Unlocking the Power of Python: Learn How to Read PNG Files with These Code Examples

Table of content

  1. Introduction
  2. What is PNG File
  3. Benefits of PNG Files
  4. Process of Reading PNG files in Python
  5. Example 1: Simplest way to Read a PNG File in Python
  6. Example 2: Read PNG File with Transparency in Python
  7. Example 3: Read Multiple PNG Files using a Loop
  8. Conclusion and Next Steps


Welcome to our guide on unlocking the power of Python by learning how to read PNG files with code examples! In this section, we'll introduce you to the basics of PNG files and Python programming.

Before we dive into the code examples, let's briefly define what PNG files are. PNG stands for Portable Network Graphics, and it is a file format used for storing image data. PNG files use lossless compression, meaning they can be manipulated and saved without losing quality.

Python, on the other hand, is a high-level programming language that is widely used for various applications, including data science, web development, and automation. Python's user-friendly syntax and large library of modules make it an excellent tool for those who are new to programming.

In this guide, we will show you how to use Python to read and manipulate PNG files, using libraries such as Pillow and OpenCV. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced developer, you'll find these code examples helpful in understanding how to work with PNG files in Python.

So, without further ado, let's get started!

What is PNG File


PNG stands for Portable Network Graphics. It is an image file format used for storing digital images, including graphics and logos, with high-quality image resolution. PNG images offer a higher color depth than GIF and support transparency, meaning that they can be used to create images with a transparent background.

Here are some of the key characteristics of PNG files:

  • Lossless compression: PNG images are compressed without losing any image quality, since they use lossless compression algorithms.
  • High-quality images: PNG images store images with a high resolution and color depth, making them ideal for images with fine details or complex color patterns.
  • Transparency: PNG images support transparency, which means that an image with a transparent background can be layered on top of another image or web page.
  • Large file sizes: PNG images can have larger file sizes than other image formats, due to their higher image quality and lack of image compression.

Overall, PNG file format is a popular choice for graphics and image files because of its versatile features and high-quality image output.

Benefits of PNG Files

PNG stands for Portable Network Graphics, and it is a type of image that has become increasingly popular in recent years. Here are some of the benefits of using PNG files in your Android applications:

  • Transparency: PNG files can support transparency, which means that portions of an image can be made completely transparent, revealing the background behind it. This is especially useful for creating logos and icons, where you want the background to blend seamlessly with whatever color is behind it.
  • Lossless compression: PNG files use a compression algorithm that preserves all of the image data without any loss in quality. This makes them ideal for images that need to be edited and then saved multiple times, as the image will not degrade over time.
  • Wide support: PNG files are widely supported in both desktop and mobile environments. They can be used in websites, applications, and even videos, making them a versatile option for developers.

Overall, PNG files offer a lot of benefits over other types of image formats like JPEG and GIF. They are a great choice for Android developers who want to create high-quality images that can be used across a variety of platforms.

Process of Reading PNG files in Python

Reading PNG files in Python involves several steps that are essential for anyone looking to unlock the power of Python. Here is a brief overview of the process:

  1. Importing the necessary libraries: The first step in reading PNG files in Python is to import the libraries that will be used to perform the task. The most commonly used libraries for this task include numpy, matplotlib, and imageio. To import these libraries, you can use the following code:
import numpy as np
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import imageio
  1. Loading the PNG file: After importing the necessary libraries, the next step is to load the PNG file that you want to read. To do this, you can use the "imread" function from the imageio library. Here is an example of how to load a PNG file:
image = imageio.imread('filename.png')
  1. Extracting information from the PNG file: Once the PNG file has been loaded, you can extract information from it using various functions provided by the numpy library. For example, you can use the "shape" function to get the dimensions of the image:
height, width, channels = image.shape
  1. Displaying the PNG file: Finally, you can use the "imshow" function from the matplotlib library to display the PNG file. Here is an example of how to display the image:

By following these steps, you can read PNG files in Python and unleash the power of this versatile programming language. And by experimenting with different functions and libraries, you can explore new ways to work with images and unlock even more possibilities.

Example 1: Simplest way to Read a PNG File in Python

Python is a powerful programming language that can be used in a wide range of applications, including reading PNG files. In this example, we will show you how to read a PNG file using Python in the simplest way possible.

Step 1: Install Required Libraries

To begin, you will need to install two libraries: Pillow and Matplotlib. Pillow is a fork of the Python Imaging Library and provides support for opening and manipulating image files. Matplotlib is a plotting library used for creating visualizations.

You can use pip to install these libraries by running the following command in your terminal:

pip install Pillow matplotlib

Step 2: Write the Python Code

Once you have installed the required libraries, you can start writing your Python code to read the PNG file. Here is a simple code snippet that loads a PNG file and displays it in a window:

from PIL import Image
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

# Load the PNG file
img = Image.open('image.png')

# Display the image

This code first imports the required libraries: PIL and Matplotlib. It then loads the PNG file using the Image.open() function, which returns a PIL image object. Finally, it displays the image using Matplotlib's imshow() function and waits for the user to close the window.

