Tagged Image File Format (TIFF)
Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) is a file format for storing images, including photographs and line art.
Originally created by the company Aldus for use with what was then called "desktop publishing", the TIFF format is widely supported by image-manipulation applications, by publishing and page layout applications,
and by scanning, faxing, word processing, optical character recognition and other
applications. Adobe Systems, which acquired Aldus, now holds the copyright to the TIFF specification. TIFF has not had a major update since 1992, though several Aldus/Adobe technical notes have been published with minor extensions to the format.
TIFF is a file format commonly used for storing
digital versions of paper documents because it is a standard format for most
scanners and software applications.
Scanned paper documents are stored in an image (rather than text) format.
TIFF is a flexible and adaptable file format. It can handle multiple images and data in a single file through the inclusion of "tags" in the file header. Tags can indicate the basic geometry of the image, such as its size, or define how the image data is arranged and whether various image compression options are used. For example, TIFF can be used as a container for JPEG
or LZW compressed images. The ability to store image data in a lossless format makes TIFF files a useful method for archiving images. Unlike standard JPEG, TIFF files using lossless compression (or no compression at all) can be edited and resaved without suffering a compression loss.
Developers can apply for a block of "private
tags" to enable them to include their own proprietary information inside a
TIFF file without causing problems for file interchange. TIFF readers are
required to ignore tags that they do not recognise, and a developer's private
tags are guaranteed not to clash with anyone else's tags or with the standard
set of tags defined in the specification.
The TIFF format in document management and document imaging systems
TIFF format is standard in document imaging and document management systems. In this environment it is normally used with CCITT Group IV 2D compression, which supports black-and-white (also called bitonal or monochrome) images. In high-volume environments, documents are typically scanned in black and white (rather than
colour or greyscale) to conserve storage capacity. An average A4 scan produces 30 kilobytes (KB) of data at 200
dpi (dots per inch resolution) and 50 KB of data at 300 dpi. 300 dpi is far more common than 200
Because TIFF format supports multiple pages, multi-page documents can be saved as single TIFF files rather than as a series of files for each scanned page.
The TIFF Specification
The last major update of the
specification, revision 6.0, dates back 1992. Adobe added a supplement in 1995.
In 2002, Adobe absorbed a new-style JPEG-in-TIFF (Technical Note 2) in a second
See also PDF, PDF/A archiving format
and PDF Searchable
Alliance BatchScan can scan into
* TIF File Format * Tagged Image
File Format * PDF Searchable Images * TIFF Images * TIF File Format *