TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) is an image format which is basically a container for storing other images. TIFF images are the default file format and are mainly used for scanning and faxing purposes. This format, being a container type, can archive multiple objects and is also platform independent.
But TIFF images can be atrociously large when it is uncompressed. Uncompressed TIFF images are about the same size as of the image size in the memory. A 24 RGB data has about 3 bytes per pixel. Hence steps must be taken to reduce the TIFF file size, so that it is imported over the web easily. This is accomplished using several different Compression Algorithms such as LZW, G3 or by pack bits. TIFF with G3 compression is the universal standard for fax and other multi line documents. LZW provides a very fast and efficient compression to reduce TIFF file size significantly.
Compression is achieved with reducing the redundant strings or data in the image and replacing many of these with a single instance. Compression can be either lossy (loss in quality) or lossless (no loss in quality). LZW is a lossy type of compression but still produces a high quality image along with around 40%-50% reduction in TIFF file size, which is quite beneficial at times. Lossless reduction in TIFF file size is not as efficient in minimizing the size, but makes it a point to prevent any loss in detail.
Since TIFF can act as a container for storing other image formats, it is one of the most flexible image formats available presently. The uncompressed image can be compressed as JPEG image and be stored as a TIFF image. This provides a very high level of compression with almost indistinguishable loss in the quality and reduces TIFF file size to less than half of its original size.
Other crude methods to reduce TIFF file size includes lowering the image resolution, reducing the image color depth, applying different image filters and converting the image to gray scale. It is achieved by using image editing software like Photoshop, Gimp, Paint Shop pro, etc. Blurring or softening the image also helps reduce TIFF file size.