Frequently asked question

How do I fix TIFF image displays with colors inverted?

Last Published: October 2, 2020


The information in this article applies to retired products, ARC/INFO and ArcInfo Workstation. Working with grid files in current versions of ArcGIS is done with geoprocessing tools.

The 'PhotometricInterpretation' tag is set to a value other than 1. The value 1 is recommended for bilevel and greyscale images in accordance with the Aldus TIFF 5.0 standard. If the tag is set properly before the TIFF file is created, then the colors are displayed normally. The PhotometricInterpretation tag should be set to a value of 1 with the software that was used to create the image.
For a black and white image ( zeroes and ones for values ), the image can be converted to grid using the IMAGEGRID command and inverted using the GRID syntax:

newgrid = 1 - oldgrid

Grayscale images can also be converted to grids and inverted by subtracting the grid from the maximum possible value for the image (usually 255). For instance: newgrid = 255 - oldgrid

If no GRID license is available but a TIN license is available, a similar grayscale result can be accomplished as follows:

LATTICEOPERATE REPLACE oldgrid 255 tempgrid
LATTICEOPERATE SUBTRACT tempgrid oldgrid newgrid
KILL tempgrid ALL

Color images must be corrected when they are created.

To obtain a full listing of the Version TIFF 5.0 specifications that ArcInfo follows, look under Image Integration > Supported image formats > TIFF files in the ArcInfo 7.x online documentation.

Article ID:000001302

  • Legacy Products

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