USESENITBR November 2017

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The format TIF or TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) Is a bitmap graphics file format (raster). It was developed in 1987 by Aldus (now owned by Adobe). The latest specifications (revision 6.0) Were published in 1992.


The TIFF format is an old graphic format for storing bitmap images (raster) to large (more than 4 GB compressed) without destruction of quality and independent of platforms or devices used (Device-Independent Bitmap, note DIB).

The TIFF format can store black and white images, true color (true color, up to 32 bits per pixel) and indexed images, making use of a color palette.

Moreover, the TIF format allows the use of several color spaces:

  • RGB
  • CMYK
  • CIE L * a * b
  • YUV / YCrCb

Structure of a TIFF file

The principle of the TIF format consists in defining tags (in English tags, hence the name Tagged Image File Format) Describing the characteristics of the image.

The tags are used to store information on both the dimensions of the image, the number of colors used, the type of compression (many algorithms can then be used Packbits / CCITT G3&4 / JPEG / RLE / LZW / ITU-T), Or gamma correction.

Thus the description of the image tag makes it simple programming software for recording in TIFF format. In consideration the multiplicity of options is such that many image readers supporting TIFF format do not integrate them all, so it happens that a recorded image in TIFF format may not be readable on another.

Read TIF

Most photo editing software supports TIF, is the case of Photoshop (fee), Photofiltre (free) or GIMP (free).

More information

  • Specifications TIFF (6.0)

See also

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