ImageCache Actions

Open Bugs: 
Development Status: 
Seeking co-maintainer(s)
Under active development

This module provides a suite of additional image effects that can be added to image styles. The image styles admin submodule also adds the 'duplicate', 'export' and 'import' actions to image styles administration.

Effects provided

  • Watermarking - a much requested addition that enables you to place any image anywhere over a source picture, with alpha transparency
  • Overlays - Add photo-corners etc to the image
  • Text overlay - add a short copyright notice to your image, using available system fonts
  • Color-shifting - Colorize images. Also invert.
  • Brighten/Darken
  • Alpha blending - turn an image into a transparent mask, and back into a flat image against another color
  • Canvas manipulation - add padding, either onto color or transparent backgrounds
  • Background - Place your image onto another source background
  • File Format switcher - If you need tranparency in JPGs : make them PNG. If your PNG thumbnails are 30K each, save them as JPGs. (This is distributed as part of the color-actions submodule)
  • Rounded corners (transparent). With input from canaryMason, we can even set different radius for different corners, and round just one corner etc.
  • Aspect Switcher - lets you perform different actions or use different dimensions based on whether the image is 'landscape' or 'portrait'
  • Custom Actions - Execute your own PHP/GD code in the middle of an imagecache generation process. Requires some familiarity with imageAPI internals.
  • Posterize new as of 7.x-1.4- Reduce the image to a limited number of color levels per channel. This effect can be used to reduce file size on png images.

These functions, combined with the available scale, crop, and rotate functions already provided by Drupal core/imagecache make hundreds of image processing effects available.

Drupal 7

The current version is 7.x-1.4. In Drupal 7, basic image handling is part of core, so there is no dependency on ImageCache anymore, you just need to enable the image module. We are still in the process of updating naming and documentation to the new D7 terms (image styles and effects versus imagecache presets and actions).


  • Image module from Drupal core.

At least one of the toolkits:

Soft dependencies:

  • System stream wrapper. This module provides (among others) a module://, and theme:// stream wrapper that can be easy to use when specifying image or font resources. This module is required for image_effects_text_test.
  • Autorotate: Exif PHP extension.

Drupal 6

The D6 version requires the Imagecache module.

It integrates slightly with the image, imagefield, filefield, and upload modules - if available - to supply node data that can be used in the text overlay action.

Toolkit support

All effects provided by this module should work with the toolkit based on built-in GD. Support for the ImageMagick toolkit is catching up, but is still legging behind. Note for D7: do not use the ImageAPI module for ImageMagick support.



  • D6: 6.x-1.x versions has entered maintenance only status.
  • D6: 6.x-2.x version is discontinued.
  • D7: 7.x-1.x is actively maintained.

Our ideas for the (near) future :

  • Go through the issue queue and decrease the number of open issues. Keep it low.
  • Create tests/showcases for all effects.
  • Update naming to D7.
  • Write documentation that describes effects and its parameters in detail.
  • Improve structure of the code. Think of lazy loading, more consistency.
  • Introduce a plugin concept for effects. This will make them more consistent and will make it easier for others to contribute their effects.

Help wanted

We have more ideas then time. So we are looking for contributors. How can you help:

  • Get through the issue queue and write patches or answer questions.
  • Implement your own effect and post it.
  • Write documentation for an effect.
  • Create tests or showcases for an effect.
  • Help implementing the plugin structure and other code refactorings.

You may contact us to discuss how you can help.

Other modules that provide image effects

  • Textimage - to add texts to images.
  • smartcrop - to zoom on the most "interesting" section of an image.
  • Scale9 - to slice and position graphic corner and border effects like picture frames onto images. *highly recommended*
  • imagecache_proportions offers a similar result to the imagecache_actions "Aspect Switcher", but does through using CCK Field rendering options.
  • Image Optimize can compress generated images to smaller filesizes than the GD toolkit natively does
  • ImageEffects offers a pixelate and mirror effect.

(You know of even other modules: please let us know.)


Click the below example images to view the settings details
Jump down to releases

Watermark Overlays Overlays Colorshift Brightness Alpha Transparency Canvases Rounded Corners Text derived from the image node Putting it all together


This module is being developed and maintained with a free open source license of PhpStormThis module is developed and maintained using PhpStorm. Prevent errors while programming, by using their extremely smart PHP and JavaScript code analyzer, spell checker and other features.

If you are a Drupal core or contrib maintainer, you might apply for a free "Open source project license" as well. Check the conditions on the site of JetBrains PhpStorm. If you like to use it for custom website development, check their very affordable license prices.

Release Dates: