Adobe Wiki
Adobe Wiki
Tag Image File Format
Initial release 1986
Latest release TIFF 6.0 / June 3, 1992
TIFF Supplement 2 / March 22, 2002
Genre Image file format

Tag(ged) Image File Format, abbreviated TIFF or TIF, is a computer file format for storing raster graphics images, popular among graphic artists, the publishing industry,[1] and photographers. TIFF is widely supported by scanning, faxing, word processing, optical character recognition, image manipulation, desktop publishing, and page-layout applications.[2] The format was created by Aldus Corporation for use in desktop publishing. It published the latest version 6.0 in 1992, subsequently updated with an Adobe Systems copyright after the latter acquired Aldus in 1994. Several Aldus or Adobe technical notes have been published with minor extensions to the format, and several specifications have been based on TIFF 6.0, including TIFF/EP (ISO 12234-2), TIFF/IT (ISO 12639),[3][4][5] TIFF-F (RFC 2306) and TIFF-FX (RFC 3949).[6]


TIFF was created as an attempt to get desktop scanner vendors of the mid-1980s to agree on a common scanned image file format, in place of a multitude of proprietary formats. In the beginning, TIFF was only a binary image format (only two possible values for each pixel), because that was all that desktop scanners could handle. As scanners became more powerful, and as desktop computer disk space became more plentiful, TIFF grew to accommodate grayscale images, then color images. Today, TIFF, along with JPEG and PNG, is a popular format for deep-color images.

The first version of the TIFF specification was published by Aldus Corporation in the autumn of 1986 after two major earlier draft releases. It can be labeled as Revision 3.0. It was published after a series of meetings with various scanner manufacturers and software developers. In April 1987 Revision 4.0 was released and it contained mostly minor enhancements. In October 1988 Revision 5.0 was released and it added support for palette color images and LZW compression.[7]


  1. Murray, James D. (April 1996). Encyclopedia of Graphics File Formats. O'Reilly. Retrieved on 2014-03-07.
  2. TIFF was chosen as the native format for raster graphics in the NeXTSTEP operating system; this TIFF support carried over into Mac OS X.
  3. TIFF/IT ISO/IEC 12639. ISO (1998).
  4. TIFF/IT for Image Technology. The National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program at the Library of Congress (2006-10-03).
  5. The TIFF/IT file format. Retrieved on 2011-02-19.
  6. File Format for Internet Fax (2005). Retrieved on 2011-02-19. “This file format specification is commonly known as TIFF for Fax eXtended (TIFF-FX).”
  7. TIFF Revision 6.0 Final — June 3, 1992, Retrieved on 2009-07-10

External links[]

  This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors). Wikipedia-logo-v2