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The question title says it all - are all TIFF file headers and IFDs 8bit? And the image data itself can be specified in a different bit order in the IFD, right?

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AFAIK, 8-bit and 16-bit in TIFF file refers to the image pixel data contained in the file itself. Headers and IFD are the same irregardless of what bit-depth the TIFF file is in.

The first 8 bytes forms the header for the TIFF file, and the IFD contains 12 bytes.

EDIT : You can find out more information about the structure of a TIFF file here.

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right, so in 8bit, that means 8 bits per byte, right? and in emacs in hexl-mode, 11 would be one byte in 8 bit, but 11:11 would be one byte in 16 bit? –  hatorade Sep 7 '09 at 10:20
    
I'm not a Comp Sci student. :) I majored in journalism - try someone else. –  caliban Sep 7 '09 at 10:22
    
It is very unusual to see a cpu where 8bits != byte. A byte is the smallest atomic unit of a CPU except for specialist CPU this is 8bits. Now if you are talking about comms, then 8bits is called a octet because bytes can be whatever is the atomic data size, which can be say 10bits. –  David Allan Finch Sep 7 '09 at 10:30
    
@david: what do you mean by comms? –  hatorade Sep 7 '09 at 11:23

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