3.1 | 17 Votes
What is a TARGA file?
The Targa format, which stands for Truevision Advanced Raster Graphics Adapter, was designed by Truevision and later acquired by Avid Technology. The format was first released in 1984 with Truevision video software.
The original Targa format consisted of a "TGA File Header" and "Image/Color Map Data." The "Developer Area," "Extension Area," and "TGA File Footer" sections were then added in 1989.
The 1989 version is known as the "New TGA Format" and consists of the following 5 areas:
- TGA File Header
- Image/ColorMap Data
- Developer Area
- Extension Area
- TGA File Footer
Truevision also introduced new extensions to the Targa format in 1989 to meet the needs of graphics professionals. Examples of the extra extensions include:
- Author name and comments
- Date and time the file was created
- Pixel aspect ratio
- Alpha channel type
- Gamma value
- A scaled-down postage stamp copy of the image (a "thumbnail" image)
NOTE: TARGA files are more commonly saved as .TGA files
How to open a TARGA file
You can open TARGA files with various image editors, such as ACD Systems Canvas (Windows), Corel Painter (multiplatform), Corel PaintShop Pro (Windows), Adobe Photoshop (multiplatform), and GIMP (multiplatform).
If you are a Mac user, you can open TARGA files with Apple Preview and convert them to .JPEG, .PNG, .HEIC, .TIFF, and .PDF formats. You can also open TARGA files with Apple Photos, which is bundled with macOS and iOS.
How to convert a TARGA file
Several applications, including Adobe Photoshop, ACD Systems Canvas, GIMP, and Apple Preview, can convert TARGA files to other formats.
For example, Adobe Photoshop can convert TARGA files to many file types, including the following formats:
- .JPG - JPEG Image
- .PNG - Portable Network Graphic
- .TIF - Tagged Image File Format
- .GIF - Graphical Interchange Format
- .BMP - Bitmap Image
- .DCM - DICOM Image
- .EPS - Encapsulated PostScript
- .PXR - Pixar Image
- .WEBP - WebP Image
- .PDF - Portable Document Format
- .PSD - Adobe Photoshop Document
- .AI - Adobe Illustrator Artwork