pix2asc, asc2pix — encode and decode color pixel files


pix2asc < file.pix > file.asc

asc2pix < file.asc > file.pix


pix2asc and asc2pix are simple filters which convert color pix(5) files from their binary form to a portable ASCII form, and back. pix2asc reads the binary file on standard in and writes ASCII on standard out. asc2pix does the reverse.

The binary file consists of a sequence of three-tuples of unsigned chars representing the red, green, and blue intensities for each pixel. The ASCII version of the file has one RGB pixel per newline-terminated line, with each pixel represented as six hexadecimal digits.

When moving pix(5) files between UNIX systems via tape (see tar(1) and cpio(1)) or via network (see rcp(1) and ftp(1)), this conversion to ASCII is unnecessary, as all UNIX files are byte streams, regardless of the underlying hardware. However, when transporting images to non-UNIX machines, these tools are invaluable. Note that rt(1) can directly generate the ASCII form of an image file using the -O flag, allowing it to be easily used on non-UNIX systems.


brlcad(1), pix(5), bw(5)


Michael John Muuss


This software is Copyright (c) 1989-2016 by the United States Government as represented by U.S. Army Research Laboratory.


Reports of bugs or problems should be submitted via electronic mail to <>.