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Multimedia Wiki[edit]

Could some of the authors contribute to the tiff article? I have copy pasted some sections from wikipedia, and am unsure if it is acceptable on second thought. This was done solely by me, not the maintainer, and if it is incorrect I apologize and will remove them. Dcsmith77 02:57, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

Fix missing data[edit]

The Tiff viewer programs are not labeled as tiff viewer software The A4 paper size is not linked or defined. Suggest adding a 8.5 inch by 11 inch file size metric.

the title should have a reference to the widely used abbreviation TIFF, so maybe its a good idea to rename the page to "Tagged Image File Format (TIFF)"? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

It does not seem customary to integrate alternative names in the title? – RFST (talk) 07:17, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Is there any way to read the text of TIF files? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

You can use the tiffinfo program (fairly standard on Linux, but ought to be compilable for anything) to format the metadata. There are also libraries to access it from programs. --David Woolley 10:28, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

Is this still true: "TIFF has an option to use LZW compression, a loss-free technique of reducing file size, however this technique is under patent from Unisys, and requires licensing fees for its use."? I thought the patent had recently expired (see —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

I heard it expired as well. I think it occurred at least a year ago. Jecowa 09:45, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

TIF using zip compression is not mentioned. The LZW patent has expired. (talk) 14:35, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

Discussion of TIFF/EP[edit]

Should contain discussion of TIFF/EP - TIFF for Electronic Photography, a file format that is a subset of TIFF and puts more restrictive constraints on data content with the goal of making the files more amenable to being rewritten. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 15:31, October 12, 2005 (UTC)

I have created a new article for TIFF/EP - it is different enough that it should have it's own article, and that way it will also avoid confusion. It is not in fact a subset, of TIFF - it uses a subset of the TIFF tags, but also defines new ones. Also it is an ISO standard, whereas the TIFF standard is an Aldus/Adobe standard - see Tag Image File Format / Electronic Photography Ozhiker 16:56, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Fax may be more used than uncompressed colour images[edit]

There is a statement that 32 bit uncompressed images are the most common use of TIFF. This might be true in the graphic arts industry, but I suspect that the most common use is for FAX, where the data is stored in the raw fax format. --David Woolley 10:18, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

Source for the 42 thing?[edit]

I don't know, it just seems too cool to be actually true. OmnipotentEntity 16:41, 15 June, 2006 (UTC)

I was thinking the same thing. At first, I thought is was some sort of vandalism, but it's been there since the article was created. Additionally, It's pretty vague about the actual use/significance of this number, and doesn't actually feel relevant at all. Ghostwo 00:44, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
"Bytes 2-3 The second word of the file is the TIFF "version number." This number, 42 (2A in hex), is not to be equated with the current Revision of the TIFF specification. In fact, the TIFF version number (42) has never changed, and probably never will. If it ever does, it means that TIFF has changed in some way so radical that a TIFF reader should give up immediately. The number 42 was chosen for its deep philosophical significance. It can and should be used as additional verification that this is indeed a TIFF file." (from 5.0 spec), the 6.0 spec just says "arbitrary but carefully chosen" -- taviso 13:37, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes it is true: the second word of a TIFF file, 42, was indeed taken from the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything, from Hitchhikers_guide_to_the_galaxy. StephenECarlsen 23:38, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
It would be nice if this were so, but it aint. 42 = 101010 in binary. That was how it was "carefully chosen". It was only Version 5.0 of the specification which used the phrase "for its deep philosophical significance". Version 6.0 dropped this phrase. HairyWombat (talk) 15:28, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Rename this article 'Tagged' -> 'Tag'[edit]

I've noticed that the title of this article appears to be incorrect.

The current Adobe Standard (TIFF 6.0) makes no references to TIFF being an acronym for anything, however if yor check back to revision 4.0 of the standard (by Aldus and Microsoft), the title is "Tag Image File Format" - not "Tagged". (see [1]

I think the article should be moved to Tag Image File Format Ozhiker 23:07, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Interestingly, I've noticed that the Adobe website refers to it as "Tagged" - I wonder if that is intentional Ozhiker 23:10, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
Since the spec itself just calls the format "TIFF", shouldn't the article be moved to TIFF? --Zundark 13:17, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Exploits Section Cleanup[edit]

It seems like one person wrote the Exploits section. From the sounds of it, the exploit is supposedly "unique," but it doesn't sound all that unique, really. Anyway, I removed the links to Ubuntu Linux (except for the first one) and got rid of the underscores. Someone else should gloss over it and clean it up a bit more, especially the last paragraph:

This would just be an another exploit corrected by the FOSS model of project development, forgotten, tucked under rug, until a skylark and psp250 with a little help from Fanjita discovered this exploit could be used to get around the Firmware on the PlayStation Portable. This could potentially work on Firmware up to version 2.80

There's a specific negative view towards the F/OSS development model (as opposed to not mentioning it), as well as not explaining how the exploit ties in to the PSP (also...what's a skylark and psp250?).

