tiff The TIFF format was developed by the company Aldus in 1986, which was later acquired by Adobe systems who now own the rights on the format specification. TIFF, which refers to the Tagged Image File Format, is a raster graphics file format popularly used in desktop publishing and print. Its initial development goal was to create an alternative and cross platform format that would replace the numerous proprietary formats used by scanners developed in the 80's. Later revisions, after Adobe took over the development of the format, saw the TIFF format become extensible to adapt with growing and changing needs of the graphics industry. TIFF supports high color depth and is well suited to OCR applications, scanning, image editing and authoring as well as word processing. The format uses the filename extension .tiff for files stored in the format.