How To: Convert JPG to PNG

In today’s article, we’re going to learn how to convert JPG to PNG image files. It’s a pretty easy process. In fact, the second part of the article should be fairly brief. Read on to learn more!

I should also mention that we’ll be learning how to convert JPG to PNG in the terminal. There are all sorts of GUI ways to do so, from individually converting files to batch conversions. Well, you can do all that in the terminal and this article will show you how.

Why PNG? Well, it supports lossless compression. PNG also supports transparency. PNG also looks better at higher resolutions, as it is able to display more details. Additionally, PNG not only supports lossless compression, it supports compression better – so you needn’t transfer larger files if you have no reason to do so. Plus, PNG is one of the better formats if  you’re going to do things like share the images online.

So, there are a number of reasons why you’d want to convert JPG to PNG. Fortunately, as I mentioned above, it’s really not all that difficult. You have tools to do this right in your default repositories, assuming you’re using a mainstream distro.

Without further ado…

Convert JPG to PNG:

As we’ll be converting in the terminal, you will have to have an open terminal. To do that, just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open. See? We’re off to a good start.

Now, the tool we’ll be using is ‘ImageMagick’ and it’s available to install via  your normal channels. If you were using a distro that uses apt (Debian/Ubuntu/Mint/etc) then it’s trivial to install with:

Otherwise, install it with your default package manager tools. (You just might have installed when we covered how to resize images with ImageMagick. If not, now’s a good time to install it and then read that article!)

So, next you’ll either want to use the /path/to/directory where your JPG files are,  or just navigate to the directory where you’ve stored them (the easiest path), and you can convert them all with just one command:

Congratulations, in just that one command you’ll have converted all the JPG to PNG files. Feel the power of Linux! You’ll retain the originals, just in case something goes awry. If you’re happy with the results, you can always delete the originals with any one of a number of commands.

So, what if you just want to convert one JPG to PNG? Well, that’s easy:

See? I told you it was easy. While there’s a whole lot of complexity with ImageMagick, it can be quite simple to use for some very generic day-to-day tasks. Of couse, man imagemagick is always an option to learn more.

Closure:

Yup… It’s really not all that hard to convert JPG to PNG files with ImageMagick. If it’s a large number of files, it could be a bit for you to convert them all, but let it do its thing and it won’t take too long on a modern computer. If you only need to convert one image, that’s fine too.

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Let’s Reduce The Size Of .png Files

In today’s article, we’re going to learn how to reduce the size of .png files. PNG stands for Portable Network Graphics and they can be pretty large. They are raster image format files using lossless image compression. So, today we’ll be doing just that, compressing .png files, in the terminal.

As stated, PNG stands for Portable Network Graphics. Some folks will say that it stands for “PNG’s Not GIF” but they’re incorrect – but are correct about the motive. The .png format was developed to be a free-of-patent alternative to .gif files – some 25 years ago, as of the time this article is published. You can read more about the file format at the PNG Wikipedia Page.

The tool we’ll be using is known as ‘pngquant‘, which should be available in most default repositories. You can check the man page, but it defines itself as:

pngquant — PNG converter and lossy image compressor

You’ll note that it says ‘lossy’ and that means you can lose some image quality with this compression – but from my testing it spits out a perfectly usable image, even while compressing it a great deal. It’s pretty handy. I haven’t tested it as a batch process on a bunch of files, but I have tested it on some files. In each case, I got a perfectly usable image that spit out the other side.

So, with that, let’s move on into the meat of the article, where we’ll learn to …

Reduce The Size Of .png Files:

As pngquant is a terminal-based application, it stands to reason that you’re gonna need an open terminal. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

I’ll give you the installation instructions for Debian/Ubuntu/Mint, but you should be able to find the package in most default repositories. To install in those particular distros:

Once ‘pngquant’ has been installed, navigate to a directory where you have some .png files waiting to be compressed. Once you’re there, run this command:

That’ll tell you the size of the .png in question. Now, you’re going to compress it with the following command:

By default, ‘pngquant’ will retain the original file and create a new file that has appended – fs8 to the file name. So, foo.png becomes foo-fs8.png. You can change that behavior with the --ext flag. 

Here’s an example where an already small .png file was reduced even further by way of pngquant:

pngquant in action - reducing the size of .png files
As you can see, it reduced the file size by about half. The resulting quality was fine.

You can find GUI software that will do this for you, but this is a quick and easy way to reduce the size of .png files in the terminal. While not opensource, there’s XnViewMP and I’m pretty sure XnConvert works with Linux as well. If not, XnViewMP does and has batch conversion as an option – while the latter is specifically for batch conversion.

Closure:

And there you have it… You have a way to reduce the size of .png files in your terminal. Just what you always wanted! I don’t see my average reader doing a whole lot of this, but it’s an option if you want. I use a service that switches my images to WebP as it’s faster and lighter. It’s done by my CDN for me, which is nice and one of the reasons the site loads quickly.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. The first person to read this sentence should contact me and I’ll donate five dollars to their favorite charity that accepts PayPal. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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