packages icon
| tiff2png - converts a Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) file into      |
|            a Portable Network Graphics (PNG) file                    |
|                                                                      |
| Copyright 1996,2000 Willem van Schaik, Singapore ( |
| Copyright 1999-2002 Greg Roelofs (                    |
|                                                                      |
| version 0.91 - September 2002 [see GRR NOTES / CHANGELOG below]      |

  This is the first attempt for a tiff2png program. Reason to develop
  it was the lack of conversion possibilities for TIFF files containing
  alpha channels. 

  Especially NeXT users create lots of TIFF files that have the rather
  exceptional 2-bit gray and 4-bit color formats, where both can have
  an alpha channel besides the graphics info. Because PBMplus is not
  supporting alpha, that path "tifftopnm <file> | pnmtopng > <file>"
  makes that the alpha and transparency gets lost.

  I have chosen to use PNG formats as similar as possible to the
  format of the original TIFF file. Thus, paletted TIFF files will be
  converted into PNG files with color-type 3 (= paletted). Only for
  some cased the bit-depth had to be altered to accommodate both

  At this moment the program supports grayscale images, full-color RGB
  images, and colormapped (palette) images. This is all in 1 to 16 bits
  per sample (i.e., up to 64-bit RGBA).  The compression is as good as
  or better than libtiff is, which is pretty OK. I also implemented
  support for both single-image-planes as well as separated-color-planes.
  Support for so-called tiled images I have left out, for the time being.
  [partial support for tiled images added as of version 0.9]

  Major headaches were the PhotometricInterpretation parameters
  "min-is-white" and "min-is-black". I couldn't yet figure it out for
  100%, but I suspect incompatibilities between older (netpbm) version
  2.4 of libtiff and the later v3.x.  The "-invert" option is available
  in case there are still problems with some images.

  The major decoding and coding work is done by the libtiff, libpng, and
  zlib libraries; newer versions of libtiff can optionally use libjpeg,
  as well.  So you need to get those as well.  The latest versions of
  libtiff can be found here:

  Older versions may still exist here:   [contains 2.4]

  libpng and zlib may be found at these sites:

  or here: (libpng* or lpng*, and zlib*)

  libjpeg is available here:

  To build, first make zlib, libpng, libjpeg, and libtiff according to
  their build instructions.  Then edit the tiff2png makefile so that the
  locations of the libraries are correct, and type "make".  A separate
  archive,, contains some test files; the included
  script will convert all of the TIFFs, overwriting the PNGs at
  the same time. :-) If you have a web browser with adequate alpha support
  (see for info and links),
  you can test the results by loading Alpha.html in your browser and see
  what happens when you change the background color of the page.

  I also tested this utility against the test pictures at
  With the exception of the tiled images (not retested since support for
  tiled images was added in tiff2png 0.9), the results were good. But
  there can and will still be many TIFF files that don't convert correctly.
  Please send Greg a copy if you come across such a beast--as long as
  it's not multi-megabytes in size!
  For the time being I concentrated on straightforward support of as
  many formats as possible. Future plans are to create PNG chunks for
  all those informational fields that TIFF also contains, like Name,
  Date, Position, Resolution, etc. A somewhat bolder plan is to
  convert the ColorResponseCurves field into PNG gamma/chromaticity
  or iCCP chunks. We'll see. At the moment there is a command-line
  parameter to add a gamma chunk to your PNG file; if you know what
  color space the image pixels are in (e.g., sRGB -> gamma 1/2.2 =
  0.45455), you can (and should!) add this information to the PNG

  The tiff2png web page is here:

  Willem's home page is here:

  Please send bug reports to Greg Roelofs ( and thanks
  to Willem (



16 September 1999 - version 0.7:

  I updated tiff2png 0.6 of May 1996 to version 0.7 in July 1999.  My
  changes include the following:

	- slightly generalized Makefile, including static-library build
	- updated libpng interface
	- new libpng error handler (avoids jmp_buf size mismatches between
	   library and application)
	- new usage() function
	- PNG pHYs support (aspect ratio, resolution)
	- optional new -faxpect option (only if compiled with FAXPECT defined)

  The last item is somewhat special-purpose, which is why it's ifdef'd.  At
  least in my tests with efax 0.9, a Supra fax modem, and the various fax
  machines to which I have access at work (including all of their "fineness"
  options), *all* incoming faxes arrive with doubled horizontal resolution.
  With -faxpect, tiff2png will detect if the aspect ratio is close to 2:1
  and, if so, halve the horizontal resolution to give a near-1:1 aspect
  ratio.  The algorithm is trivial:  if both neighboring pixels are white,
  the result pixel is white; if both black, black; and if there's one of
  each, the result is mid-level gray (127).  (This necessarily means the
  output file is 2-bit palette-based, not grayscale, since only 8-bit PNG
  grayscale includes the mid-level gray, and compression can't recover the
  factor-of-four increase in pixel depth.)  The results look pretty decent.

  Also note that even libtiff 3.4beta028 needs the OLDTIFF macro defined
  (see the Makefile comments), at least in all the cases I was able to test.
  I don't know what the difference is between my system and Willem's.

