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File format Question:  Opinions Wanted  TIFF vs. JPEG, vs XPS

Posted on 2014-09-05
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Last Modified: 2014-09-10
My scanner offers TIFF, JPEG and XPS (in addition to other formats which I already understand.
Why should I choose TIFF over JPEG or XPS?
What questions should I ask myself  in making this decision?
What are the advantages/disadvantages with each?
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Question by:brothertruffle880
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Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
ID: 40305809
TIFF is a "Lossless" Format, hence the huge size by comparison to most other formats.  The question is "What are you doing with the images after you scan them"
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016 earned 300 total points
ID: 40305892
> Why should I choose TIFF over JPEG or XPS?

Based on my real world experience (and that's all it is — my experience), I see very little XPS. Microsoft developed it, but I think it's fair to say that it has not been widely accepted — unlike PDF, which is now ubiquitous.

JPEG is good for graphics imaging (photos), but it is a single image/page. TIFF is better for document imaging, because it has multi-page capability. It also offers many compression techniques, the most popular being ITU-T (formerly CCITT) Group 4. See this article for a discussion of TIFF compression:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Web_Development/Document_Imaging/A_10745-How-To-Combine-Merge-Append-TIFF-Files-in-Batch-Mode.html

It's a long article and you may not want to read the whole thing, so just skip to the section that talks about TIFF compression.

> What questions should I ask myself in making this decision?

Primary question (between TIFF and JPEG...I'm ignoring XPS...rather than XPS, use PDF, which I'm sure your scanner offers): Am I doing graphics imaging or document imaging?

> What are the advantages/disadvantages with each?

JPEG: Many tools available for image editing, but single item/page only.

TIFF: Multi-page capability, widespread acceptance, been around a long time, but in recent years, the trend has been to PDF.

Regards, Joe
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Assisted Solution

by:Dan Craciun
Dan Craciun earned 100 total points
ID: 40305905
Coming from a publisher/printer experience, you would scan to TIFF if you ever intend to use those scans for professional printing (either on a digital or offset machine). If you send JPGs to a printer you'll get some weird looks.

If you don't need that, stick to JPG or, better yet, as Joe said, PDF.

HTH,
Dan
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Accepted Solution

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Paul Sauvé earned 100 total points
ID: 40306027
If you don't need to edit your image after scanning, then use JPG or PDF. Otherwise, you should use TIF, since every time you modify and save the same jpg file, you lose some quality.

Also, you'll find that most image editors (not ALL) do NOT open .PDF files - exceptions IrfanView, GIMP, possibly Photoshop...
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