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Technical Article   Problem:  TIFF images created in ArcGIS cannot be read by other software

Article ID: 30511
Bug Id: N/A
Software:  ArcGIS - ArcEditor 9.2, 9.3, 9.3.1, 10 ArcGIS - ArcInfo 9.2, 9.3, 9.3.1, 10 ArcGIS - ArcView 9.2, 9.3, 9.3.1, 10
Platforms:  Windows XP, Vista, Win 7


Many programs cannot read TIFF files that are created by ArcGIS 9.2 or later versions. This affects software that is not updated to the latest TIFF library, including ArcGIS Workstation and other third-party software.


Since ArcGIS 9.2, Esri uses the newest TIFF specification, which includes the use of 'tiled' TIFFs. Other imaging software that uses the latest specification can read TIFFs created in ArcGIS 9.2 or later versions.

Solution or Workaround

To create a TIFF output that is not tiled, use the following steps:

 WARNING: The instructions below include making changes to essential parts of your operating system. It is recommended that you backup your operating system and files, including the registry, before proceeding. Consult with a qualified computer systems professional, if necessary.

Esri cannot guarantee results from incorrect modifications while following these instructions; therefore, use caution and proceed at your own risk.

 The following steps are for ArcGIS 9.3.1 and previous versions. At ArcGIS 10, tiled output can be toggled on and off via the Raster tab in the ArcGIS Options window. See the link in the Related Information page for more information.

  1. Close all ArcGIS applications.
  2. Open the registry, and navigate to the following location:
  3. Right-click and select New > String Value. -show me-

  4. Change the name of the string value to ‘tiff.create_tiled_images.'
  5. Right-click the string value and click Modify. -show me-

  6. Enter 'false' for the value. -show me-


    The value displays in the registry editor. -show me-

  7. New TIFF images created in ArcGIS 9.2 can now be used in ArcGIS Workstation and other software that cannot read tiled TIFFs.

     To create tiled TIFF files again, delete the registry key that was created, or set the value to be 'true.'

Related Information

Created: 2/22/2006
Last Modified: 10/4/2011

Article Rating: (6)
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By slradke - 03/17/2012 10:31 PM

The article is incorrect or the solution didn’t work.

The suggested toggle to turn off the tiled output doesn't work. Please correct/update for 10 SP4.


By deitemeyer - 09/20/2011 10:59 AM

Great article! It helped a lot!

I use this all the time and it works like a charm. However, these steps don't work for my 10 install! Please update for 10!


By Anonymous - 03/03/2009 9:32 AM

Great article! It helped a lot!

Great article! Terrible keywords! This is exactly what I needed to know, but it apparently cannot be found through any of the likely keywords. I spent hours searching the website, but was only able to obtain it when a colleague told me the article number (which he had to obtain in person from ESRI tech support at the last conference).


By Anonymous - 11/06/2008 12:10 PM

The article needs to be updated.

Article ID: 30511 Bug Id: N/A Software: ArcGIS - ArcEditor 9.2, 9.3 ArcGIS - ArcInfo 9.2, 9.3 ArcGIS - ArcView 9.2, 9.3 Platforms: Windows 2000, XP, 2003Server I have used this regedit fix to create non-tiled tifs with 9.2 and it works fine (thanks). However, on our computers running version 9.3 (windows XP) this does not work at all. ArcGIS still creates tiled tifs when rectifying or using copy raster.


By Anonymous - 04/16/2008 9:59 AM

The article has missing, misleading, or conflicting information.

This article should probably mention that this is referring to the TIFFs generated by right-clicking on a feature, NOT the TIFFs generated via File->Export Map.


By Anonymous - 06/26/2007 10:40 AM

The article is incorrect or the solution didn’t work.

This article is dead wrong. Technical support provided the solution. DO NOT create a new key. You must create a new string value. A tremendous amount of time was lost resolving this because of this bad info.