Can TIFF images store embedded thumbnails in them like JPEG (JPG) files can?
I noticed that in XNview, when you save a TIFF image there is an option to set the JPEG quality (of the TIFF image). Makes me wonder.
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According to FreeImage Documentation http://downloads.sourceforge.net/freeimage/FreeImage3170.pdf , which is a library used by various software programs that work with images, thumbnails can be set and retrieved for the TIFF format regardless of the compression method used.
This is what is says in regards to TIFF format: "The TIF format has no restriction regarding the thumbnail bit depth, but a standard bitmap type is recommended."
So, I guess the answer to your question is that yes, thumbnails are certainly supported by the TIFF format. the only question is which software programs actually support and expose this functionality and to what extent.
Wikipedia offers a list of possible TIFF compression methods. It also includes JPEG.
However, as TIFF is generally understood to be a lossless format, lossy compression schemes are rather uncommon.
According to this PHP function it’s also possible to store a dedicated thumbnail image. This may be desirable in case of very large images. Technically, this is a feature of the EXIF metadata format, which can also be used with TIFF. Its most prominent use is with JPEG, of course.