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dcmconv - Man Page

Convert DICOM file encoding


dcmconv [options] dcmfile-in dcmfile-out


The dcmconv utility reads a DICOM file (dcmfile-in), performs an encoding conversion and writes the converted data to an output file (dcmfile-out).


dcmfile-in   DICOM input filename to be converted

dcmfile-out  DICOM output filename to write to


general options

  -h   --help
         print this help text and exit

         print version information and exit

         print expanded command line arguments

  -q   --quiet
         quiet mode, print no warnings and errors

  -v   --verbose
         verbose mode, print processing details

  -d   --debug
         debug mode, print debug information

  -l   --log-level  [l]evel: string constant
         (fatal, error, warn, info, debug, trace)
         use level l for the logger

  -l   --log-config  [f]ilename: string
         use config file f for the logger

input options

input file format:

  +f   --read-file
         read file format or data set (default)

  +fo  --read-file-only
         read file format only

  -f   --read-dataset
         read data set without file meta information

input transfer syntax:

  -t=  --read-xfer-auto
         use TS recognition (default)

  -td  --read-xfer-detect
         ignore TS specified in the file meta header

  -te  --read-xfer-little
         read with explicit VR little endian TS

  -tb  --read-xfer-big
         read with explicit VR big endian TS

  -ti  --read-xfer-implicit
         read with implicit VR little endian TS

parsing of file meta information:

  +ml  --use-meta-length
         use file meta information group length (default)

  -ml  --ignore-meta-length
         ignore file meta information group length

parsing of odd-length attributes:

  +ao  --accept-odd-length
         accept odd length attributes (default)

  +ae  --assume-even-length
         assume real length is one byte larger

handling of explicit VR:

  +ev  --use-explicit-vr
         use explicit VR from dataset (default)

  -ev  --ignore-explicit-vr
         ignore explicit VR (prefer data dictionary)

handling of non-standard VR:

  +vr  --treat-as-unknown
         treat non-standard VR as unknown (default)

  -vr  --assume-implicit
         try to read with implicit VR little endian TS

handling of undefined length UN elements:

  +ui  --enable-cp246
         read undefined len UN as implicit VR (default)

  -ui  --disable-cp246
         read undefined len UN as explicit VR

handling of defined length UN elements:

  -uc  --retain-un
         retain elements as UN (default)

  +uc  --convert-un
         convert to real VR if known

handling of private max-length elements (implicit VR):

  -sq  --maxlength-dict
         read as defined in dictionary (default)

  +sq  --maxlength-seq
         read as sequence with undefined length

handling of wrong delimitation items:

  -rd  --use-delim-items
         use delimitation items from dataset (default)

  +rd  --replace-wrong-delim
         replace wrong sequence/item delimitation items

handling of illegal undefined length OB/OW elements:

  -oi  --illegal-obow-rej
         reject dataset with illegal element (default)

  +oi  --illegal-obow-conv
         convert undefined length OB/OW element to SQ

handling of VOI LUT Sequence with OW VR and explicit length:

  -vi  --illegal-voi-rej
         reject dataset with illegal VOI LUT (default)

  +vi  --illegal-voi-conv
         convert illegal VOI LUT to SQ

handling of explicit length pixel data for encaps. transfer syntaxes:

  -pe  --abort-expl-pixdata
         abort on explicit length pixel data (default)

  +pe  --use-expl-pixdata
         use explicit length pixel data

general handling of parser errors:

  +Ep  --ignore-parse-errors
         try to recover from parse errors

  -Ep  --handle-parse-errors
         handle parse errors and stop parsing (default)

other parsing options:

  +st  --stop-after-elem  [t]ag: "gggg,eeee" or dictionary name
         stop parsing after element specified by t

automatic data correction:

  +dc  --enable-correction
         enable automatic data correction (default)

  -dc  --disable-correction
         disable automatic data correction

bitstream format of deflated input:

  +bd  --bitstream-deflated
         expect deflated bitstream (default)

  +bz  --bitstream-zlib
         expect deflated zlib bitstream

processing options

specific character set:

  # the following options require support from an underlying character
  # encoding library (see output of --version on which one is available)

  +U8  --convert-to-utf8
         convert all element values that are affected
         by Specific Character Set (0008,0005) to UTF-8

  +L1  --convert-to-latin1
         convert affected element values to ISO 8859-1

  +A7  --convert-to-ascii
         convert affected element values to 7-bit ASCII

  +C   --convert-to-charset  [c]harset: string
         convert affected element values to the character
         set specified by the DICOM defined term c

  -Ct  --transliterate
         try to approximate characters that cannot be
         represented through similar looking characters

