.TIF File Extension

.TIF File Extension

2 file types use the .tif file extension.
File Type 1

Tagged Image File

Developer Adobe Systems
3.5  |  217 Votes
Category Raster Image Files
Format Text and Binary

What is a TIF file?

A TIF file contains an image saved in the Tagged Image File Format (TIFF), a high-quality graphics format. It is often used for storing images with many colors, typically digital photos, and includes support for layers and multiple pages.

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Screenshot of a .tif file in Microsoft Photos 2020
TIF file open in Microsoft Photos 2020

The TIFF format was developed in the mid-1980s by Aldus Corporation (merged with Adobe Systems in 1994) to be a universal image format for different computer platforms and document scanners. The format became popular among professionals in the publishing industry, including photographers and graphic artists. The popularity of the format was partially due to its ability to be edited and re-saved without losing image quality.

TIF files can be saved in an uncompressed (lossless) format or may incorporate .JPEG (lossy) compression. They may also use LZW lossless compression, which reduces the TIF file size but does not reduce the quality of the image.

NOTE: TIF files may also use the .TIFF extension.

How do I open a TIF file?

You can open TIF files with various image editors since the TIFF format is common among graphics professionals. Some applications that support the format include Windows Photos (Windows), CorelDRAW Graphics Suite (Windows and macOS), ACD Systems ACDSee Photo Studio (Windows), Adobe Photoshop (Windows and macOS), and Apple Preview (bundled with macOS).

NOTE: You can also open TIFF files with Google Photos in a web browser, Chrome OS, and Android and iOS devices.

Open and view .TIF files with File Viewer Plus.Free Download

Programs that open or reference TIF files

Updated May 14, 2021
File Type 2

GeoTIFF Image

Developer Adobe Systems
3.2  |  38 Votes
Category Raster Image Files
Format Binary

What is a TIF file?

TIFF-compliant geospatial image file created in the GeoTIFF format; contains geographic or cartographic data embedded as tags within the file; enables users to embed GIS data in the file without deviating from the TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) format.

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Since GeoTIFF files contain coordinates, GIS applications can map specific regions of the raster image to latitude and longitude coordinates.

NOTE: The GeoTIFF format uses the extensible features of the TIFF specification to add tagged metadata to the image.

Programs that open TIF files

Updated May 13, 2019

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