Commons:Ancient Chinese characters project/ACC massive convertion

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After asking how to converte 100.000 images into SVG, some Wikipedians said me to look on a free software called Potrace :

Then, I wrote the following e-mail, and got the following answer.

I will make some tests, but I also have some exams soon, so this is not one of my current priority. If you can make some tests in your side, that will be welcome.

Dear Peter Selinger,

I'm a student in Chinese studies, and an active Wikipedian (administrator on the French wiki), and I currently look for converte about 100.000 black BMP images into SVG. These images of archaic Chinese characters are freely provide by Richard Sear, on . The SVG produce will also be freely share, and will be use by the Wikipedian Ancient Chinese characters project to explain evolution of Chinese characters.

I know how to converte handly one bitmap, into one SVG (I use Inkscape ;] ) : this need about 2 min with my old computer.

But for 100.000 images to converte, we look for an automatic way.

  1. Did Potrace do this, converting all the bitmaps of one folder into SVG ?
  2. And, can you help us in this work ? (of course, we will provide to you or one of your friends all the files need to be converte.)

Yug (talk)

Peter Selinger answered :

Yes, of course Potrace can do this. Potrace is a command line tool. Try this:
potrace -b svg *.bmp
Depending on your operating system, there might be a limit on the maximum length of a command line. In this case, the above might fail, but you can still do it in batches, e.g.
potrace -b svg a*.bmp
potrace -b svg b*.bmp
potrace -b svg c*.bmp
Please let me know if you have any problems. See for documentation, including examples and frequently asked questions.
Potrace has been successfully used to convert Chinese characters before.
-- Peter