  -Cd  --discard-illegal
         discard characters that cannot be represented
         in destination character set

other processing options:

  -ig  --no-invalid-groups
         remove elements with invalid group number

output options

output file format:

  +Fm  --write-new-meta-info
         write file format with new meta information (default)

  +F   --write-file
         write file format

  -F   --write-dataset
         write data set without file meta information

output transfer syntax:

  +t=  --write-xfer-same
         write with same TS as input (default)

  +te  --write-xfer-little
         write with explicit VR little endian TS

  +tb  --write-xfer-big
         write with explicit VR big endian TS

  +ti  --write-xfer-implicit
         write with implicit VR little endian TS

  +td  --write-xfer-deflated
         write with deflated explicit VR little endian TS

  +tg  --write-xfer-ge
         write private GE implicit VR little endian
         with big endian pixel data TS (non-standard)

post-1993 value representations:

  +u   --enable-new-vr
         enable support for new VRs (UN/UT) (default)

  -u   --disable-new-vr
         disable support for new VRs, convert to OB

group length encoding:

  +g=  --group-length-recalc
         recalculate group lengths if present (default)

  +g   --group-length-create
         always write with group length elements

  -g   --group-length-remove
         always write without group length elements

length encoding in sequences and items:

  +e   --length-explicit
         write with explicit lengths (default)

  -e   --length-undefined
         write with undefined lengths

  +eo  --write-oversized
         write oversized explicit length sequences
         and items with undefined length (default)

  -eo  --abort-oversized
         abort on oversized explicit sequences/items

data set trailing padding (not with --write-dataset):

  -p=  --padding-retain
         do not change padding (default if not --write-dataset)

  -p   --padding-off
         no padding (implicit if --write-dataset)

  +p   --padding-create  [f]ile-pad [i]tem-pad: integer
         align file on multiple of f bytes
         and items on multiple of i bytes

deflate compression level (only with --write-xfer-deflated):

  +cl  --compression-level  [l]evel: integer (default: 6)
         0=uncompressed, 1=fastest, 9=best compression


The level of logging output of the various command line tools and underlying libraries can be specified by the user. By default, only errors and warnings are written to the standard error stream. Using option --verbose also informational messages like processing details are reported. Option --debug can be used to get more details on the internal activity, e.g. for debugging purposes. Other logging levels can be selected using option --log-level. In --quiet mode only fatal errors are reported. In such very severe error events, the application will usually terminate. For more details on the different logging levels, see documentation of module 'oflog'.

In case the logging output should be written to file (optionally with logfile rotation), to syslog (Unix) or the event log (Windows) option --log-config can be used. This configuration file also allows for directing only certain messages to a particular output stream and for filtering certain messages based on the module or application where they are generated. An example configuration file is provided in <etcdir>/logger.cfg.

Command Line

All command line tools use the following notation for parameters: square brackets enclose optional values (0-1), three trailing dots indicate that multiple values are allowed (1-n), a combination of both means 0 to n values.

Command line options are distinguished from parameters by a leading '+' or '-' sign, respectively. Usually, order and position of command line options are arbitrary (i.e. they can appear anywhere). However, if options are mutually exclusive the rightmost appearance is used. This behavior conforms to the standard evaluation rules of common Unix shells.

In addition, one or more command files can be specified using an '@' sign as a prefix to the filename (e.g. @command.txt). Such a command argument is replaced by the content of the corresponding text file (multiple whitespaces are treated as a single separator unless they appear between two quotation marks) prior to any further evaluation. Please note that a command file cannot contain another command file. This simple but effective approach allows one to summarize common combinations of options/parameters and avoids longish and confusing command lines (an example is provided in file <datadir>/dumppat.txt).


The dcmconv utility will attempt to load DICOM data dictionaries specified in the DCMDICTPATH environment variable. By default, i.e. if the DCMDICTPATH environment variable is not set, the file <datadir>/dicom.dic will be loaded unless the dictionary is built into the application (default for Windows).

The default behavior should be preferred and the DCMDICTPATH environment variable only used when alternative data dictionaries are required. The DCMDICTPATH environment variable has the same format as the Unix shell PATH variable in that a colon (':') separates entries. On Windows systems, a semicolon (';') is used as a separator. The data dictionary code will attempt to load each file specified in the DCMDICTPATH environment variable. It is an error if no data dictionary can be loaded.

See Also


Referenced By

dcm2xml(1), dcmdump(1), drtdump(1), dsr2html(1), dsr2xml(1), dsrdump(1), img2dcm(1).

Fri Apr 22 2022 Version 3.6.7 OFFIS DCMTK