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.TGA File Extension

File TypeTarga Graphic

DeveloperAvid Technology
Popularity
4.1 (192 Votes)
CategoryRaster Image Files
FormatBinary

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 do I 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.

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Open and view .TGA files with File Viewer Plus.

Programs that open TGA files

Linux
Free
Web
Included with OS
iOS
Included with OS
Updated 4/26/2021

About TGA Files

Our goal is to help you understand what a file with a *.tga suffix is and how to open it.

The Targa Graphic file type, file format description, and Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS programs listed on this page have been individually researched and verified by the FileInfo team. We strive for 100% accuracy and only publish information about file formats that we have tested and validated.

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