Which File format is Optimized for Printing?

With different file formats available it has become hard to draw a conclusion about which file format is optimized for printing. 

So, to clear up this confusion, we have curated this article that provides accurate information on the type of file format that you should consider when opting to print your digital media stuff.

Which file format is optimized for printing?

TIFF (Tag Image File Format) is the most optimized file format that you can consider for printing digital media over your printer. It is a high-quality lossless raster image format that has the ability to hold minute details even when designing the cover page of a novel or printing the whole magazine.

However, there are a lot more things to be discuss about TIFF which makes it one of the best file formats for printing purposes.

What is a TIFF file format?

As mentioned earlier, Tag Image File Format also known as TIFF is a very solid choice when it comes to picking up a file format that can give out mind-blowing results when doing the printing job.

Going back to its history, this particular file format was created by the Aldus Corporation for desktop publishing. After that, in 1992 Aldus released an update called version 6.0, and after two years, i.e., In the year 1994, it was taken over by Adobe Systems.

Not to mention, this file format belongs to the raster images category, which means that the images that are produced under this file format come in a pixelated format.

Every pixel in this raster image file holds a different color which when comes together forms a colorful image. Now, being a high-quality raster file, the detail it holds inside the image is commendable, which automatically stops it from losing its authenticity. 

Plus, due to its lossless feature, it won’t lose its quality over time even when you convert it or save it as a TIFF file, which might be the case with PNG and GIF formats.

And due to these reasons that are mentioned above, it gets our heads up if you are aiming for lossless printing. 

Although, the downside to this raster file is that it occupies a huge amount of space on the disk, meaning, one file can be in GBs, which again can only be accessed with the help of heavy and premium photo editing applications like Adobe Photoshop.

Note: TIFF files can also be used as a container for JPEG formats.

However, there are a few other file formats too, that you can consider if you want to keep your options open.

Want to know which they are?

Well then, move on to the next segment.

What are the other alternatives to TIFF?

Like TIFF there are three other file formats, that you can consider if you want to print out some digital stuff from your PC, like;

  • JPEG.
  • PDF.
  • AI.


Joint Photographic Experts Group, abbreviated as JPEG is the first alternative to the TIFF, that we like to suggest to our users for printing their digital media stuff. The main USP of this file format is that it is a compressed raster format that is widely used for photos and graphics, which makes it a perfect choice for all types of printing such as posters, brochures, magazines, and packing.


PDF which stands for Portable Document Format is used to display graphics and documents in the correct format, no matter what device you are using.

This file format has a very solid vector graphic foundation, although it can also display everything from raster files to spreadsheets and docs, which again makes it a universal file format for printers. 

Additionally, you can also export your Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator files straight to PDF, which makes the editing and printing job much more easier.


Adobe Illustrator or say AI file format is the last file format that we want to suggest against TIFF. As the name suggests this file format is a part of Adobe Illustrator, and is totally based on EPS and PDF standards developed by Adobe. 

The Adobe files are primarily vector based, though they also include embedded or linked raster images, which makes it a good alternative to the TIFF file format.


So, after this brief discussion, it is clear that the TIFF file format is one of the best and preferred file formats to print all your digital media in a lossless way.

Although, if you feel like you want to try some other options rather than TIFF, then we recommend you try the other three formats that are mentioned in the article.

Frequently Asked Questions on Printing

What are the types of printing methods?

There are mainly two types of printing methods;

Inkjet and Laser.

Inkjet printing as the name suggests mainly uses inks made up of CMYK colors.

While the laser printer uses lasers along with the toner powder to eliminate the hassle of dried and clogged-up inks.

What is the lowest quality in printing?

The lowest quality in printing is 150 dpi.

What bit depth is best for printing?

8-bit depth is the best for printing. This bit depth can deliver excellent color depth.


  • Ashish Simon

    Hello folks! I am Ashish Pawar – A graduate from the field of Arts but an avid admirer of all things tech; therefore, made a leap into writing technical articles for ‘how-to’ guides and ‘informational content’ with the aim to make tech understandable for the masses. I have been in this field for more than a year now. My ideology is that even a layman should be able to understand tech easily. As a creative individual I am also passionately engaged in activities like photography, music, and dance.