Software & Apps File Types 167 167 people found this article helpful What Are TIF and TIFF Files? How to open and convert a tagged image file (TIF) by Tim Fisher General Manager, VP, Lifewire.com Tim Fisher has 30+ years' professional technology support experience. He writes troubleshooting content and is the General Manager of Lifewire. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Tim Fisher Updated on March 31, 2020 reviewed by Ryan Perian Lifewire Tech Review Board Member Ryan Perian is a certified IT specialist who holds numerous IT certifications and has 12+ years' experience working in the IT industry support and management positions. our review board Article reviewed on Mar 27, 2020 Ryan Perian File Types Design Cryptocurrency MS Office Windows Linux Google Drive Apps File Types Backup & Utilities View More Tweet Share Email A file with the TIF or TIFF file extension is a tagged image file. This type of file is used for high-quality raster type graphics. The format supports lossless compression, in which no image data is lost during the compression process. This lets graphic artists and photographers archive their high-quality photos in a manageable amount of storage space without compromising quality. TIFF and TIF can be used interchangeably. TIFF is an acronym for tagged image file format. GeoTIFF image files also use the TIF file extension. These are image files that store GPS coordinates as metadata with the file, using the extensible features of the TIFF format. Some scanning, faxing, and optical character recognition (OCR) applications also utilize TIF files. How to Open a TIF File Windows Photo Viewer and Photos, both included with the different version of Windows, can be used to open a TIF file. These apps don't provide a means for editing them, though. On a Mac, the Preview app can open TIF files. Third-party apps are also available for viewing and editing TIF files, especially in the case of multi-page TIF files. Popular apps include GraphicConverter, ACDSee, ColorStrokes, and XnView. How to Edit TIF Files One option for editing a TIF file is to use one of the conversion tools below. You'll get a TIF editor and converter in one tool. If you want to keep the file in the TIF format but edit it, you can use the free photo editing program GIMP. Other popular photo and graphics tools can work with TIF files as well, such as Adobe Photoshop, but these are often not available for free. If you're working with a GeoTIFF image file, you can open the TIF file with a program like Geosoft Oasis montaj, ESRI ArcGIS Desktop, or GDAL. How to Convert a TIF File If you have an image editor or viewer on your computer that supports TIF files, you can open the file in that program and then save the TIF file to a different image format, such as JPG. This can usually be accomplished through the program's File menu, like File > Save as, and selecting a different image format. Tim Fisher There are also free image converter programs you can use, some of which run entirely online so that you don't have to download anything. In some cases, free online document converters can handle TIF file conversions, too. For example, CoolUtils.com and Zamzar are two free online TIF converters that can convert TIF to JPG, GIF, PNG, ICO, TGA, and even PDF file formats. GeoTIFF image files can generally be converted in the same way as a regular TIF/TIFF file. If converting a GeoTIFF image file, the GPS metadata may be lost in the process. More Information on the TIF/TIFF Format The TIFF format was developed by a company called Aldus Corporation for desktop publishing purposes. Adobe now owns the copyright to the TIF format. Version 1 of the standard was released in 1986, TIFF became an international standard format in 1993, and 6.0 is the latest version.