): Returns the EXIF data of the image
  • $image->getString(): Returns a string with the image content
Execute multiple functions

You can execute some of these functions defined as a string. This is useful to get images transformed dinamically using variables, for example: image.php?transform=resize,200,300|format,png. All operations are separated by | and use commas for the arguments:


//This is the same than:
    ->resize(200, '50%')
    ->crop(100, 100, Image::CROP_ENTROPY);

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']);


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.

Other utils


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

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

Only for Imagick 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)

Thanks to

Stig Lindqvist and Julien Deniau jdeniau for the stojg/crop library