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PBM utilities


These utilities convert images between the Portable Bitmap format (PBM) and the MicroDesign Area format (MDA) used by various Amstrad PCW graphics packages. Conversion tools exist to convert PBM images to/from a wide range of other graphic formats; the principal suite is NETPBM.

MDATOPBM has been incorporated in the main NETPBM distribution since release 9.1, so you should only download them if you are using an earlier release of NETPBM.


These utilities convert images between PBM and the old CompuServe RLE image format.


11 January 2004: The MDA files generated by mdatopbm were being rejected by MD3 and Tweak (though curiously not MicroDisplay) because their creator was ' pbmtomda UNIX' rather than 'MicroDesignPCW'. This has been corrected in the version on this site.

The necessity for the creator field to read 'MicroDesignPCW' is not made clear in the specification. Be aware of this if you are writing your own tool to handle MDA files.


[TAR] mdatopbm.tar.gz

[TAR] cistopbm-1.0.1.tar.gz


John Elliott 2009-07-05