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OTT Explains: What Is a TIFF File?

Some of the most common image formats that you have probably heard of and used many times are GIF, JPEG, and PNG. Each one serves a specific purpose that we know and value through the Internet of memes, reaction images, and all other forms of online image expression.

However, there are many more image file formats you should be aware of. Of these, TIFF is one of the most difficult.

Whether you are interested in graphic design or photography, TIFF files can be game-changing, but what is a TIFF file? In this article, we will introduce you to this important but underestimated image file format.

What is a TIFF file?

TIFF stands for Tagged Image File Format and is an image format that was developed by Aldus in 1986. Lossless compression is used in TIFF files, which increases the overall file size by maintaining image quality. This makes the TIFF format ideal for anyone working on a job or project that requires the highest quality images.

TIFF files retain tags, layers, and transparency like PNGs, and are fully compatible with many popular photo editing applications such as Photoshop

TIFF files also support extended metadata storage via GeoTIFF GeoTIFF is a technology used to store metadata of a TIFF file, which contains important information such as the GPS coordinates at which the picture was taken (if a camera was used).

Despite its many positive aspects, TIFF also has disadvantages. Although TIFF files can be opened and viewed with the Windows Photo and Photo Viewer, you will need third-party software to edit them. The image editor you choose may not support TIFF files or work perfectly with them, in which case you may need to convert the files to a different format before working with them. Depending on the conversion method, this can change or erase the image metadata.

Another important caveat is that TIFF files are not suitable for the web. A third-party plugin must be installed to display TIFF files in the browser. However, it is completely impractical for web designers to use TIFF instead of alternatives like JPEG or PNG due to the large size of these files – this is terrible for server bandwidth.

How to open and edit a TIFF file

Although you can open and view TIFF files using the built-in Windows image viewer, many third-party applications make viewing and editing TIFF files much easier and have a cleaner, more feature-rich interface.

The following Windows applications can be used to open and / or edit TIFF files:

If you want to work with a GeoTIFF image file, we recommend using GDAL

Alternatively, you can install TIF, a TIFF Viewer with Drive extension for Google Chrome, which will allow you to view TIFF files stored in Google Drive through a browser.

How to convert a TIFF file

In some situations, the best solution is to convert the TIFF file to a different, more common image format before changing it. However, keep in mind that converting to some formats such as JPEG can result in a loss of quality – one of the biggest benefits of TIFF.

Although there are many different applications that you can download to convert TIFF files, the process can be completely done over the Internet without the need to download any third party software.


Zamzar is one of the best file conversion tools on the web that works great when it comes to converting TIFF files to many other common image file formats.

Zamzar supports converting TIFF files to BMP, GIF, ICO, JPG, PCX, PNG, TGA, WBMP and WEBP formats. Reverse transformations of all these transformations are also possible.

As the website says, you can drag and drop files, upload them by clicking the Add Files button, or even upload them from a URL. After that, select the format to which you want to convert the files and click the “Convert Now” button.

If you are uploading a large number of files, check the box below this button to receive an email notification when the conversion is complete.

The page will then be dynamically updated to reflect the status of your downloads. When complete, the page will change to a page with a Download button next to each converted file.

The files on Zamzar only last 24 hours, so you will need to upload them before they expire, otherwise you will have to re-upload and convert them again.

Where to find TIFF file templates

If you’re interested in working with TIFF files, but don’t have the resources to create and save them yourself, there are several websites that offer you various sample TIFF images to work with.

The two best ones we found are file-examples.com, which offers three images in sizes of 1MB, 5MB, and 10MB, and FileFormat.info, which offers much more choice and different upload sizes. P>

Downloading one of these sample files is a great way to test the functionality of one of your TIFF editors, or see what the online conversion process looks like.

We hope this article helped you better understand what TIFF files are, how they can be used, and how to edit and convert them to your liking.

If you would like to share tips for working with TIFF files, or know about an editor or converter that is not mentioned in this article, leave us a comment below!

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