Tiff vs. PDF File Formats

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Several file formats are in use to store documents and images. Every file formats have some pros and cons. Tagged Image file format (TIFF) and Portable Document Format (PDF) are two of the most widely used Image formats. Both of these document formats have few advantages and certain limitations and they are used in different situations. This article deals with the advantages, disadvantages and comparisons of these formats. Let us first discuss the TIFF file format.

Tagged Image File Format (TIFF)

TIFF file format is a type of raster image file formats. On contrary to JPEG image formats, TIFF file formats can’t be compressed. These are a type of raster image types. Raster images are those images which are composed of several pixels, like bitmap images which consist of bit. Increasing or increasing the size of these pictures may distort the actual image unlike the vector images which are defined by mathematical formulas, hence resizing those images do not have any impact on image quality but this is not the case with TIFF images. TIFF images can be very easily modified and updated due to flexibility of the format, it is for this reason TIFF Images are mostly used by graphic designers and image editing experts.

Portable Document Format (PDF)

Portable document format is the most widely used document format due to its portability and interoperability. Portable document formats are able to store both raster as well as vector images. PDF is also considered the most secure document format. PDF documents can be compressed using specialized tools and they are often used on internet for document transferring owing to portability. Originally TIFF was used for documents archiving but now PDF has taken its place for that purpose.

PDF vs. TIFF: A comparison

PDF and TIFF have been compared on the basis of several properties as mentioned in the following table.
Easily Modified and Updated
Needs Special Software to modify
Image Type
Contain only Raster Images
Contain both raster and vector Images
Web Browser Readability
Can’t be read in a web browser
HTML supports PDF readability
Less Secure
More sophisticated security technique
Presentation Quality
Less Quality Presentation
High quality presentation
Documents and Link Attachment
Is not able to attach other documents and links
Can attach other document types with it along with hyperlinks and
Print Quality
Not suitable for  printing owing to inability to retain original document content
Can contain text and able to retain original document content in the printed form
Here is the sample how to convert PDF to TIFF


TIFF images can be used in scenarios where documents are not being transferred online and image quality is not a preference or we want to modify the image. However, if we require high
quality and secure file format PDF is the best option.