Thursday, July 9, 2009

Stupid .TIF

I really don't know how it happened that the .tif (tagged image format) became the go-to, most demanded, image format for journal submittals. It's really horribly inefficient. Some plots that consist of really fine, orthogonal lines look slightly better as .tifs rather then .jpgs. Slightly.

I just finished rescuing a file that actually exceeded the size limit of MS Word 2007. It had 27 images and was over 700 Mb in size. Word will not open files greater than 512 Mb in size.

I can understand a maker of word processing software having an upper size limit on the files that it will deal with, but if you're going to insert a check that refuses to open a file greater than that max size, insert another $%&*ing check that prevents me from saving my files if they're going to be that big. (And before any of you smug m____f___ers tells me "That's what you get for using that Microsquash stuff..." at least have the decency to verify that this problem does not exist in your favorite MS Word alternative and be prepared to provide some kind of evidence.)

Anyway, a neat trick you can do with a .doc file, is change the extention to .zip and open it with your favorite compressed-file utility. The document will be there, broken down and laid out in its naked .xml glory for you to pick at, rescue text, or remove gargantuan figure files.

I replaced the .tif files with .jpg files that look (to me) every bit as good as the horribly oversized .tif files (same resolution, different compression). The new file is 9 Mb in size.

Journal editors who demand .tif files are going on my list.


DC said...

Well, the solution for people in my field is to use LaTeX and output in PDF format. The images are almost always in EPS, PDF, or JPEG format and are embedded as they are -- EPS in particular is very useful, because it can be lossless.

The Really Sarcastic Weasel said...

The eps conversion should be really great. It depends on which program you're using to make the pdf (or to make the eps files if you make them directly). I've even found that installing a new printer can screw up your eps conversion... stupid Windows.