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Why TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) Graphics File is not a TIFF

By Mark Fleming, Copyright © 1992, 1995, 1998, All Rights Reserved.
TIFF file have many formats: Black and white, gray scale, full color (24-bit), and palette color (4-bit and 8-bit) images. TIFF files support the uses of data compression using: LZW, PackBits, and CCITT 1D compression (PackBits and CCITT 1D are allowed on black-and-white images only), LZW can be used with any image type.

To complicate matters, two byte orders are supported: 'II' (Intel) and 'MM' (Motorola), as indicated by the TIFF file header.

The following is a short description of TIFF file formats and their usage.

Black-and-white TIFF image format:


Special note: halftoned image are a special type of B&W image.

As with all halftoned images, it won't look very pretty in PageMaker or on the screen, due to resampling and the 300-vs-72 dpi mismatch, but it will print fine unless you change the size (or scale it).

Gray scale TIFF image format

Gray scale image, are much better and more flexible format to save picture in than the equivalent halftone image. They can be re-scale, displayed on the screen and printed with no major problems. Note that a 8-bit gray scale scans at 72 dpi or 150 dpi is more than adequate resolution for printing on 300 dpi and 600 dpi printers. The printer has to convert the Gray scale information into a B&W halftone image to print it ..

Palette colour (4-bit and 8-bit) TIFF image descriptions:

Palette colour lookup tables describe the set of colours in the picture. User can scale them, and print them the same way Gray scale TIFF image can be scaled.

Full RGB colour (24-bit) TIFF images

Independed R,G,B 8 bit colour channels.

Internal Format Summary

Tagged Image File Format, has several internal formats. Most program support the basic formats, but not all program support all formats.

Example: WordPerfect V5.x and V6 for IBMpc will read all base formats, if they are not compressed.

The four basic TIFF internal formats and compression types related to each one:

  1. Bitmap:

    • Uncompressed
    • Word-boundaried Uncompressed
    • Huffman CCITT-1D Compressed
    • Packbits Compressed
    • LZW Compressed (w & w/o Differencing), LZW compression technology licensed from Unisys Corporation under U.S. Patent No. 4,558,302 and foreign counterparts.

  2. Gray scale:

    • 4-bit Uncompressed
    • 8-bit Uncompressed
    • 4-bit LZW Compressed (w & w/o Differencing)
    • 8-bit LZW Compressed (w & w/o Differencing)
    • 4-bit Thunder Scan Compressed

  3. Palette Color:

    • 4-bit Uncompressed
    • 8-bit Uncompressed
    • 4-bit LZW Compressed (w & w/o Differencing)
    • 8-bit LZW Compressed (w & w/o Differencing)

  4. RGB Color:

    • 24-bit Uncompressed
    • 24-bit LZW Compressed (w & w/o Differencing)
    • 6-5-5 16-bit Uncompressed

Other formats and extensions to TIFF

5. CMYK Color:

  • 8-8-8-8 CMYK Uncompressed
  • 8-8-8-8 CMYK LZW Compressed (w & w/o Differencing)

some TIFF extensions:

  • Planar TIFF
  • Tiled TIFF
  • Alpha Channel TIFF
  • YCC TIFF
  • JPEG TIFF
  • CIELAB TIFF
  • CCITT Bilevel Encodings: T4 (Group 3) Fax and T6 (Group 4) Fax
  • Halftone Hints
  • RGB Image Colorimetry

As of QuickTime 4, QuickTime and applications support QuickTime Importers, supports most formats of TIFF including CCITT Fax encodings. For more details on formats supported by QuickTime, check out: http://www.apple.com/quicktime/products/qt/specifications.html.

Full detail area available in TIFF V6.0 Postscript file or Adobe TIFF format in PDF format.

Macintosh File Type of: TIFF

Use CTC Drag & Drop application to set the type to `TIFF'.

MS-DOS extension: .TIF

WWW mime_type:

image/tiff
Updated: 19 Oct 2002, By RMF