Last updated December 8, 2015. Created by Peter Murray on December 8, 2015.
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VIPS is a free image processing system. It includes a range of filters, arithmetic operations, colour processing, histograms, and geometric transforms. It supports ten pixel formats, from 8-bit unsigned int to 128-bit complex. As well as the usual JPEG, TIFF, PNG and WebP images, it also supports scientific formats like FITS, OpenEXR, Matlab, Analyze, PFM, Radiance, OpenSlide and DICOM (via libMagick). Compared to similar libraries, VIPS is fast and does not need much memory, see the Speed and Memory Use page.
It comes in two main parts: libvips is the image-processing library and nip2 is the graphical user-interface. libvips has a simple GObject-based API and comes with interfaces for C, C++, the command-line and Python. Other bindings have been made, including Ruby and Go. libvips is used as an image processing engine by sharp (on node.js), carrierwave-vips, mediawiki, photoflow and others.
The official VIPS GUI, nip2, aims to be about half-way between Photoshop and Excel. It is very bad at retouching photographs, but very handy for the many other imaging tasks that programs like Photoshop are used for.
Both work on Linux/Unix (with convenient packages for most popular distributions, see links), Windows XP and later and MacOS 10.2 and later.

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