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Tagged Image File Format (.tiff)

The TIFF which stands for Tagged Image File Format, is a popular file format for storing raster images. Besides supporting both lossless and lossy algorithms, most of the TIFF files are uncompressed; because of this making the images extremely high quality, the format is primarily used in desktop publishing and professional digital photography.
Although the TIFF files are not supported by major web browsers and it's not usual to use them in the context of the web content, but it's common to provide downloadable TIFF files for the purpose of precise photos and other artwork editing and printing.

TIFF Specifications

Name Tagged Image File Format
File Extension(s) .tiff .tif
Category Raster Images
Use For Desktop publishing, photography and digital cameras, scanning documents, optical character recognition, and print industries.
Developer Aldus, now Adobe Systems
MIME Type(s) image/tiff
License No license required (aside from any associated with libraries you might use); all known patents have expired.
File Sample(s) N/A
Compression Most TIFF files are uncompressed, but lossless PackBits and LZW compression are supported, as is lossy JPEG compression.
Max Dimensions 4,294,967,295×4,294,967,295 pixels (theoretical)
Color Modes
Mode Bits Description
Bilevel 1 A bilevel TIFF stores 8 bits in each byte, one bit per pixel. The PhotometricInterpretation field specifies which of 0 and 1 are black and which is white.
Greyscale 4 and 8 Each pixel consists of a single D-bit value indicating the brightness of the greyscale pixel.
True color 8 All true color RGB images are stored using 8-bits each of red, green, and blue.
Indexed color 4 and 8 Each pixel is an index into a ColorMap record, which defines the colors used in the image. The color map lists all of the red values, then all of the green values, then all of the blue values (rather than rgb, rgb, rgb...).
Greyscale with alpha 4 and 8 Alpha information is added by specifying that there are more than 3 samples per pixel in the SamplesPerPixel field, and indicating the type of alpha (1 for an associated, pre-multiplied alpha component, and 2 for unassociated alpha (a separate matte); however, alpha channels are rarely used in TIFF files and may be unsupported by the user's software.
True color with alpha 8 Alpha information is added by specifying that there are more than 3 samples per pixel in the SamplesPerPixel field, and indicating the type of alpha (1 for an associated, pre-multiplied alpha component, and 2 for unassociated alpha (a separate matte); however, alpha channels are rarely used in TIFF files and may be unsupported by the user's software.
Animation No
Transparency Yes
Interlacing Yes
Metadata Yes
Layers Yes
Multipage Yes