TIFF File: How to Open and Convert

By Tata Rossi 22 days ago, Photo Editing Tips

tiff file logo

TIFF file is a graphic format that is often used to store images with a large palette of colors, such as digital photographs or scanned documents. One of the biggest advantages of the TIFF format is the tag support and the ability to save multiple images in one file. Developers from Aldus Corporation, together with manufacturers from Microsoft, developed this storage format for use in PostScript. At the moment, Tagged Image is the official property of Adobe Systems.

How to Open?

Paid: Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop.

Free: Picasa, ACDSee.

Online: Fviewer, Google Docs Viewer.

How to Convert?

Desktop: Easy2Convert, XnConvert.

Online: Zamzar, Convertio.

Mobile: The Image Converter, Image Converter.

tiff file in adobe photoshop interface

What Is TIFF File?

TIFF format is also known as Tagged Image File Format. It has become a widely-accepted file type for printing and publishing needs. Users opt for this format, if they need to store many bitmap pictures with varying pixel depths. TIFF files are more advantageous if you work with heavy images, because they don’t contain compression artifacts, thus, there will be no problems with intermediate files archiving.

A TIFF file is the main format of the NeXTSTEP operating system. Bitmap images with the TIFF file extension were transferred from this operating system to Mac OS. When creating TIFF, developers stated its obvious advantage, namely, lossless TIFF compression. However, nowadays, the .tiff extension comes with lossy compression in a JPEG format. TIFF Tagged Image File Format uses fairly common compression algorithms such as JPEG, ZIP, JBIG, LZ77, PackBits, etc.

A file with .tiff extension is designed for storing images with high-quality graphics, which is its clear benefit. To open a TIFF file, you don’t need specialized software, just use any of popular graphics programs, such as Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Windows Photos or CorelDRAW Graphics.

  • Great format for scanning and faxing
  • .tiff format isn’t compressed, so the data won’t get lost
  • Images are clear and of high quality
  • TIFF file size isn’t suitable for web use
  • It is difficult to send TIFF images because of a large size

Find out interesting details about the highest quality image format.

How to Open a TIFF File?

In most cases, users experience problems when they try to open a TIFF image because they choose the wrong program for such a task. That’s why, I decided to describe the most effective and easy-to-use software. Pay attention to the options described below.

Professional Software to Open a TIFF File

Adobe Illustrator. It’s a first program you can resort to if you are trying to figure out how to view a TIFF file. It is regularly used by graphic designers, who work with vector images. This software has proven to be super-convenient for creating sketches, logos, signs, illustrations for publishing and printing, as well as for typography needs. Illustrator is a go-to tool for web developers and designers, creating all sorts of graphic content.

Use Adobe Illustrator free trial to learn the principles of working with program.

Adobe Photoshop. Adobe Photoshop is often called the standard software for image editing, boasting a great variety of handy tools and features. There is hardly any other program designed for a similar purpose with so many users and admirers on the globe. However, we shouldn’t treat Ps as an image editor only, since it can offer many interesting features for video processing and 3D printing as well. Every improved version of this software, brings users more and more exciting functions. In Photoshop, TIFF image files have a bit depth of 8, 16, or 32 bit/channel.You can even save 32-bit HDR images in a TIFF format.

Find out how to get Photoshop Free.

Free Software to Open a TIFF File

Picasa. This program allows you to view and organize images, apply simple effects to them, share them with other users via social networks, email and a special web service. The program is helpful in creating collages, slide shows, presentations and videos. In terms of functionality, Picasa is inferior to previous programs from Adobe, but it is a good TIFF file viewer without needless frills.

ACDSee. If you don’t need a lot of photo editing features, use ACDSee Free – a free version of the popular image organizer. The program is very fast and has a large set of print options. As for the advanced features, this soft has profound zoom capabilities, as well as gamma correction function.

Open a TIFF File Online

Fviewer. This is a TIFF file viewer that opens documents both from a hard drive and from the Internet by adding a link to a file in a special window. If you need to open TIIFFs very quickly, this is the best variant.

Google Docs Viewer. This is an online service that runs on the Google Docs platform and allows you to view documents supported by the Google Docs service, including TIFF format files, directly in a web browser and without signing in. The advantage of this option is the ability to view documents in multiple formats without downloading them to a local disk.

Learn more about different file formats by checking out information about PSD file: how to open and convert.

How to Convert a TIFF?

XnConvert. XnConvert is suitable for converting a great number of files, TIFFs included. Actually, you can use it to turn images from 500 formats to 80 others – convert TIIF to PDF, JPG, PNG, etc. This software even allows you to convert multiple TIFF to PDF files at once, import folders and filters, change the size and other parameters to make work with photos even more convenient.

Zamzar. This is a very powerful TIFF file converter that you can use to work with other documents as well. For instance, you can take advantage of Zamzar if you need to convert to/from JPEG, EPUB, CR2 and many more.

The Image Converter. This is a multifunctional converter for iOS. Since the conversion is performed on the secure cloud server, the process takes less time and battery charge and is pretty understandable. The Image Converter requires a stable Internet connection for work. Once the conversion is over, the files are automatically removed from the server. You can also try Premium Pass (an auto-renewable subscription). It starts with a trial period (free) and is followed by a monthly subscription after the expiry date.


  • • What is a TIFF file and how it works?

This is a file format that provides lossless compression, which means your image won’t lose its quality while being processed. That’s why, photographers and graphic artists, working with high-resolution visual content often choose this format for archiving tasks.

  • • When should you use a TIFF file?

This file format is helpful if you regularly store and interchange high color-depth bitmap images on your computer. A TIFF format is supported by both Mac and Windows operating systems.

  • • Who invented the TIFF format?

Aldus Corporation created this file type for desktop publishing needs. The latest version 6.0 was released in 1992. In 1994, Adobe bought the Aldus copyright in 1994 and updated the TIFF format.

  • • Do you need a license to use TIFF files?

If you are going to use TIFF viewing and converting software, no license is required. You may need one, if you want to use available TIFF libraries. However, you can find license-free platforms.

  • • What is the average TIFF file size? How big can it be?

TIFF files are typically bigger than JPEG equivalents. They can be compressed or uncompressed undergoing lossless compression. TIFFs can have either 8 or 16-bits/channel, unlike JPEGs. Besides, you can merge TIFF files online into 1 file.