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.
The TIFF format was created in the mid-1980s 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.
TIF files are supported by a variety of image viewing and editing programs. You can use Microsoft Photos in Windows, which comes bundled with the operating system. If you are a macOS user, you can use Apple Preview, which comes bundled with the system.
NOTE: TIF files may also use the .TIFF extension.