I already know what the graphics formats accepted by pdfTeX are, but I was not able to find an explanation. The question occurred me since, for instance, Microsoft Office Word accepts TIFF images. Does it convert them to other formats before exporting to pdf?

I would like to directly include .TIFF images in my pdf files generated with pdfLaTeX, since many academic journals accept .TIFF images but do not accept other lossless formats such as PNG.

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    I know a lot of journals say they want TIFF images, but my experience is that sending PDFs seems to satisfy the ones in my subject area. – Joseph Wright Apr 9 '18 at 9:03
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    you can already send the tiff images separately to the journal if they need that. By the time the image is in PDF it is no longer tiff so a word processor that includes tiff is no different from running a converter tiff to png first and then including png – David Carlisle Apr 9 '18 at 9:05
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    “When TIFF was introduced, its extensibility provoked compatibility problems. The flexibility in encoding gave rise to the joke that TIFF stands for Thousands of Incompatible File Formats.” – egreg Apr 9 '18 at 14:57

As I was the one who ripped out TIFF support from pdfTeX then:

  1. TIFF support was incomplete and broken; it supported only the RGB color space. CMYK images were treated as RGB (yes, really).
  2. We used libtiff for reading TIFFs, which had many security problems.
  3. TIFF is really a multitude of formats; supporting them all was much too complicated.
  4. Removing TIFF significantly reduced the size of the pdfTeX binary.

In short: It was easier and much more secure to rip out TIFF support and improve the PDF import.

| improve this answer | |
  • I am trying to create a PDF/X-4 file using images that both have transparency and have a CMYK colour profile. What other image formats can be used for this? I just posted a question about this. – kojow7 Feb 12 at 17:02
  • @kojow7 PDF. :-) – Martin Schröder Feb 12 at 18:33
  • I'm not sure I fully understand you. – kojow7 Feb 12 at 19:42
  • @kojow7 Convert your images to PDF with another program and let the TeX engines embed those PDFs. – Martin Schröder Feb 12 at 21:19

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