RichTIFF Standard

The RichTIFF standard was defined by Crosfield, and was designed primarly for newsphoto interchange. RichTIFF is not really a standard format, but rather a guideline on how to format TIFF files for this purpose.

Note: Crosfield is now defunct; most of its functions have been taken over by the International Press Telecommuncications Council (ITPC).

Among other things, RichTIFF defines how to organize the contents of the file, how to format thumbnails, and how to place special 'newsphoto parameters' in TIFF tags. Such parameters are formatted as data records following the "IPTC/NAA Information Interchange Model", and placed as binary data in one of the tags 0x83bb or 0x8568.

IPTC/NAA Parameters

The parameter interchange model is defined by the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) and the International Press Tele- communications Council (IPTC). The model defines a tagged file format, similar to TIFF in its design, but focussed on newspaper and newsphoto usage. It defines a large set of parameters, including copyright, captions, restrictions, photographers, publishing details, and much much more. The most common subset is called "IPTC/NAA Digital Newsphoto Parameter Record".

As with most other standards from ISO and related bodies, the IPTC/NAA documentation is distributed on paper only, and must be obtained directly from the IPTC or the NAA. The following addresses may be used:

International Press Telecommunications Council
10 Sheet Street
Windsor, Berkshire
Newspaper Association of America
The Newspaper Center
11600 Sunrise Valley Drive
VA 20091 USA

As a footnote, the IPTC/NAA standard itself includes a well- designed standard for image transfer, which in some respects are more comprehensive than TIFF. IPTC/NAA files can also be used to wrap TIFF, JFIF, Illustrator, and several other file formats.


One application that can read and write TIFF files containing IPTC/NAA records is Adobe Photoshop 3.0. It should be noted that the current Photoshop implementation has some quirks, including that the IPTC/NAA data chunk is written as a LONG tag instead of CHAR, and that text parameters are output in the native character set (Mac or Windows). Future versions will most likely fix these problems.

In addition, products from Kodak, Hasselblad Electronic Imaging, Innovativ Vision, T/One, and others, can handle IPTC/NAA and/or RichTIFF files in one way or another.

Page contributed by: Fredrik Lundh