Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a picture:

Which loads fine when I paste it into my address bar. However, when I embed it within a Page, I get a broken image icon. However, all browsers treat it as a download.

Conversely, this image, which was made the same way, works fine when I embed it within a Page. Browsers treat this as a Document and not as a Download:

Why is that?

share|improve this question
Safari doesn't seem to have any problem with either. What browsers are you using? – Hasaan Chop Mar 20 '10 at 23:59
IE8 and Chrome. – tsilb Mar 21 '10 at 0:12
up vote 1 down vote accepted

TIFF (aka .tif or .tiff files), or Tagged Image File Format, is generally used for high-quality storage, especially of scanned images. Since it's generally used as a lossless format without compression (or with lossless compression), it's not looked upon favorably as a format for publishing images to the web. Bigger file sizes of TIFF files = longer download times. You would be better off converting the image to JPEG, GIF, or PNG. Given the image in question is photographic, a high-quality JPEG is probably your best bet.

Presumably because it's a file format used primarily for storage and editing, not for online distribution, it is generally NOT supported in web browsers.


Safari seems to be the only mainstream browser that supports it natively. Others might be able to display it by plugin, but you probably can't rely on users having the right plugin.

Best course of action: convert to high quality JPEG.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.