Use TIFFs When Scanning is today’s Tuesday’s Tip.

When libraries and archives staff scan materials, their goal is always to do it once and do it right, just because of the volume of material.

So if you want to scan like archivists do, select TIFF (Tagged Image File Format), expressed as .tif as a file format. And then scan at a minimum of 300 ppi (pixels per inch). For master image purposes, a minimum of 600 ppi is considered ideal.

Use TIFFs When Scanning, But DPI vs. PPI? What’s the difference?

These are terms related to Image Resolution, a measure of density. How many pixels per inch (ppi) or dots per inch (dpi) are in the image. The term ppi refers to pixels on a screen, while dpi refers to the dots ink jet printers use per inch to print an image on paper. These two terms are often used interchangeably.

From 600 ppi master scans, you can generate “surrogate” files in other formats on demand. It’s better for your original document to scan it once at a higher resolution like 600 ppi, exposing it to less light, than to scan it several times for different purposes at a lower resolution.

TIFF format preferable:

Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) or .TIF, is a computer file format for storing high-resolution images, popular among genealogosts, graphic artists, and photographers. The TIFF format is widely supported when scanning, sharing with colleagues, uploading to sites like Ancestry trees or sharing sites like FindaGraveoptical character recognition, and image management software.

But more than words, this comparison image expresses what this post has to say:

Use TIFFs When Scanning

Use TIFFs When Scanning

Trouble seeing the difference in resolution?

For more help managing your family photos and records, try Cataloging Digital Family Photographs.

Cataloging Digital Family PhotographsThis Sassy Jane Genealogy Guide brings order to your family photographs and records, making every image you own searchable.

Family photographs may seem so complex that they defy organizing. With this Sassy Jane Genealogy Guide, you can tame your digital family photographs and records once and for all.

Discover the best way to scan image and records once and do it right; how to add names, dates, and places inside images; and how to store and safeguard your digital family photographs. This step-by-step guide also works for documents with multiple surnames.