What is TIFF (Tagged Image File Format)?

A TIFF file is a flexible bitmap image format generally accepted by all painting, image editing, and page layout applications.

TIFF Format Definition

What is TIFF Image Format?

It is a flexible bitmap image format developed by Aldus Corporation, a company owned by Adobe INC, and compatible with operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and Mac.

You can open and edit TIFF files using many graphic editing and retouching programs such as PaintShopPro, Adobe, Quark, and CorelDRAW.

TIFF Features

It is used to exchange or convert between applications and personal computers. Also, the maximum size of images in this format can be 4 GB or higher.

Adobe’s Photoshop CS program supports large documents saved in TIFF format.

However, you have no chance to open the file as most of the early versions of this application do not support documents more significant than 2 GB.

It is one of the best formats for storing and exchanging data in scan format between computers.

It is widely used, especially for very high-resolution and quality images and more professional works.

Additionally, it accepts CMYK, RGB, Lab, indexed color and grayscale images with alpha channels, and Bitmap mode images without alpha channels.

Photoshop can save the layers in a TIFF file, but when you try to open the file in another application, you will only see a flattened image.

You can also save annotations, transparencies, and multi-resolution pyramid data in TIFF format.

It allows you to process images and data in a single file without loss of color. Therefore, it is not suitable for use on the web or digital platforms.

Also, it is a file format widely used in a variety of imaging applications, including fax-sending and scanning applications.

It can be used on a variety of platforms, such as PC, Macintosh, and UNIX workstations.

TIFF is capable of processing images and data in a single file, with no loss of quality and with perfect color definition, and has many sub-types pertaining to the use given to it in each area.


The main advantages of the TIFF format are that a wide variety of applications know its structure and are not dependent on computer architecture.

The user can specify new tags in an image, making it impossible for the data to be correctly interpreted by another image-reading system.

It also requires a tremendous computational process to decode the data. It is used to scan an image as the file will be processed directly on the PC. It can also be used for printing to get the highest resolution possible.


In some professional cameras, the TIFF image format is not used much anymore because it makes practicality difficult when processing or viewing a photo containing too much information.

Also, the JPEG format is often used to store photos in files because it takes up more space on the camera’s memory card.

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