Frequently asked question

Why won't some of my TIFF raster files display in ArcMap?

Last Published: April 25, 2020


This article pertains to ArcGIS versions 8.x. Later versions of ArcGIS may contain different functionality, as well as different names and locations for menus, commands and geoprocessing tools.

The TIFF specification is quite broad; thus, many variations of TIFF files exist. This can cause a number of difficulties with reading TIFFs between different applications. The two most common issues for TIFFs in ArcGIS are:

  • The TIFF contains LZW compression, and you currently don’t have a license to use this type of compression. For more information, search for “LZW license” in the ArcMap on-line help.
    Reading a raster dataset with an LZW license is no longer an issue in some countries - due to the end of the patent,
  • The TIFF contains JPEG compression, which is not supported by ArcGIS.
    From ArcGIS 8.2 and on, we are now able to support TIFFs with JPEG compression.

Article ID:000003315

  • ArcMap 8 x

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