EDIT: Sorry, forgot to sign it. --CCFreak2K 11:53, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Doesn't the exploits section belong on Libtiff? It's surely not an inherent problem of the file format. It should be possible to write a safe decoding library... (talk) 15:09, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Also the buffer exploits in libtiff were fixed. (talk) 15:48, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

What is unique about encoding offsets into the file ? Didn't TIFF creators lift this from EA's IFF-ILBM ? Also, it's a bit poor to blame bad offset encoding for exploits, clearly this has been used in the past by hackers but it's due to a bad implementation of TIFF handling, not the TIFF standard. For example, if I forgot to add a close tag in some HTML and got your browser to run some malevolent code, would that be an exploit in HTML or in the browser ? Kegon (talk) 01:09, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

I feel this should be added to a LibTiff page too. I'm not sure why a reader should be interested in exploits when looking at reference about the file format. Especially when the exploit mentions LibTiff specifically. (talk) 14:18, 25 March 2010 (UTC)


What is TIFF/IT-P1? How is it related to Tag Image File Format / Electronic Photography?--Hhielscher 12:08, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

TIFF/IT-P1 is a image format standard used for advertising material, formalised under ISO 12639 - see here & here. TIFF/EP is a image format designed for use in digital cameras.--Ozhiker 14:29, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Cameras supporting TIFF section[edit]

I don't think this section is necessary - almost all cameras support either TIFF or RAW formats - listing them all would be less useful than listing all the viewer/editor programs, and either would be of little value to encyclopedia readers and would increase the article size to rediculous proportions. If no-one objects, i'll remove it. --Ozhiker 14:10, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Same thing as with the similar section in RAW image format. (I do not object removal). Berland 19:39, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Legal status[edit]

What is the intellectual property status of the various versions of the TIFF specification? -- Beland 19:34, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

MS TIFF[edit]

What about MS Office created documents with .tif extension, which are not TIFF-compatible? It really should be mentioned here, as this is one of the major Linux/Windows (for home users) interoperability issues. More info: [2] [3] Klon-immortal 13:16, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

I sometimes give plain text files the extension .doc but they are not MS Word files. Just because MS uses the same 3 letter extension doesn't make their files TIFF. When you say "Major interoperability issue" I think you mean "Linux people who want to use MS files"; it's nothing to do with Linux/Windows, if MS Office existed on Linux then you wouldn't have this problem. Kegon (talk) 01:15, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
I don't know about the second link, but from a brief read through of the first link, it appears to be describing a valid TIFF file that uses valid extensions not widely supported at the time Nil Einne (talk) 14:27, 26 July 2009 (UTC)


I noticed this article doesn't reference TIFF Technical Note 2, or as it seems to be called now "JPEG-in-TIFF". Should it? The external links at the end actually mention the flawed JPEG description in the published versions of the TIFF specs, but doesn't describe the solution that Adobe, libtiff, and others seem to be adapting.

I'm not an expert, so I don't feel comfortable writing about it. Perhaps someone else has some experience? Gcdinsmore (talk) 20:22, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

What is PIXTIFF? I read somewhere that it used JPEG compression of a TIFF file. JKeck (talk) 21:31, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

I take issue with the comment "Obsolete, should never be written" as applied to compression type 6. While I wholeheartedly agree that Sam Leffler's "TIFF Technical Note 2" is a vast improvement to the approach documented in the TIFF 6.0 Specification for JPEG in TIFF, there has never been an updated specification that rendered compression type 6 obsolete. Any reader that claims to be TIFF compliant should accept files that conform to the TIFF 6.0 Specification, which could include compression type 6. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dmfahey (talkcontribs) 17:52, 15 August 2016 (UTC)