  Finally, I've removed the (very) old libtiff from the tiff2png 0.7 tar
  distribution; newer versions are available from the SGI web site mentioned
  above (

26 January 2000 - version 0.8:

  I updated tiff2png 0.7 to version 0.8 in January 2000 and tested it
  with libpng 3.5.4.  Changes include:

	- improved Makefile (thanks to
	- improved memory/resource management (TIFFClose(), fclose(), etc.)
	- added -compression option to set zlib compression level
	- added multi-file support, including -destdir option

  The last item breaks command-line compatibility with earlier versions
  (which required exactly one TIFF input name and one PNG output name),
  but it brings tiff2png more in line with gif2png--that is, you can now
  do "tiff2png *.tif *.tiff" and get the expected conversion of many TIFF
  files all at once.  (Alternatively, you can do "tiff2png -destdir /here
  /there/*.tif" to convert TIFFs /there to PNGs /here.  The destination
  directory must exist and be writable, of course.)  The program replaces
  the ".tif" or ".tiff" extension with ".png"; if neither extension is
  found, ".png" is simply appended to the TIFF filename.

  Oh, and I also took the liberty of changing the capitalization to
  "tiff2png"; not only does that match both the actual binary name and
  gif2png's convention, it also seemed more logical.  (That is, "TIFF"
  is an acronym; either all letters should be capitalized or none of them
  should be.  Ditto for PNG.)

13 February 2000 - version 0.81:

  Version 0.81 consists only of fixes/improvements to the -destdir option;
  now if no target directory is given, the current directory is assumed.
  Thanks to TenThumbs once again.

  (Well, I also fixed a compiler warning and made a minor modification to
  the makefile, but you get the general idea.)

5 August 2000:

  Willem is back and will be taking over maintenance of tiff2png once
  again!  (Also, tiff2png URL corrected above.)

4 November 2000 - version 0.81b:

  Willem released a version 0.82 in July, but it doesn't include the changes
  from either 0.8 or 0.81 (see above).  In particular, it still expects both
  an input name and an output name on the command line, and it doesn't check
  whether the output file exists before overwriting it, which is quite dan-
  gerous for those of us who have grown accustomed to typing "tiff2png *.tiff"
  under Unix.  (In such a case, the second TIFF file would be overwritten
  with the PNG conversion of the first TIFF file.)  Willem's version can be
  found at, for those who want to
  try it anyway.

  In the meantime, back in September I made a version 0.81b with the following
  two bug fixes:

	- fixed 16-bit-per-sample support (copied from Willem's version 0.82)
	- fixed Makefile (no attempt to install non-existent man page)

  Presumably Willem will reintegrate his other changes (e.g., -invert option
  and contributed multipage support) at some point in the near future.

12 November 2000 - version 0.81c:

  Oops, I overlooked one of Willem's 16-bit changes, and both of us missed an
  earlier, critical bug in the 16-bit code.  Thanks to some 16-bit grayscale
  test images supplied by Ron Emaus of Pfizer, I was able to do a bit of real
  testing and track down the latter problem; version 0.81c fixes all known
  16-bit bugs (although I still don't have any big-endian test files).  It
  also includes Willem's -invert option, support for YCbCr images with JPEG
  compression and for Log(L) images with SGILog compression, and a new Win32
  makefile (tested with MSVC 5.0, libtiff 3.5.5, libjpeg 6b, libpng 1.0.8,
  and zlib 1.1.3).

1 July 2002 - version 0.9:

  Willem has passed the maintainership of his fine utility to me, and this
  release merely incorporates a bunch of saved-up patches, mostly from other
  folks.  Frank A. Palmieri added support for tiled TIFFs (contiguous only);
  TenThumbs (SJT) added auto-detection of 8-bit color data in 16-bit palettes
  (which _appears_ to be a long-standing bug in a number of TIFFs, including
  some immense geophysical ones from the US NOAA); Nelson Beebe pointed out
  a number of C++ comments, which aren't accepted by some C compilers; and I
  added support for wildcards under emx+gcc and added some more checks for
  out-of-memory conditions.  I also updated much of this README to be a little
  more coherent.  (No, less schizophrenic!  No, more coherent! ;-) )

  Version 1.0 should be the next release, hopefully soon, and it will finally
  merge the rest of Willem's 0.82 changes.  (That said, this utility has been
  quite stable for quite a few years already, so it can already be considered
  "post-1.0" in all but, number.)

12 September 2002 - version 0.91:

  No merge or version 1.0 yet, but two fixes:  correct scaling for sub-8-bps
  RGB and RGBA, and correct big- and little-endian support for 16-bps images.
  (Many thanks to Rhett Sutphin for providing test images and quick feedback
  on both big- and little-endian machines!)

  I also documented a couple more potential gotchas that I can't test at the
  moment:  lack of MINISWHITE support for RGB and RGBA, and lack of support
  for non-contiguous (separated-plane) tiled images.  I suspect both are
  valid according to the TIFF spec (what isn't...), but I haven't verified

  (Btw, 1.0 and the final merge will still happen as soon as time permits.)

Greg Roelofs