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Using TIFF Images in AI?

Using TIFF Images in AI?

Using TIFF Images in AI?


I hope this is the best forum to post this.  I work on InDesign CS2 documents where I have to use ver detailed graphics.  

My graphics desinger insists on providing me with TIFF images.  Needless to say these are huge, so my idea was to place them in Adoble Illustrator (CS2), save it as an .AI (my preferred method), and then use that .AI file in my InDesign file.  It's crucial I don't lose any of the integrity of the drawing and it has to be just as clear.

Does anyone think this is a good method, or do you have any better suggestions for using TIFF in Indesign?  (Or perhaps I should post in another Forum like InDesign????)

Thanks in advance,


RE: Using TIFF Images in AI?

I often have the same problem, since my clients send me high resolution tif files. But you can just place the TIFF images in InDesign. If they are to big then placing them in Illustrator and then place the AI file in ID will work...I sometimes have to do that since that's what my clients send me. As long as the resolution is good it should be no problem.

RE: Using TIFF Images in AI?


Just out of curiosity I took and uncompressed .tiff file that was 28.7 MB, the size they come out of my Nikon camera, and saved it as an AI file in Illustrator.

The size grew to 42.3 MB.

Next I saved it as a .Tiff file with LZW compression and the file shrunk to 21.3 MB.

I then saved is as a Tiff file with .jpg compression and the file size was reduced to 10.1 MB.

When I opened the original file next to the .Tiff file with .jpg compression and zoomed into a very small area on the image I could not see any difference between the two.

I usually use uncompressed .tiffs but it appears that a .tiff file with .jpg compression is the way to go if you are worried about file size.


RE: Using TIFF Images in AI?

...as mike says above, placing a tiff inside an Ai and then importing is of no benefit at all, in fact you will have even bigger file sizes...

...your original post doesn't mention what the images are, are they original vector artwork to begin with?

...your designer would be helpful to supply you with the vector if this is the case...

...otherwise, as mentioned above, using tiff is fine but if these are too big your only choice is receive them that big or compress them (LZW, ZIP or JPEG)...

...depending on the source artwork you are mentioning, your best choice is to get the vector source (if it is vector), or else it will have to be PSD, JPEG, TIFF formats. Out of those your designer is actually correct in sending a TIFF simply because you can perform lossless compression inTIFF format by way of LZW inside the TIFF when saved...

...JPEG is a lossy format and quality conscious people do become concerned about using JPEG, but to be honest when saving JPEG correctly it's actually an incredible format, as to is TIFF saved with LZW...



RE: Using TIFF Images in AI?

Thanks for your advice Pixelchik, Hawthorne, and Apepp.

I believe they are vector graphics, because they are very scaled drawings using CAD software.

So I won't use .AI since it makes the files larger, but what can I use to convert these TIFFs into .JPGs?  Do I need some sort of converter?  I have a suite of Adobe products including Photoshop, so I'm not sure if that will suffice.  

Thanks in advance.


RE: Using TIFF Images in AI?

...photoshop will suffice for saving to jpeg...



RE: Using TIFF Images in AI?


If the files are 100% (no photos or continuous tone images included) you should have the source send them to you as .AI files to start with.

They will be only a fraction of the size of a .Tiff file and will be scalable with no loss in quality to any size you want.

You should be able to place them in InDesign with no manipulation at all and they will give you the highest quality reproduction.


RE: Using TIFF Images in AI?

Actually for Illustrator files originating from CAD, you can end up with thousands and thousands of points which will actually make the vector version larger than a TIFF not to mention wreak havoc on any RIP stations.

Make sure you are "linking" the images and not embedding them into your ID document. If possible, have the TIFF's resized to %100 of their intended output. This will reduce any interpolation time when working with the file. LZW compression is generally not advised as it too will just cause additional processing time.

InDesign supports IPO (commonly known as FPO, For Placement Only) where you work with a low res version of the file and the printer will RIP the high res version when ever you go to print.

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