TIF Tagged Image File Format File Description

Surfer can import and export .TIF and .TIFF files. The tagged image file format .TIF or .TIFF is a file format for storing images, including photographs and line art. The TIFF format is widely supported by a variety of applications. In addition to raster graphic TIFF files, Surfer can import and export XY and XYZ data to the GeoTIFF format. GeoTIFFs can be imported as images or used as a grid data file.

When a .TIF or .TIFF file contains attribute information, Surfer imports this information and stores it on the Info tab.

The TIFF specification allows an unusually wide variety of different formats and encodings within the same file format. While the filter can read most of the common variants of TIFF, it would be impractical to develop software to read every possible variant. The TIFF filter supports a wide variety of TIFF files that use the PlanarConfiguration 2 encodings.

TIFF images that contain bit per pixel counts other than 1, 4, 8, 16, 24, or 32 may not be readable depending on the encoding and alignment of the data.

TIFF images that are encoded with photometric interpretation models other than RGB, YCbCr, grayscale, or monochrome may not be readable.

Some of the compression algorithms allowable under the TIFF specification are not supported by Surfer.


A GeoTIFF file is similar to an image TIFF file, except additional tags provide coordinate system information (e.g. XY coordinate values and projection information). It can also contain Z values for the pixels instead of color information. A GeoTIFF filescan be opened as a base(raster) layer or can be used as a grid file in any of the grid-based layers, such as a contour map or 3D surface map, or grid functions (e.g. Grid Math, Grid Volume, etc.). If a GeoTIFF does not have Z values associated with it, then the color information is converted into Z values in a range between 0 and 255.

Import Options

When opening a TIFF file as an image, base layer, or grid with the Open Grid dialog, a TIFF Import Options dialog is displayed.

Import Automation Options

No import automation options are available when importing the TIFF file as an image or base layer. When opening a TIFF file as a grid, see TIF Tagged Image File Import Automation Options.

Export Options Dialog

See TIF Tagged Image Export Options Dialog.

Export Automation Options

To export a TIFF as a grid, see TIF Image As Grid Export Automation.

To export a TIFF as an image, see Image (Bitmap) Export Automation Options.

See Also

Bitmap Export Automation Options

Export Options - Size and Color

Export Options - Spatial References

File Format Chart

Tagged Image File Format .TIF Export Automation Options

Tagged Image File Format .TIF Export Options Dialog