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.
- TIFF format documents stored in our document management system are viewed with software called WebXtender.
See Viewing Document Management System TIFF Images using WebXtender for more.
The document management system software does not provide any support for viewing TIFF images that are stored in the file-based system outside of our document management system.
This page explains viewing TIFF images stored in our 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.
- Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP users can use the included
Windows Photo Viewer, Windows Photo Gallery, and Windows Picture and Fax Viewer,
Microsoft Office users may have Microsoft Office Document Imaging.
These programs are Windows desktop applications and not web browser plug-ins.
The viewing programs are opened as applications in
another window outside of your web browser and operation isn't as smooth or clean.
Zooming and navigating around the image can be slow or awkward.
For users of these programs, we recommend using one of the TIFF viewer plug-ins described below instead of the
Windows 98 and Windows 2000 users are in luck!
Kodak Imaging for Windows is included with the Windows 98 and Windows 2000 operating systems.
If you use Internet Explorer, then Imaging for Windows is used to view TIFF images by default and is fully
integrated with the browser.
You don't need to do anything special to make it work.
However, you may want to consider the Brava! Reader or CPC View plug-in viewers for their added features.
If your prints fill the page but show only a portion of the document, you need to tell Imaging to use "Fit to page" for printing.
To set "Fit to page" for printing, you need to use Imaging's File menu. Unfortunately, when the image is displayed
in a frame as most are on our site, then the File menu is Internet Explorer's File menu and not Imaging's.
To set "Fit to page" for printing, you need to open a TIFF image without frames.
You can click on this sample TIFF image to do this.
Then in Internet Explorer, choose File, Print..., Image Options, Print Format and select "Fit to Page" and
apply your change.
Imaging should retain this setting.
Setting landscape page orientation may also be problematic.
If a link to the image you want is shown, such as 002D.TIF, you can right-click on the link and choose "Open in new window"
to view the document without frames. Then use File, Print... to set landscape or other print options.
If you do a lot of printing, you may want to consider another TIFF viewer.
Some Windows 95 users can also use
Kodak Imaging for Windows as described above for Windows 98 and Internet Explorer.
It's not included in all versions of Windows 95.
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.
from Medical Informatics Engineering
is an entirely free browser plug-in that displays most of the common types of TIFF image files.
AlternaTIFF was designed primarily to be used for convenient viewing of large black-and-white scanned documents, with a bare
minimum of mouse clicks.
It is not as full-featured as some of the others, but it may meet your needs.
It's biggest limitation is that it can't zoom to any scale.
You can still adjust the view scale in fixed increments and use the magnify tool for detail.
You can print the entire document but it can't print the current view of the TIFF document.
If AlternaTIFF stops working or another viewer takes over TIFF viewing with Internet Explorer,
go to the AlternaTIFF ActiveX auto-installation page,
click on "Auto-install AlternatTIFF ActiveX control",
then scroll to the bottom of the bottom frame and choose the "click here to reactivate it" link.
from Informative Graphics
is a free viewer for their CSF (content sealed format) file format.
Brava! Reader is also a TIFF viewer that can be used as a standalone application or as an ActiveX add-on (plug-in)
for Internet Explorer.
It provides features such as:
document navigation and zoom control, rotation, area magnification, measurement tools, and printing
defined regions of a TIFF document.
Important things to know:
- The Brava! Reader requires that you upgrade to the latest version approximately every eight months.
If this will be a problem or could become one, then use another TIFF Viewer.
- See our Tips for Using Brava! Reader
for important settings to integrate Brava! Reader with your web browser and other helpful tips for getting started.
- CPC View
from Cartesian Products, Inc.
is a high-performance viewer for documents stored in a
variety of document image formats, including the TIFF format used by this web
CPC View supports sophisticated features such as document
navigation, scaling, rotation, anti-aliased images in both a page view and
thumbnail view, extensive annotation capabilities, and much more.
CPC View can print your current view of the TIFF document as well as the entire document.
A single user
CPC View license costs $29.95.
Volume licensing is
also available at significantly lower prices.
is a free viewer, but it only works with Cartesian's proprietary CPC format and
not the more common TIFF images used by this web site.)
- Another TIFF image viewer is TiffSurfer
If you've already read about it, you can go directly to their
download page to get an evaluation copy.
You can evaluate TiffSurfer for two weeks after which all functions time out.
TiffSurfer is $49.95.
Contact for volume and site licensing.
ActiveCGM Browser is available in a free version.
While it is primarily intended for viewing CGM files, the ActiveX control version
for Internet Explorer also browses TIFF images.
The Netscape plug-in version of ActiveCGM does not support TIFF images.
Be sure to download the ActiveX Control for Internet Explorer and not the Plug-In for Netscape Navigator.
You may find the ActiveCGM Browser FAQ helpful.
The FAQ includes a link to online documentation.
Once you have ActiveCGM installed, use the right mouse button to control image viewing.
makes the Accel ViewTIFF plug-in for Windows or Macintosh OS.
- Prizm Viewer from Pegasus Imaging Corporation is available for trial download.
- For Linux users, a plug-in called Plugger works with Netscape Communicator.