Difference between TIF and TIFF

Key difference: Both, TIF and TIFF are filename extensions used for the Tagged Image File Format. There is actually no difference between the two, except for the number of characters used.

Both, TIF and TIFF are filename extensions used for the Tagged Image File Format. There is actually no difference between the two, except for the number of characters used. The Tagged Image File Format is a file format for storing images. It is popular among graphic artists, the publishing industry, and among both amateur and professional photographers. The Tagged Image File Format is currently under the control of Adobe Systems.

The Tagged Image File Format is widely supported by image-manipulation applications, by publishing and page layout applications, 3-D imaging applications, and by scanning, faxing, word processing, optical character recognition and other applications. It is a bitmapped image format that supports various resolutions. The Tagged Image File Format is used to store very large, high quality images, with files being as large as 4GB each.

The reason for the different file extensions dates back to the early versions of Windows. The original file extension for the Tagged Image File Format was ‘.tiff’; however in Windows all files required a three letter file extension. So, the file extension was shortened to ‘.tif’. However, Macintosh was not limited to three letter file extensions, so Mac users used ‘.tiff’. Eventually, with upgrades Windows also began to accept ‘.tiff’. However, many users were already used to ‘.tif’, so both the three letter file extension and the four letter extension began to be commonly used, and still is.

Today, the most commonly accepted and used form is the ‘.tif’, as many users were Windows users. Imaging applications, such as Adobe Photoshop, saves all TIFF files with a ".tif" extension on both Mac and Windows, in an attempt to avoid confusion. The Tagged Image File Format can also be saved with the upper-case ‘.TIFF’ and ‘.TIF’ file extensions, which are less common, but also accepted.

Image Courtesy: softicons.com, tiffrepair.com

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