pdf2dcm (1) - Linux Man Pages

pdf2dcm: Convert PDF file to DICOM


pdf2dcm - Convert PDF file to DICOM


pdf2dcm [options] pdffile-in dcmfile-out


The pdf2dcm utility reads a PDF file (pdffile-in), converts it to a DICOM Encapsulated PDF Storage SOP instance and stores the converted data to an output file (dcmfile-out).


pdffile-in   PDF input filename to be converted

dcmfile-out  DICOM output filename


general options

  -h   --help
         print this help text and exit

         print version information and exit

         print expanded command line arguments

  -q   --quiet
         quiet mode, print no warnings and errors

  -v   --verbose
         verbose mode, print processing details

  -d   --debug
         debug mode, print debug information

  -ll  --log-level  [l]evel: string constant
         (fatal, error, warn, info, debug, trace)
         use level l for the logger

  -lc  --log-config  [f]ilename: string
         use config file f for the logger

DICOM document options

burned-in annotation:

  +an  --annotation-yes
         PDF contains patient identifying data (default)

  -an  --annotation-no
         PDF does not contain patient identifying data

document title:

  +t   --title  [t]itle: string (default: empty)
         document title

  +cn  --concept-name  [CSD] [CV] [CM]: string (default: empty)
         document title as concept name code sequence with coding
         scheme designator CSD, code value CV and code meaning CM

patient data:

  +pn  --patient-name  [n]ame: string
         patient's name in DICOM PN syntax

  +pi  --patient-id  [i]d: string
         patient identifier

  +pb  --patient-birthdate  [d]ate: string (YYYYMMDD)
         patient's birth date

  +ps  --patient-sex  [s]ex: string (M, F or O)
         patient's sex

study and series:

  +sg  --generate
         generate new study and series UIDs (default)

  +st  --study-from  [f]ilename: string
         read patient/study data from DICOM file

  +se  --series-from  [f]ilename: string
         read patient/study/series data from DICOM file

instance number:

  +i1  --instance-one
         use instance number 1 (default, not with +se)

  +ii  --instance-inc
         increment instance number (only with +se)

  +is  --instance-set  [i]nstance number: integer
         use instance number i


The level of logging output of the various command line tools and underlying libraries can be specified by the user. By default, only errors and warnings are written to the standard error stream. Using option --verbose also informational messages like processing details are reported. Option --debug can be used to get more details on the internal activity, e.g. for debugging purposes. Other logging levels can be selected using option --log-level. In --quiet mode only fatal errors are reported. In such very severe error events, the application will usually terminate. For more details on the different logging levels, see documentation of module 'oflog'.

In case the logging output should be written to file (optionally with logfile rotation), to syslog (Unix) or the event log (Windows) option --log-config can be used. This configuration file also allows for directing only certain messages to a particular output stream and for filtering certain messages based on the module or application where they are generated. An example configuration file is provided in <etcdir>/logger.cfg).


All command line tools use the following notation for parameters: square brackets enclose optional values (0-1), three trailing dots indicate that multiple values are allowed (1-n), a combination of both means 0 to n values.

Command line options are distinguished from parameters by a leading '+' or '-' sign, respectively. Usually, order and position of command line options are arbitrary (i.e. they can appear anywhere). However, if options are mutually exclusive the rightmost appearance is used. This behaviour conforms to the standard evaluation rules of common Unix shells.

In addition, one or more command files can be specified using an '@' sign as a prefix to the filename (e.g. @command.txt). Such a command argument is replaced by the content of the corresponding text file (multiple whitespaces are treated as a single separator unless they appear between two quotation marks) prior to any further evaluation. Please note that a command file cannot contain another command file. This simple but effective approach allows to summarize common combinations of options/parameters and avoids longish and confusing command lines (an example is provided in file <datadir>/dumppat.txt).


The pdf2dcm utility will attempt to load DICOM data dictionaries specified in the DCMDICTPATH environment variable. By default, i.e. if the DCMDICTPATH environment variable is not set, the file <datadir>/dicom.dic will be loaded unless the dictionary is built into the application (default for Windows).

The default behaviour should be preferred and the DCMDICTPATH environment variable only used when alternative data dictionaries are required. The DCMDICTPATH environment variable has the same format as the Unix shell PATH variable in that a colon (':') separates entries. On Windows systems, a semicolon (';') is used as a separator. The data dictionary code will attempt to load each file specified in the DCMDICTPATH environment variable. It is an error if no data dictionary can be loaded.


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