jpegtran - lossless transformation of JPEG files
jpegtran [ options ] [ filename ]
jpegtran performs various useful transformations of JPEG files. It can
translate the coded representation from one variant of JPEG to another,
for example from baseline JPEG to progressive JPEG or vice versa. It
can also perform some rearrangements of the image data, for example
turning an image from landscape to portrait format by rotation.
jpegtran works by rearranging the compressed data (DCT coefficients),
without ever fully decoding the image. Therefore, its transformations
are lossless: there is no image degradation at all, which would not be
true if you used djpeg followed by cjpeg to accomplish the same conver-
sion. But by the same token, jpegtran cannot perform lossy operations
such as changing the image quality.
jpegtran reads the named JPEG/JFIF file, or the standard input if no
file is named, and produces a JPEG/JFIF file on the standard output.
All switch names may be abbreviated; for example, -optimize may be
written -opt or -o. Upper and lower case are equivalent. British
spellings are also accepted (e.g., -optimise), though for brevity these
are not mentioned below.
To specify the coded JPEG representation used in the output file, jpeg-
tran accepts a subset of the switches recognized by cjpeg:
Perform optimization of entropy encoding parameters.
Create progressive JPEG file.
Emit a JPEG restart marker every N MCU rows, or every N MCU
blocks if "B" is attached to the number.
Use the scan script given in the specified text file.
See cjpeg(1) for more details about these switches. If you specify
none of these switches, you get a plain baseline-JPEG output file. The
quality setting and so forth are determined by the input file.
The image can be losslessly transformed by giving one of these
Mirror image horizontally (left-right).
Mirror image vertically (top-bottom).
Rotate image 90 degrees clockwise.
Rotate image 180 degrees.
Rotate image 270 degrees clockwise (or 90 ccw).
Transpose image (across UL-to-LR axis).
Transverse transpose (across UR-to-LL axis).
The transpose transformation has no restrictions regarding image dimen-
sions. The other transformations operate rather oddly if the image
dimensions are not a multiple of the iMCU size (usually 8 or 16 pix-
els), because they can only transform complete blocks of DCT coeffi-
cient data in the desired way.
jpegtran’s default behavior when transforming an odd-size image is
designed to preserve exact reversibility and mathematical consistency
of the transformation set. As stated, transpose is able to flip the
entire image area. Horizontal mirroring leaves any partial iMCU column
at the right edge untouched, but is able to flip all rows of the image.
Similarly, vertical mirroring leaves any partial iMCU row at the bottom
edge untouched, but is able to flip all columns. The other transforms
can be built up as sequences of transpose and flip operations; for con-
sistency, their actions on edge pixels are defined to be the same as
the end result of the corresponding transpose-and-flip sequence.
For practical use, you may prefer to discard any untransformable edge
pixels rather than having a strange-looking strip along the right
and/or bottom edges of a transformed image. To do this, add the -trim
-trim Drop non-transformable edge blocks.
Obviously, a transformation with -trim is not reversible, so strictly
speaking jpegtran with this switch is not lossless. Also, the expected
mathematical equivalences between the transformations no longer hold.
For example, -rot 270 -trim trims only the bottom edge, but -rot 90
-trim followed by -rot 180 -trim trims both edges.
Another not-strictly-lossless transformation switch is:
Force grayscale output.
This option discards the chrominance channels if the input image is
YCbCr (ie, a standard color JPEG), resulting in a grayscale JPEG file.
The luminance channel is preserved exactly, so this is a better method
of reducing to grayscale than decompression, conversion, and recompres-
sion. This switch is particularly handy for fixing a monochrome pic-
ture that was mistakenly encoded as a color JPEG. (In such a case, the
space savings from getting rid of the near-empty chroma channels won’t
be large; but the decoding time for a grayscale JPEG is substantially
less than that for a color JPEG.)
jpegtran also recognizes these switches that control what to do with
"extra" markers, such as comment blocks:
Copy no extra markers from source file. This setting suppresses
all comments and other excess baggage present in the source
Copy only comment markers. This setting copies comments from
the source file, but discards any other inessential data.
Copy all extra markers. This setting preserves miscellaneous
markers found in the source file, such as JFIF thumbnails and
Photoshop settings. In some files these extra markers can be
The default behavior is -copy comments. (Note: in IJG releases v6 and
v6a, jpegtran always did the equivalent of -copy none.)
Additional switches recognized by jpegtran are:
Set limit for amount of memory to use in processing large
images. Value is in thousands of bytes, or millions of bytes if
"M" is attached to the number. For example, -max 4m selects
4000000 bytes. If more space is needed, temporary files will be
Send output image to the named file, not to standard output.
Enable debug printout. More -v’s give more output. Also, ver-
sion information is printed at startup.
-debug Same as -verbose.
This example converts a baseline JPEG file to progressive form:
jpegtran -progressive foo.jpg > fooprog.jpg
This example rotates an image 90 degrees clockwise, discarding any
unrotatable edge pixels:
jpegtran -rot 90 -trim foo.jpg > foo90.jpg
If this environment variable is set, its value is the default
memory limit. The value is specified as described for the
-maxmemory switch. JPEGMEM overrides the default value speci-
fied when the program was compiled, and itself is overridden by
an explicit -maxmemory.
cjpeg(1), djpeg(1), rdjpgcom(1), wrjpgcom(1)
Wallace, Gregory K. "The JPEG Still Picture Compression Standard",
Communications of the ACM, April 1991 (vol. 34, no. 4), pp. 30-44.
Independent JPEG Group
Arithmetic coding is not supported for legal reasons.
The transform options can’t transform odd-size images perfectly. Use
-trim if you don’t like the results without it.
The entire image is read into memory and then written out again, even
in cases where this isn’t really necessary. Expect swapping on large
images, especially when using the more complex transform options.
3 August 1997 JPEGTRAN(1)
Man(1) output converted with