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ppmrainbow - Man Page

Generate a rainbow

Examples (TL;DR)



[-width=number] [-height=number] [-tmpdir=directory] [-norepeat] [-verbose] color ...


This program is part of Netpbm(1).

ppmrainbow generates a PPM image that fades from one color to another to another from left to right, like a rainbow.

If you want a vertical or other non-horizontal rainbow, run the output through pnmrotate or pamflip.

One use for such a rainbow is to compose it with another image under a transparency mask in order to add a rainbow area to another image. In fact, you can make rainbow-colored text by using pbmtext, pamcomp, and ppmrainbow.

pgmramp does a similar thing for grayscale images.

If you just want an image containing all the possible colors (for some kind of processing; not to look at), see pamseq.


color ... is the list of colors, in order from left to right, to go into the rainbow.

The first color is added again on the right end of the image unless you specify the -norepeat option.  This means you can concatenate multiple copies (tile, as with pnmtile) to make a continuous larger image.

color is as described for the argument of the pnm_parsecolor() library routine .


All options can be abbreviated to their shortest unique prefix. You may use two hyphens instead of one to designate an option.  You may use either white space or equals signs between an option name and its value.

-width number

The width in pixels of the output image.

Default is 600.

-height number

The height in pixels of the output image.

Default is 8.


     This option makes ppmrainbow end the rainbow with the last color you specify.  Without this option, ppmrainbow adds the first color you specify to the right end of the rainbow as if you had repeated it.


The directory specification of the directory ppmrainbow is to use for temporary files.

Default is the value of the TMPDIR environment variable, or /tmp if TMPDIR is not set.

ppmrainbow always creates a directory within this directory and creates all its files within that directory.


Print the "commands" (invocations of other Netpbm programs) that ppmrainbow uses to create the image.

See Also

pgmramp(1), pamseq(1), pamgradient(1), ppmmake(1), ppmfade(1), ppm(1).


Arjen Bax wrote ppmrainbow in June 2001 and contributed it to the Netpbm package.  Bryan Henderson wrote this manual in July 2001.

Document Source

This manual page was generated by the Netpbm tool 'makeman' from HTML source.  The master documentation is at


Referenced By

pamgradient(1), pampaintspill(1), pgmramp(1), ppmpat(1), ppmwheel(1).

12 November 2014 netpbm documentation