Sustainability of Digital Formats: Planning for Library of Congress Collections

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TIFF Bitmap with Group 4 Compression

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Format Description Properties Explanation of format description terms

Identification and description Explanation of format description terms

Full name TIFF, Group 4 Compressed Bitmap
Description A tag-based file format for storing and interchanging raster images; in this subtype, TIFF wraps a bitmap compressed using ITU_G4 (ITU-T T.6. Facsimile Coding Schemes and Coding Control Functions for Group 4 Facsimile Apparatus), and is thus limited to bitonal imaging, suitable for the reproduction of typographic or line-art originals.
Production phase Most often an initial-state or middle-state format; may serve as a final-state format.
Relationship to other formats
    Subtype of TIFF_6, TIFF, Revision 6.0 and earlier
    Contains ITU_G4, ITU-T Group 4 FAX Compression

Local use Explanation of format description terms

LC experience or existing holdings See TIFF_6
LC preference One of the preferred formats for bitmapped images.

Sustainability factors Explanation of format description terms

Disclosure See TIFF_6
    Documentation See TIFF_6

TIFF_G4 has been widely deployed in digital library projects as a master format for bitonal images, typically scanned pages of printed text. In December 2005, the Government Printing Office (GPO) announced that TIFF_G4 had been selected as the master format for bitonal preservation images. TIFF_G4 has also been widely used for scanning business documents into document management systems. Not supported by all browsers in native format, but, since the early 2000s, new PC configurations usually include a viewer. TIFF_G4 is acceptable as an image format in most institutional and archival repositories. See, for example, File Formats and Guidelines: Digital Preservation from Harvard University Libraries. Link via Internet Archive.

    Licensing and patents None for TIFF_G4
Transparency See ITU_G4
Self-documentation See TIFF_6
External dependencies None
Technical protection considerations None

Quality and functionality factors Explanation of format description terms

Still Image
Normal rendering Good support.
Clarity (high image resolution) See TIFF_6. TIFF_G4 is limited to bitonal (pure black and white) images.
Color maintenance See TIFF_6
Support for vector graphics, including graphic effects and typography See TIFF_6
Functionality beyond normal rendering See TIFF_6

File type signifiers and format identifiers Explanation of format description terms

Tag Value Note
Filename extension See related format. 

See TIFF_6

Internet Media Type See related format. 

See TIFF_6

Magic numbers See related format. 

See TIFF_6

Pronom PUID See notes
See for TIFF. Pronom does not differentiate versions of TIFF.
Wikidata Title ID See notes
See for TIFF Family.

Notes Explanation of format description terms


Format specifications Explanation of format description terms

Useful references


Last Updated: 04/22/2022