TIFF, Tagged Image File Format, is by far one of the best and most useful formats in Photoshop CS6. One of the great qualities of TIFFs is that they are totally cross-platform. Additionally, almost every program on the planet can import TIFFs. This file format works especially well for printed or color-separated images.

Photoshop enables you to save layers and transparency and use various methods of compression. You have the option of having Photoshop warn you that including layers increases your file size. To enable this option, select the Ask Before Saving Layered TIFF Files check box in the File Handling section of the Preferences dialog box (Edit→Preferences→File Handling on a Windows computer or Photoshop→Preferences→File Handling on the Mac).

Photoshop saves the layers, along with a flattened version of the image. Be aware that some applications, such as PowerPoint, may display only the flattened version (in which case, transparency isn’t preserved).

Version CS6 is able to read the BigTIFF format. This file format is a variation of TIFF and can support larger files. If you’ve never heard of BigTIFF, no worries. It is not widely supported by most applications.

It should come as no surprise that the most commonly used format offers a variety of options — all of which are available in the TIFF Options dialog box.