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Whats the deal with TIFFs ?

 2:17 am on Mar 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

Alrighty, i can distinguish between when i have to use GIF and JPG, but when it comes to print, everyone seems to use TIFFs. I wasnt familiar of what they can do, so i used BMPs for my pics for print. They were too damn big though...

Why should I use TIFFs for print work? Just wondering what they do... if theyre smaller.. more colors?



 2:53 am on Mar 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

TIFF is a very flexible format that can use a number of compression types (or none), color spaces, etc. see [home.earthlink.net...]
Software compatability (particularly print related) is a strong point. Big is usually good in print work.


 4:17 am on Mar 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

JPEG files lose information from the image files during compression... It's a "lossy" file format. TIFF doesn't "lose" information... it's a lossless format, so it's perfect for storing "master copies" of images. You can make copies of the TIFF in whatever format you want, and still have the top-quality original TIFF file to work from in the future.

For print, images are used at much higher resolution than web images (600ppi or more, as compared to 72ppi...). If you used a lossy image format, the "blemishes" it caused in your images would be very apparent in your final print job... with a lossless format, you can have a very high resolution image that will print properly.


 5:45 pm on Mar 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

Also, eps format is widely used for print jobs. There are several designers who swear by eps and don't use anything else. The argument is that the eps format is the most accurate. I use both.


 6:09 pm on Mar 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

EPS is the way to go for vector image files, for sure... but if you're scanning photos into a print job, TIFF has proved most convenient for me.


 6:42 pm on Mar 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

I've found 300dpi is the best resolution for print work. The TIFF file should be saved in CMYK mode. Of course, I always convert everything to PostScript anyway before sending it off to the service bureau for the films.

TIFF files are great for cross-platform compatibility. However, if you are sending TIFFS to a different computer platform, I don't recommend using compression techniques, because the compression algos are many times NOT cross-platform compatible.

Using the BMP format should work fine for you if you're just doing web work. Just make sure to convert everything to GIF or JPEG format before publishing.


 7:56 pm on Mar 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

Good info, very good. One question, if I mayż
WIll TIFFs save the layers?
I usually save original scans as PSD or PSP to keep layer information, but they can be a bit heavy sometimes (I'm a detail freak). I Would TIFF work just as well?


 8:00 pm on Mar 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

Once I create a PSD file, I usually keep it that way, disk space be d@mned. (especially for layered files) I think of TIFF as a great format for storing scans/photos/flat files. However, YMMV.

Then, when I send something off for printing, I'll usually include single layer copies in TIFF, EPS and PDF (depending on the desired quality of the print output, I may leave out the PDF on some jobs), or a nice set of color separations.


 8:06 pm on Mar 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

I am pretty sure that tiffs don't save layers. The only format that my photoshop will allow me to save layers in is psd.


 8:11 pm on Mar 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

PhotoShop 6 gives me the option of saving you layer data in a variety of formats... But I use PSD anyhow.


 8:12 pm on Mar 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

>tiffs don't save layers
Absolutely right, just checked it out and they merge it seems.
Happilly I just fitted a new hard drive so I got space again, <grin>

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