ImageMagick Magick++ API

Magick++ is the object-oriented C++ API to the ImageMagick image-processing library, the most comprehensive open-source image processing package available. Read the latest NEWS and ChangeLog for Magick++.

Magick++ supports an object model which is inspired by PerlMagick. Images support implicit reference counting so that copy constructors and assignment incur almost no cost. The cost of actually copying an image (if necessary) is done just before modification and this copy is managed automagically by Magick++. De-referenced copies are automagically deleted. The image objects support value (rather than pointer) semantics so it is trivial to support multiple generations of an image in memory at one time.

Magick++ provides integrated support for the Standard Template Library (STL) so that the powerful containers available (e.g. deque, vector, list, and map) can be used to write programs similar to those possible with PERL & PerlMagick. STL-compatible template versions of ImageMagick's list-style operations are provided so that operations may be performed on multiple images stored in STL containers.


Detailed documentation is provided for all Magick++ classes, class methods, and template functions which comprise the API. See a Gentle Introduction to Magick++ for an introductory tutorial to Magick++. We include the source if you want to correct, enhance, or expand the tutorial.

Obtaining Magick++

Magick++ is included as part of ImageMagick source releases and may be retrieved via ftp or Github.


Once you have the Magick++ sources available, follow these detailed installation instructions for UNIX and Windows.


A helper script named Magick++-config is installed under Unix which assists with recalling compilation options required to compile and link programs which use Magick++. For example, the following command will compile and link the source file example.cpp to produce the executable example (notice that quotes are backward quotes):

c++ -O2 -o example example.cpp `Magick++-config --cppflags --cxxflags --ldflags --libs`

Windows users may get started by manually editing a project file for one of the Magick++ demo programs.

Be sure to initialize the ImageMagick library prior to using the Magick++ library. This initialization is performed by passing the path to the ImageMagick DLLs (assumed to be in the same directory as your program) to the InitializeMagick() function call. This is commonly performed by providing the path to your program (argv[0]) as shown in the following example:

int main( ssize_t /*argc*/, char ** argv)

Reporting Bugs

Please report any bugs via the Magick++ bug tracking forum. Questions regarding usage should be directed to Magick++ discussion forum.

Related Packages

Users who are interested in displaying their images at video game rates on a wide number of platforms and graphic environments (e.g. Windows, X11, BeOS, and Linux/CGI) may want to try PtcMagick, which provides a simple interface between Magick++ and OpenPTC.