Images come in all shapes, sizes and of course formats. Each of the existing formats out serve a specific purpose or are created to match certain requirements.
Such is the case of the PPM format or Portable Pixmap Format. It’s part of the Netpbm project along with Portable Graymap Format (PGM) and Portable Bitmap Format (PBM). Though PPM is considered a redundant format creating applications that can write and analyze it is a very easy task.
PPMView is such an application. With you can easily open and view images that are in Portable Pixel Map format. Normally, a file in this format contains information that is nearly impossible for the human eye to perceive.
The application is extremely light on your hard drive and as you can imagine requires next to no system resources to function. It displays a simple window that only permits you to load a PPM image to view it and nothing more. It is in fact what it’s created to do. It’s an image viewer not an editor.
A PPM file is composed of a “magic number” that is used to identify the file type, whitespace, a width, whitespace again, a height some more whitespace, the maximum color value and a raster of height rows. In its simplicity, PPMView assembles that information and displays an image for you.
In closing, though this format is rarely called upon for general use, PPMView is a tool that can help you open PPM images in a simple and fast manner.