What happens if a file tries to read past the physical "end-of-file"? (talk) 01:26, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

Naming conventions for image file formats[edit]

Please see the discussion at Talk:Image file formats#Naming_conventions_for_image_file_formats on naming conventions for articles on image file formats. Dcoetzee 00:46, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Improve the paragraph on compatibility (in section 'Flexible options')[edit]

About the following paragraph:

Although the currently accepted standard format, when TIFF was introduced its extensibility provoked compatibility problems. Programmers were free to specify new tags and options — but not every implemented program supported every tag created. As a result, TIFF became the lowest common denominator image file. Today, most TIFF images and readers remain based upon uncompressed 32-bit CMYK or 24-bit RGB images.

The first phrase ("Although...") could use some rephrasing for clarity (for example: "Although currently it is accepted as a standard format, ..."; someone with more knowledge than I should choose the wording). But at higher level the entire paragraph could be clearer IMO. Proposed rewriting of the entire paragraph (but who will confirm that it's correct?):

Although currently its use a standard is more or less stabilized, when TIFF was introduced its extensibility provoked compatibility problems. Programmers were free to specify new tags and options — but not every implemented program supported every tag created. As a result, TIFF is a format from which implementations may have to use only the lowest common denominator set of extensions. Today, most TIFF mages and readers remain based on uncompressed 32-bit CMYK or 24-bit RGB images.

Jacosi (talk) 11:20, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

The lowest common denominator for TIFF is called Baseline TIFF. All TIFF readers must be able to read Baseline TIFF, and are not required to read any extensions beyond this (although, in practice, they do). Not sure how to rewrite the paragraph you mention although it clearly needs to mention Baseline TIFF, particularly as Baseline TIFF includes "PackBits" compression (a form of run-length encoding). That is to say, the final statement in the paragraph is wrong as all TIFF readers must be able to handle "PackBits" compression. HairyWombat (talk) 08:08, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Later. Rewrote paragraph, basing it on Baseline TIFF. HairyWombat (talk) 21:26, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

This paragraph creates the impressions that TIF's incompatability problems stem from handling of endianess, rather than the nebulous nature of the format. Many people will arrive at this page wondering why their TIF files loads correctly in one program and not the other, with both programs running on the same machine. (talk) 14:32, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

How ironic...[edit]

...that this article contains no images, TIFF or otherwise? Surely we can come up with some sort of image for comparison, like there is on the GIF and PNG pages? — sjorford++ 15:59, 12 August 2009 (UTC)


TIFF is generally used either for lossless images (in which case there's no difference between it and raw PCX or whatever) or as a wrapper for other formats like JPEG (I believe it's used by Digital Cinema to wrap JPEG2000, if I'm reading the spec correctly.)

Therefore a screenshot wouldn't be terribly helpful, as lossless is lossless and a "wrapped" image is no different to the unwrapped version. In addition, the default uncompressed versions of TIFF are very inefficient, so adding a "screenshot" that actually links to a TIFF would add dramatically to page loading times. And that's assuming the user's browser would even support the format.

I recommend not adding a screenshot :) -- (talk) 14:44, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

To many knowledge none of the popular web browser will display TIF files without a plugin of some kind. Posting a TIF image on the page would be pointless. The best you could do is provide samples typical of different TIF types (fax, monochrome, color), though not in TIF format. (talk) 14:12, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

Violation of Wikipedia rules[edit]

The talk page is for discussing improvements to the article, and this post doesn't qualify -- but I'm desperate.

I've received a file with the .tif extension. I want to read it. I don't want to develop applications or understand the history of TIFF or anything like that. The article is written for the IT professional, I think, and the ext links all seem oriented to the developer.

I'm using a Windows Vista computer and I just want to read this file (it's about 3 MB). Can someone explain to me what I do? You can give the explanation here or on my talk page or by emailing me, whatever you think best.

Maybe this isn't a rules violation if it points out that the article needs amplification for the benefit of those who can scarcely understand a word of it as it's now written. I'm not saying that the existing content should be dumbed down, because presumably it's appropriate for many readers, but the article would be better off if it had some basics that were comprehensible to a reader without a background in computing. JamesMLane t c 01:02, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Super User might be the appropriate place to ask your question. --Mortense (talk) 19:17, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

I don't know why you think you should find a tutorial on how to use your computer here? If you picked up a printed encyclopedia would you expect it to tell you how to install software and use it? I think not. Nothing in the article needs to change. (talk) 00:14, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

PPI explained[edit]

In section In document imaging: is "pixels per inch of resolution" necessary when there is already a (Wikipedia) link to PPI?

