The Unconventional TIFF Image File


The TIFF is one of the most unique image files with peculiar features and interesting security benefits. Learn more about where the TIFF image file fits into the image file format family.

What Is a TIFF Image File and How Can It Be Opened?

The TIFF is a Tagged Image File Format. It is a raster image that stores extensive metadata within each file. It’s a secure option for users with sensitive images in need of storage. Both Windows and Mac operating systems have built-in photo viewers capable of opening and viewing TIFF images.

How Safe Are TIFF Files?

The TIFF is one of the safest image file types available with standout safety features exclusive to TIFF. The most important security benefit is the transparent data of every TIFF image file. This not only ensures users can evaluate the information about the photo before opening it, but also prevents the chance of a virus hiding in the file.

A computer with a virus warning.
The TIFF prevents viruses from hiding in its image.

The TIFF image type prevents users from placing links on the images, which would negate the file’s privacy. For example, when users click a link on an image they expose things like their location through their IP sometimes. Therefore the TIFF is a step ahead of other image files when it comes to staying secluded. Also, TIFF are very tough to alter, making them a good choice to handle sensitive records.

What’s the Difference Between TIFF and JPEG?

TIFF files are much larger than JPEG, a result of their different compression capabilities. When TIFF compresses into a smaller size, it retains its data. On the other hand, JPEG compromises some data when is compresses smaller. TIFF are also a lot harder to edit and less commonly used as an image.

Benefits of Using TIFF

The TIFF has some very unique advantages to it compared to other image types. Here are some of the exceptional benefits:

High Resolution, Lossless Compression

Compression involves taking pictures and making them into a smaller size – typically useful for storage and convenience purposes. However, most compression results in loss of quality or resolution. Fortunately, TIFF uses lossless compression, maintaining original quality while reducing in size.

A picture of the TIFF icon.
The TIFF is a high resolution image file.

Space-Saving Size

TIFF has the potential to drastically minimize image sizes. This is a vital quality due to the typical size of images that use the TIFF format. As common storage continues to gravitate toward the cloud, the TIFF’s value grows exponentially – especially when the chosen cloud system has storage limits.

Advanced Metadata Storage (GeoTIFF)

This is particularly important for users seeking the best ways to store georeferencing information in their image files. A GeoTiff stores metadata inside a TIFF image file, providing the user valuable information about an image’s GPS location and coordinates.

A picture of GPS coordinates mapping out a road.
The TIFF stores metadata valuable for geographical images.

Downsides of Using TIFF

The unique aspects of TIFF are double-edged – sometimes being a rare file type brings issues. Here are a couple things that make TIFF difficult:

Website Compatibility Issues

It’s unlikely that anyone will choose to display TIFF images on a website, unless their site is showcasing high resolution images specifically. It’s simply overkill to construct a site using TIFF instead of things like JPEG or PNG. This is due to the massive size of the images.

Tough to Open, Edit

Most image files have a variety of ways to open them. Unfortunately for the TIFF, you’ll end looking for third party software to open them more often than not. Furthermore, editing is a lot tougher to do with TIFF. The most common method to edit a TIFF is unfortunately to first convert it into a different image file type. This at least allows users to edit the file using tools they’re comfortable with.

Maintain image resolution, security and metadata information with the power of TIFF. Check out the ways it bends and adapts to your needs.