Updated: 28 August 2005

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pgmmedian - apply a median filter to a PGM file


pgmmedian [-width=n] [-height=n] [-type=median_type] [-cutoff=int] [pnmfile]

Minimum unique abbreviation of option is acceptable. You may use double hyphens instead of single hyphen to denote options. You may use white space in place of the equals sign to separate an option name from its value.


This program is part of Netpbm.

pgmmedian applies a median filter to a PGM image, using either the histogram sort or select kth value method to determine the median.

A median filter is a convolution filter in which the value of a pixel in the output is the median of a certain set of pixels in the neighborhood of the corresponding input pixel. The effect is to eliminate locally extreme values. Such pixels typically show up as speckles.

See the -type and -cutoff options for information on how pgmmedian chooses between the two methods.


-cutoff int
This option provides the cutoff value that pgmmedian uses to decide between using the histogram sort or select kth value method to find the median. If (maxval / ((width * height) - 1)), where maxval is the maxval of the image and width and height are the dimensions of the mask, is less than the cutoff value, pgmmedian uses histogram sort. Otherwise, it uses kth value.

This option has no effect if you specify -type.

The default is 250

Width of the median mask to apply.

Default is 3.

Height of the median mask to apply.

Default is 3.

-type median_type
This option selects which method to use to find median regardless of cutoff value. Choices are histogram_sort and select.

By default, pgmmedian decides which method to use as described under the -cutoff option.



pgmnoise, pamaddnoise, pnmconvol, pgmmorphconv, pgm


pgmmedian was added to Netpbm in Version 10.29 (August 2005). It had been distributed by Mike Burns via his own web site before that (and continued to be so).


Copyright (C) 1996 by Mike Burns <>

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