.TGA File Extension

Targa Graphic

Developer Avid Technology
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What is a TGA file?

A TGA file is an image saved in the Targa raster graphic format designed by Truevision. It supports 8, 16, 24, or 32 bits per pixel at a maximum of 24 bits for RGB colors and an 8-bit alpha channel. TGA files are used for various types of images, such as digital photos and textures referenced by 3D video games.

More Information

Screenshot of a .tga file in Apple Preview 10.1
TGA file open in Apple Preview 10.1

The Targa format, which stands for Truevision Advanced Raster Graphics Adapter, was designed by Truevision (now Avid Technology) in 1984 for use with its first video software programs. The original format consisted of 2 areas:

  1. TGA File Header
  2. Image/Color Map Data

While these two sections were included in the original 1984 specification of the Targa format, "Developer Area," "Extension Area," and "TGA File Footer" sections were added in 1989. This specification is known as the "New TGA Format" and consists of the following 5 areas:

  1. TGA File Header
  2. Image/ColorMap Data
  3. Developer Area
  4. Extension Area
  5. TGA File Footer

Besides the three new sections of the image format, Truevision also introduced several new extensions to the Targa format in 1989 to meet the needs of graphics professionals. Examples of the extra extensions include:

  • Date and time the file was created
  • Author name and comments
  • Alpha channel type
  • Pixel aspect ratio
  • Gamma value
  • A scaled-down postage stamp copy of the image (a "thumbnail" image)

How to open a TGA file

You can open TGA files with various image editors, such as Adobe Photoshop (multiplatform), ACD Systems Canvas (Windows), Corel Painter (multiplatform), and GIMP (multiplatform).

If you are a Mac user, you can open TGA files with Apple Preview or Apple Photos, which come bundled with macOS. You can also convert TGA images to .JPEG, .PNG, .HEIC, .TIFF, and .PDF formats with Preview.

How to convert a TGA file

Many applications, including Adobe Photoshop, Corel PaintShop Pro, GIMP, and Apple Preview, can convert TGA files to other formats.

For example, Adobe Photoshop can convert TGA 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
  • .WEBP - WebP Image
  • .BMP - Bitmap Image
  • .DCM - DICOM Image
  • .EPS - Encapsulated PostScript
  • .PDF - Portable Document Format
  • .PSD - Adobe Photoshop Document
  • .AI - Adobe Illustrator Artwork

Programs that open or reference TGA files

Verified by FileInfo.com

The FileInfo.com team has independently researched the Targa Graphic file format and Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS apps listed on this page. Our goal is 100% accuracy and we only publish information about file types that we have verified.

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