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Image Creation With PHP

By Rasmus Lerdorf
on July 30, 2000

Many people do not realize that PHP can be used to create non-HTML data. This is
especially useful for creating images on the fly. It could be simple bar graphs that display
data from a database, or even simpler, just a way to create graphic buttons on the fly.
When I am putting up a site quickly, I find that it is a waste of my time to sit and fiddle
with an image editor to create nice-looking graphical buttons and menus. Instead I will pick a
nice TTF font and use the following simple script which I usually call ‘button.php3’:


("Content-type: image/gif");

$s)) $s=11;

$size imagettfbbox($s,0,"/fonts/TIMES.TTF",$text);

$dx abs($size[2]-$size[0]);

$dy abs($size[5]-$size[3]);



$im imagecreate($dx+$xpad,$dy+$ypad);

$blue ImageColorAllocate($im0x2c,0x6D,0xAF);

$black ImageColorAllocate($im0,0,0);

$white ImageColorAllocate($im255,255,255);



ImageTTFText($im$s0, (int)($xpad/2)+1$dy+(int)($ypad/2), $black"/fonts/TIMES.TTF"$text);

ImageTTFText($im$s0, (int)($xpad/2), $dy+(int)($ypad/2)-1$white"/fonts/TIMES.TTF"$text);




It is very important to realize that you cannot put any HTML tags in this file. There should also not
be any spaces or blank lines before or after the <? and ?> tags. If you are getting a broken image
using this script, chances are you have a stray carriage return somewhere outside the PHP tags.