In this example, we used the PIL and Matplotlib libraries to read and display the PNG file. However, there are other libraries available, such as OpenCV, that can also be used to read image files.


In summary, reading PNG files in Python is a simple task when you have the right tools at your disposal. By installing the required libraries and writing some Python code, you can easily read and manipulate PNG files in your applications. In the next example, we will show you how to read and write PNG files using the Python Imaging Library (PIL).

Example 2: Read PNG File with Transparency in Python

In Python, you can use the Pillow library to read PNG files with transparency. Transparency is an important aspect of PNG images, as it allows for parts of the image to be see-through. Here's an example of how to read a PNG file with transparency in Python using Pillow:

from PIL import Image

# Read the PNG file with transparency
img = Image.open('image_with_transparency.png')

# Display the image

Let's break down this code:

  • We start by importing the Image class from the PIL module.
  • Next, we use the open method of the Image class to read the PNG file with transparency. Note that the file path is specified as a string argument.
  • Finally, we use the show method of the Image object to display the image on the screen.

In addition to the show method, the Image class provides many other methods for working with images, such as cropping, resizing, and rotating.

Keep in mind that PNG files with transparency can be more memory-intensive than files without transparency, so you may want to consider optimizing your image files if you're working with a lot of them.

Overall, using the Pillow library with Python provides an easy and effective way to read PNG files with transparency. With its various methods and functionalities, you can easily manipulate and work with these types of images.

Example 3: Read Multiple PNG Files using a Loop

In this example, we will learn how to read multiple PNG files using a loop in Python. This can be particularly useful when working with large datasets or when you need to process multiple images in bulk.

Here are the steps we will follow:

  1. We will start by defining a function that takes a list of file names as an input parameter and returns a list of images.
  2. Then, we will loop through the list of file names and read each file using the Pillow library in Python.
  3. Finally, we will append each image to a list and return the list of images.

Here's the code:

from PIL import Image

def read_images(file_names):
    images = []
    for file_name in file_names:
        image = Image.open(file_name)
    return images

Let's break down the code:

  • First, we import the Image module from the Pillow library.
  • Next, we define a function called read_images that takes a single input parameter file_names.
  • Inside the function, we initialize an empty list called images.
  • We then loop through each file name in the file_names list using the for loop.
  • Inside the for loop, we read each file using the Image.open() method from the Image module and store the result in a variable called image.
  • Finally, we append the image variable to the images list and return the list of images.

Here's how you can use the read_images() function to read multiple PNG files:

file_names = ["image1.png", "image2.png", "image3.png"]
images = read_images(file_names)

In this example, we passed a list of file names to the read_images() function and stored the returned list of images in a variable called images.

With this code, you should be able to read multiple PNG files using a loop in Python using the Pillow library. This technique can be useful for a variety of projects, including image processing, computer vision, and machine learning applications.

Conclusion and Next Steps


Python is an incredibly powerful programming language for reading and manipulating PNG files. With the code examples provided in this article, you can unlock the power of Python and begin working with PNG files in your own applications.

We covered a lot of ground in this article, discussing the structure of PNG files, the Python Imaging Library (PIL), and how to use Python to read PNG files. Whether you're working on a game, an image editor, or some other type of application that involves working with PNG files, these examples should give you a strong foundation to build on.

Next Steps

If you're interested in learning more about using Python with PNG files, there are plenty of resources available that can help you take your skills to the next level. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Read the PIL documentation: The Python Imaging Library provides a powerful set of tools for working with images, and the documentation is a great place to start if you want to learn more about how to use it.
  • Experiment with different file formats: While PNG files are a great place to start, there are many other image file formats out there that you might want to work with in your applications. Try experimenting with JPEGs or GIFs to see how Python can help you read and manipulate those files as well.
  • Join a Python community: There are many online communities dedicated to using Python for image processing and other tasks. Joining one of these communities can be a great way to connect with other developers, learn new tricks, and get feedback on your code.

With a little bit of practice and experimentation, you can become a master of Python image processing and unlock the full potential of your applications. Happy coding!

Cloud Computing and DevOps Engineering have always been my driving passions, energizing me with enthusiasm and a desire to stay at the forefront of technological innovation. I take great pleasure in innovating and devising workarounds for complex problems. Drawing on over 8 years of professional experience in the IT industry, with a focus on Cloud Computing and DevOps Engineering, I have a track record of success in designing and implementing complex infrastructure projects from diverse perspectives, and devising strategies that have significantly increased revenue. I am currently seeking a challenging position where I can leverage my competencies in a professional manner that maximizes productivity and exceeds expectations.
Posts created 3193

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top