Posted on 05/04/2024 in Software

Pict2Png is an image converter to convert the PICT (version 1) image format from the original Macintosh to PNG.


There is surprisingly really little tools that deal with the original PICT format (version 1) and more that deal with version 2 which came with QuickDraw Color, but even if Apple tried to make version as close as possible to v1, there are some fundamental differences between both and none of the tool able to deal with version 2 do support version 1.

Also including Apple’s documentation, Version 1 is poorly documented and the few bit of documentation as spread in different files and books.

Due to another project, I needed to convert some images to some more modern format like PNG but was unable to find any compatible tool and had to write my own.

Other information

The creation of this tool would have not be possible without some documentation including:

  • Inside Macintosh I, Chapter 6
  • Inside Macintosh V, Chapter 4
  • Inside Macintosh - Imaging With QuickDraw
  • packbit.doc
  • The original code from QuickDraw available at the Computer History Museum

Example of converted images

Here are a couple of converted images from files found on the internet:

My avatar:
My avatar

FC42.PCT clipart:

FC70.PCT clipart:

Original clipart files available here: http://cd.textfiles.com/fantaziasampler/CLIPART/PCT/


This is obviously a work in progress project and been tested sucessfully with many different input files, but some aspect of the original format are currently ignored, so some images many not render properly.

Github page for the project: https://github.com/Godzil/pict2png