Is there a general policy for this?

--Mortense (talk) 19:23, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Apple Macintosh owners[edit]

The article claims that TIFF is "popular among Apple Macintosh owners, graphic artists, the publishing industry". So far as I am aware, there is nothing in the modern Macintosh operating system at the user level that requires TIFF files, and the prevailing graphic format is PNG. If the TIFF is popular among Macintosh users, it is only due to the prevalence of Macs in the graphic arts and publishing industries. This is confusing two different things. I submit that the sentence should be amended to read "popular among graphic artists and the publishing industry". The cited article for this definition is to blame.Keithcurtis (talk) 17:08, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

I agree, as long as the rest of the sentence that I added soon after the above phrase was inserted, "and both amateur and professional photographers in general" , or something like it, remains. As you say, the cited article missed the point. Barry Pearson 18:06, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
I agree, and will remove this. It seems absurd that a single website is an authority on what millions of users of one particular manufacturer of PC prefer (and I bet most people don't care at all about file formats). Plus there is a risk that this is a hangover from the "classic" Macintosh days, and so has no relevance to today's Macs, which are different in hardware and software and only share the brandname. The big clue is the use of the word "Macintosh" - AFAIK, Apple haven't used that trademark in years for their computers. Mdwh (talk) 21:40, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

In scientific imaging[edit]

The author asserts that "In most cases TIFF has now been superseded by FITS files for scientific applications." In some fields (astronomy, for example) this may be true, but it is certainly not true in all cases. In optical microscopy (used in chemistry, geology, physics, and biology), TIF is still the default file format. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:03, 12 October 2010 (UTC)


This tag 34712 is used by a proprietary LeadTools codecs. LibTiff have no support either decode nor encode this sort of tiff files. Although libtiff header tiff.h have a define: #define COMPRESSION_JP2000 34712 /* Leadtools JPEG2000 */. Please do not revert my revision. (talk) 04:14, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Tiff readers[edit]

What are some tiff readers? Hyacinth (talk) 03:34, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

tif format[edit]

One often sees references to "tif files", "tif images" etc; and Tif redirects to this page. Obviously, this comes from the filename extension, and, equally obviously, it's "wrong" in terms of the derivation of the name; but still, isn't it a common enough variant to merit a mention? Or is it seriously deprecated among nerds? GrindtXX (talk) 16:53, 29 April 2013 (UTC)


This needs some Pictures.

×·× — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:01, 22 December 2013 (UTC)

First paragraph contains nonsense[edit]

The first paragraph now reads as follows:

"TIFF is a computer file format for storing raster graphics images, popular among graphic artists, the publishing industry,[1] and both amateur and professional photographers in general. The format was originally created by the company Aldus for use in desktop publishing. The specification originally had the name TIFF as the acronym for "Tagged Image File Format".[2] When Adobe Systems acquired Aldus, they published Version 6 (1993) of the TIFF specification which dropped the Microsoft reference as well as all references to TIFF being an acronym. TIFF remains a published specification under the control of Adobe Systems."

But ironically enough, since there is no prior reference Microsoft, it makes no sense to refer to "the Microsoft reference" .

I hope someone knowledgeable about this subject will correct this problem.Daqu (talk) 23:16, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

I have moved the reference [2] that clarified the alleged "nonsense" to its proper location. – RFST (talk) 07:04, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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ZIP compression mode[edit]

Please update article to cover ZIP compression mode within TIF (alternative to LZW).- (talk) 18:02, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Requested move 8 August 2016[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Moved to TIFF per nom. No such user (talk) 14:11, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

Tagged Image File FormatTIFF – "TIFF" redirects here as it was determined to be the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. This article should be moved to that title instead of redirecting here, per WP:COMMONNAME. – nyuszika7h (talk) 20:06, 8 August 2016 (UTC)

