TIFF File Format in Photoshop Elements 10 - dummies

TIFF File Format in Photoshop Elements 10

By Barbara Obermeier, Ted Padova

TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) is the most common format used by graphic designers. TIFF (*.TIF, *.TIFF) is generally used for importing images in professional layout programs, such as Adobe InDesign and Adobe PageMaker, and when commercial photo labs and print shops use equipment that supports downloading TIFF files directly to their devices. (Note: Direct downloads are used in lieu of opening a Print dialog box.)

Inasmuch as creative professionals have used TIFF for so long, a better choice for designers using a program such as Adobe InDesign is saving in the native Photoshop PSD file format. This requires a creative professional to save only one file in native format without bothering to save both native and TIFF formats.

TIFF, along with Photoshop PSD and Photoshop PDF, supports saving layered files and works in all color modes. When you save in TIFF format, you can also compress files in several different compression schemes, and compression with TIFF files doesn’t lose data unless you choose a JPEG compression.

When you select TIFF for the format and click Save in the Save/Save As dialog box, the TIFF Options dialog box opens.


In the Image Compression area, you have these choices:

  • NONE. Selecting this option results in no compression. You use this option when sending files to creative professionals for creating layouts in programs such as Adobe InDesign. (None of the following three compression schemes are recommended for printing files to commercial printing devices.)

  • LZW. This lossless compression scheme results in much lower file sizes without destroying data.

  • ZIP. ZIP is also a lossless compression scheme. You can favor ZIP compression over LZW when you have large areas of the same color in an image.

  • JPEG. JPEG is lossy and results in the smallest file sizes. Use JPEG here the same as when you apply JPEG compression with files saved in the JPEG format.