LaboImage is a window based software for image processing and analysis. It contains a comprehensive set of operators as well as general utilities. The software is designed to be open-ended, new modules can easily be added. Currently two independant versions of this software  are available: 

  • LaboImage/Unix, an Unix version, written in C, and based on X11r5 / OSF Motif 1.2.2. It has been developed and tested on a Sun SPARC station, but it also runs on IBM Risc 6000, Silicon Graphics, and DEC 4000. It was maintained until 1996. 
  • LaboImage/Windows, a Windows version, maintained since 1997, and completely rewritten in Visual C++  using extensively oriented-object  features. It has been tested on Windows 95/98 systems, and would probably work on Windows NT or 2000 too.
LaboImage has been extensively used by students as well as researchers from various domains: computer science (image analysis), medicine, biology, physics. It is distributed free of charge (source code). For further information, please contact Prof Thierry Pun

Both Unix and Windows version include basic computation, prefiltering and filtering that can be applied to images, and have been used for the image-processing course "Imagerie Numérique" . The main difference between the Unix and the Windows version is that the Unix version includes mathematical morphology for continuous-tone images as well as for binary images, while the Windows version does not include it at this moment. However the manipulations of mono-chromatic/color and real/complex images in memory are easier in the Windows version. Here is a non-exhaustive list of the software features: 


  • input-output: LaboImage format file, SUN raster file; postscript; 
  • display: mono, RGB, dithering, color table editor; 
  • preprocessing: filters (median, high pass, low pass: hamming, gauss, etc. , and user defined), background subtraction, histogram equalization; 
  • processing: thresholding, Fourier transforms, edge extractions: various operators, ridge-riding, zero-crossing; segmentation into regions, binary and gray tone mathematical morphology; 
  • measures: histograms, image statistics, power, region outlining, objects counting; 
  • auxiliary: conversions, arithmetic & logical operations, noise addition, image generation, magnification, convolution/correlation with masks, image padding; 
  • elementary interactive operations: region outlining, statistics and histogram computation, etc.; 
  • special tools
  • interactive image modification at the pixel level, 
  • one-dimensional gel analysis, 
  • on line documentation.
  • input-output: LaboImage format file, ppm/pgm format; 
  • display: mono, RGB, binary, RGB-binary, linear correction, gamma correction; 
  • preprocessing: filters (median, high pass, low pass: hamming, gauss, etc. , and user defined), histogram equalization; 
  • processing: thresholding, Fourier transforms (represented in real/imaginary or magnitude/phase parts), edge extractions: various operators, ridge-riding, zero-crossing; 
  • measures: histograms, image statistics, power, entropy; 
  • auxiliary: conversions, arithmetic & logical operations, noise addition, convolution/correlation with masks and between images, image padding, region cropping, composition/decomposition of complex images; 
  • elementary interactive operations: region outlining, etc.; 

Image formats

The LaboImage format is machine independent and consists of an ASCII descriptor file (.des) + a pure data file containing the signal (.ima) (binary, byte, integer, float, complex; mono or RGB). LaboImage/Unix version also supports the Sun raster format. Conversion from/to other formats is possible, either to LaboImage format by means of the versatile menu "ACQUISITION=>free byte format", or from/to Sun raster format. LaboImage/Windows version supports the Pixel Portable Map standard PGM for gray-scale images, and PPM for colour images, equivalent to the byte type.


LaboImage/Unix: Version 4.0, 1st December 1992: 

  • host and OS: Sun SPARCStation and others; OS 4.1.1 and Solaris; 
  • window system: X11r5 / Motif 1.1; 
  • language: C; source 2.5 MB (80'000 lines), executable 2.5 MB; 
  • documentation: interactive help (English). 
LaboImage/Windows: Version 1.0, 1st April 1998:
  • host and OS: Windows 95/98; 
  • window system: Windows 95/98; 
  • language: Visual C++; source ? MB (? lines), executable 1.1 MB; 
  • no documentation yet, sorry.

Means of distributions

LaboImage/Unix source code is available by anonymous ftp at:

  • in ipa/src/process; 
  • in PUBLIC/vision (version 4.1); 
  • or directly from here: LaboImage_4.1.tar.Z (3 Mbytes). 
LaboImage/Windows is available (Win32 executable only): If you have no access to ftp or to the Web, please contact the authors. If you wish to be kept current with update, error reports, etc., please send us an e-mail with your full name, regular and electronic addresses. 
Distribution policy

In essence:

  • LaboImage (Unix & Windows) is a non-profit software, but it is our property and the copyright notice must appear; 
  • not to be used for profit making purposes; 
  • the reference to cite in case of published results obtained with LaboImage/Unix/Windows is: "A. Jacot-Descombes, M. Rupp, T. Pun: `LaboImage: A portable window-based environment for research in image processing and analysis', SPIE Symposium on Electronic Imaging Science and Technology, Image Processing: Implementation and Systems, San Jose, California, USA, Feb. 9-14, 1992. 
  • the authors of LaboImage/Unix: A. Jacot-Descombes, M. Rupp, T. Pun;
  • the authors of LaboImage/Windows: R. Darrer, F. Deguillaume, T. Louchnikova, T. Pun;
  • no responsibility is assumed; bugs will usually be corrected since we use the software intensively; modifications should be communicated to us, with (normally) allowance for redistribution. 


Although LaboImage has undergone many upgrades and suffered in the hands of many users, the current version is certainly not bug free. For the time being, we require NO prepayment, return postage or anything. We may however change this policy in the future, and ask for nominal fees to cover material expenditures. HOWEVER, if you are satisfied with the product, why not send us some "souvenir" (post card, drink, etc.) from your country...??!! 

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Computer Vision Group
University of Geneva
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Group director :
Thierry Pun

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