Adjust Image Sizes

Since images often need to be sized according to the medium, there are several ways to specify an image size.

In most output formats, the specified width is obeyed unless the image would exceed the content width or height, in which case it scaled to fit while maintaining the original aspect ratio (i.e., responsive scaling).

width and height attributes

The primary way to specify the size of an image is to define the width and height attributes on the image macro. Since these two attributes are so common, they are the second and third (unnamed) positional attributes on the image macros.

image::flower.jpg[Flower,640,480]

That’s equivalent to the long-hand version:

image::flower.jpg[alt=Flower,width=640,height=480]

While the values of width and height can be used to scale the image, these attributes are primarily intended to specify the intrinsic size of the image in CSS pixels. The width and height attributes are mapped to attributes of the same name on the <img> element in the HTML output. These attributes are important because they provide a hint to the browser to tell it how much space to reserve for the image during layout to minimize page reflows.

Automatic image scaling

The default Asciidoctor stylesheet implements responsive images (using width-wise scaling). If the width of the screen is smaller than the width of the image, the image will be scaled down to fit. To support this feature, the original aspect ratio of the image is preserved at all sizes. Thus, when you set the dimensions, the values should reflect the original aspect ratio of the image as this will be enforced. If the values don’t match the aspect ratio, the height is ignored by the browser.

pdfwidth attribute

AsciiDoc recognizes the following attributes to size images when converting to PDF using Asciidoctor PDF:

  • pdfwidth - The preferred width of the image in the PDF when converting using Asciidoctor PDF.

The pdfwidth attribute accepts the following units:

px

Output device pixels (assumed to be 96 dpi)

pt (or none)

Points (1/72 of an inch)

pc

Picas (1/6 of an inch)

cm

Centimeters

mm

Millimeters

in

Inches

%

Percentage of the content width (area between margins)

vw

Percentage of the page width (edge to edge)

If pdfwidth is not provided, Asciidoctor PDF also accepts scaledwidth, or width (no units, assumed to be pixels), in that order.

See image scaling in Asciidoctor PDF for more details.

scaledwidth attribute

AsciiDoc recognizes the following attributes to size images when converting to PDF using the DocBook toolchain:

  • scaledwidth - The preferred width of the image when converting to PDF using the DocBook toolchain. (mutually exclusive with scale)

  • scale - Scales the original image size by this amount when converting to PDF using the DocBook toolchain (mutually exclusive with scaledwidth).

scaledwidth sizes images much like pdfwidth, except it does not accept the vw unit.

The value of scaledwidth when used with DocBook can have the following units:

px

Output device pixels (assumed to be 72 dpi)

pt

Points (1/72 of an inch)

pc

Picas (1/6 of an inch)

cm

Centimeters

mm

Millimeters

in

Inches

em

Ems (current font size)

% (or none)

Percentage of intrinsic image size

DocBook also accepts the width attribute if scaledwidth is not provided.

Image sizing recap

Image sizing attributes
Backend Absolute size Relative to original size Relative to content width Relative to page width

html

width=120
(assumed to be px)

Not possible

width=50%

Not possible

pdf

pdfwidth=100mm
(or cm, in, pc, pt, px)

Not possible

pdfwidth=80%

pdfwidth=50vw

docbook

scaledwidth=100mm
(or cm, em, in, pc, pt, px)

scale=80

scaledwidth=50%

Not possible

Here’s an example of how you might bring these attributes together to control the size of an image in various output formats:

image::flower.jpg[Flower,640,480,pdfwidth=50%,scaledwidth=50%]

A practice you might consider is using attributes to set the values for each output:

ifdef::backend-html5[]
:twoinches: width='144'
:full-width: width='100%'
:half-width: width='50%'
:half-size:
:thumbnail: width='60'
endif::[]
ifdef::backend-pdf[]
:twoinches: pdfwidth='2in'
:full-width: pdfwidth='100vw'
:half-width: pdfwidth='50vw'
:half-size: pdfwidth='50%'
:thumbnail: pdfwidth='20mm'
endif::[]
ifdef::backend-docbook5[]
:twoinches: width='50mm'
:full-width: scaledwidth='100%'
:half-width: scaledwidth='50%'
:half-size: width='50%'
:thumbnail: width='20mm'
endif::[]

Then you can specify a half-size image using:

image::image.jpg[{half-size}]

In addition to providing consistency across your document, this technique will help insulate you from future changes. For a more detailed example, see this thread on the discussion list.