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Pima County Geographic Information Systems

Developing GIS data for the Web

Viewing TIFF Images


TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) is a compressed format commonly used to store images of scanned documents. Scanned documents on this site are in TIFF format. Our site uses two systems for storing TIFF documents, a document management system and a file-based system.

You can view TIFF files directly on the web by using a web browser plug-in or helper application outside of your web browser. Most of these options let you view the images with pan and zoom capability. A TIFF viewer plug-in lets you view the image in your web browser and is the preferred choice for web browsing. This site was designed to work best with viewing solutions integrated with your web browser, that is, with plug-in TIFF viewers. Macintosh users should see Viewing TIFF Images on a Macintosh.

The various TIFF viewing options below each have different advantages and disadvantages. They differ in cost, features, ease-of-use and availability. You can use one of these or any other TIFF viewer you may have or find. The choice is yours.

Some viewers run as external applications and are not true web browser plugins. Our web pages were not designed to use these external applications. While you can view the images, additional windows are opened that are not integrated with the intended browser window frames as the true plug-ins are. Many users are quite happy with this approach but we recommend one of the plugins.

One feature that may be important to you is the ability to print your current view or a selected area of the TIFF document and not just the entire document. For instance, you may have a small format (such as 8.5"x11") printer and are interested in printing just a section of the document to fill the printed page instead of the whole document page. We use both CPC View and the free Brava! Reader (both described below) because they not only integrate with the web browser, they also support printing a portion of the document page. The Brava! Reader's print dialog has a "Print Region" option that lets you drag a rectangle over the area you want to print. The CPC View print dialog allows you to specify "Current view" under "Print range" as well as "All".

You may have software that interferes with TIFF Viewing!

TIFF viewing options built into Windows

With the exception of Internet Explorer with Windows 98 and Windows 2000, the TIFF viewing solutions built into Windows are not integrated with your web browser. For anything besides casual use, you will probably prefer an integrated (plug-in) solution.

TIFF viewer plugins

You can download and install one of these plug-ins to view TIFF images. Follow their instructions.

Only a few of these TIFF viewer plug-ins are free. If you know of a free TIFF viewer plug-in, please contact and we'll add it to the list.