Wait, was there a discussion on Tagged Image File Format being the primary topic of TIFF? Because I don't agree there is a primary topic. Looking over the redirect, it just appears it was started as a redirect to the image format and has only been challenged a few times. Personally, I'd say there isn't any. The Toronto International Film Festival is prominent and very well known as TIFF, and when adding up all the topics on the disambiguation page that could plausibly be referred to as TIFF (all-caps), Tagged Image File Format only makes up 60% of the pageviews, mostly due to the prominence of the Toronto festival and a few others. Nohomersryan (talk) 21:13, 8 August 2016 (UTC)
I also can't find any discussion where this was found to be the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC for TIFF. I chcked this page the talkpage for TIFF as well as the talkpage for Tiff (disambiguation) and the only place I have seen the issue come up was this move request.-- (talk) 05:38, 9 August 2016 (UTC)
Maybe it's not, then "TIFF" should be retargeted to the disambiguation page. nyuszika7h (talk) 09:21, 9 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Retarget TIFF to Tiff (the DAB page), per what I said above. Nohomersryan (talk) 19:09, 9 August 2016 (UTC)
  • I also support retargeting TIFF to the disambiguation page Tiff now, per the above comment. I'll just let the others decide on this, I'm kinda confused now. 09:18, 19 August 2016 (UTC) I'm not withdrawing the nomination to let it run its full course and establish a consensus.
    • Note to closer: If consensus is to retarget the redirect to the dab page, then TIF (disambiguation) also needs to be moved to TIF (overwriting the redirect), and then Tif retargeted to the TIF disambiguation page, as there's likely no primary topic there either. nyuszika7h (talk) 21:45, 9 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose – While the film festival is notable, it is not usually styled in all caps, whereas the image format has been consistently capped forever, so that "TIFF" is the most natural name for the file format. Retargeting to the "Tiff" dab would add an awkward step. The current arrangement servers readers best. — JFG talk 01:21, 12 August 2016 (UTC)
  • @JFG: It is very commonly styled in all-caps. Lower-caps "tiff" is just a logo stylization - reliable sources use all-caps [4] [5] [6] [7], as does the festival's about page. It's far more common that lowercase "tiff". Nohomersryan (talk) 01:59, 12 August 2016 (UTC)
@Nohomersryan: The various film festivals mentioned on the dab page may be abbreviated to "TIFF" but is it their common name? Do people routinely say "Let's go to TIFF next month" rather than "Let's go to the Toronto Film Festival"? For the file format, I can pretty much guarantee that everybody says "Let's save this as a TIFF" rather than "Let's save this in Tagged Image File Format"… — JFG talk 02:20, 12 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Support exactly as proposed per COMMONNAME, since PT is a given Red Slash 18:51, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
    • Support with some reservations... I don't think PT is a given at all, but agree that this is the primary topic of TIFF, so wp:snow applies. Andrewa (talk) 20:05, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Support per Red Slash and Andrewa. I think the format is definitely the primary topic over the film festival (and is anyway already a WP:PRIMARYREDIRECT to that effect), and I also think it is much better known as TIFF rather than "Tagged Image File Format" so satisfies the WP:COMMONNAME and the requirements for WP:ACRONYMTITLE, in the same way that NATO, UNICEF etc do. Thanks  — Amakuru (talk) 09:49, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Support moving the file format to TIFF, for the following reasons:
    • As noted above, TIFF has already redirect here since 2002 without serious incident or challenge, which is a decent WP:PRIMARYREDIRECT argument in and of itself.
    • Additionally, this article receives 59% of the page views out of all articles that could conceivably be searched for as TIFF.[8] This is significant, considering that virtually everyone seeking it will know it as "TIFF" rather than the full name Tagged Image File Format. It's likely a lot of readers don't know what "TIFF" stands for. That's a key difference with the other articles; presumably those looking for the other TIFFs will know the full name is Toronto International Film Festival, etc.
    • Google Books are harder to parse here, but I find 3x the hits for TIFF format than for TIFF film (almost all other uses are film festivals). It's also notable that many sources for the file format just call it TIFF without explanation, whereas those on film festivals typically indicate that the full name is "Txxx International Film Festival".
    • Finally, the vast majority of all of the 250+ hundred incoming links seem to intend the file format.
  • --Cúchullain t/c 14:08, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

TI/A (aka TIFF/A)[edit]

Anyone want to add a section on TI/A (aka TIFF/A), which is an attempt to get a subset of TIFF standardized for archival use (c.f. PDF/A)?

I think this would be a valuable addition for digital preservation, but until it actually happens... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:36, 6 May 2017 (UTC)