Files that contain the TIF extension are known as a Tagged Image File Format, which is the reason the files are also referred to as TIFF files. TIF files are a widely used format for storing bitmap images. The format is designed to maintain the integrity of the file contents during compression and without sacrificing quality.
TIF is a standard format for exchanging complete pages of information and contains bitmap data only. The files can be saved in an uncompressed format or you can compress them in a JPEG format. TIF image files can also use LZW lossless compression, which means there is no loss in quality due to compression. Lossless ensures that a TIF file can be read in the exact format it was created.
TIF files are also supported by a variety of image editing applications and can be converted to another format for use with additional compatible programs.
How to Open TIF Files
Before you start searching for an application to open TIF files, double click on the file to see if it automatically opens in a default application. There are a variety of image editing programs that will open TIF files. This means the file may find an application by default when you click on it.
If you use Windows, you can use Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop to open TIF files. These applications are part of the Adobe CS6 Creative Suite of applications. If you do not have this program installed, you can open TIF files using ACDSee Photo Manager 14, ACD Systems Canvas 14, Roxio Creator 2012, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X6, or MS Paint.
For Mac OS X, you can use Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop from the CS6 Creative Suite or you can use Adobe Photoshop Elements 10. These programs are available for download on the Adobe website. You can also use Roxio Toast 11, ACDSee Pro for Mac, or Nuance OmniPage Pro X.
If you simply want to view the TIF file without performing any edits, you can use Microsoft Windows Photo Viewer, Apple Preview for Mac, or any other type of image viewing program such as XnView, FastStone, or IrfanView.
You can also opt to convert a TIF file to another format, such as JPG or PDF. In this instance, you can use any file conversion program or image editing program, such as the ones described above, to open the TIF file and then save it to another format. There are websites such as Zamzar which will perform free file conversion for you. Simply log onto the website, browse for a TIF file, choose a new format, enter your email address and then click on Convert. Within minutes you will receive the new file format in your email inbox.