DRAFT TIFF Technical Note #2


This Technical Note describes serious problems that have been found in TIFF 6.0's design for embedding JPEG-compressed data in TIFF (Section 22 of the TIFF 6.0 spec of 3 June 1992). A replacement TIFF/JPEG specification is given. Some corrections to Section 21 are also given.

To permit TIFF implementations to continue to read existing files, the 6.0 JPEG fields and tag values will remain reserved indefinitely. However, TIFF writers are strongly discouraged from using the 6.0 JPEG design. It is expected that the next full release of the TIFF specification will not describe the old design at all, except to note that certain tag numbers are reserved. The existing Section 22 will be replaced by the specification text given in the second part of this Tech Note.

Problems in TIFF 6.0 JPEG

Abandoning a published spec is not a step to be taken lightly. This section summarizes the reasons that have forced this decision. TIFF 6.0's JPEG design suffers from design errors and limitations, ambiguities, and unnecessary complexity.

Design errors and limitations

The fundamental design error in the existing Section 22 is that JPEG's various tables and parameters are broken out as separate fields which the TIFF control logic must manage. This is bad software engineering: that information should be treated as private to the JPEG codec (compressor/decompressor). Worse, the fields themselves are specified without sufficient thought for future extension and without regard to well-established TIFF conventions. Here are some of the significant problems:

  • The JPEGxxTable fields do not store the table data directly in the IFD/field structure; rather, the fields hold pointers to information elsewhere in the file. This requires special-purpose code to be added to every TIFF-manipulating application, whether it needs to decode JPEG image data or not. Even a trivial TIFF editor, for example a program to add an ImageDescription field to a TIFF file, must be explicitly aware of the internal structure of the JPEG-related tables, or else it will probably break the file. Every other auxiliary field in the TIFF spec contains data, not pointers, and can be copied or relocated by standard code that doesn't know anything about the particular field. This is a crucial property of the TIFF format that must not be given up.

  • To manipulate these fields, the TIFF control logic is required to know a great deal about JPEG details, for example such arcana as how to compute the length of a Huffman code table --- the length is not supplied in the field structure and can only be found by inspecting the table contents. This is again a violation of good software practice. Moreover, it will prevent easy adoption of future JPEG extensions that might change these low-level details.

  • The design neglects the fact that baseline JPEG codecs support only two sets of Huffman tables: it specifies a separate table for each color component. This implies that encoders must waste space (by storing duplicate Huffman tables) or else violate the well-founded TIFF convention that prohibits duplicate pointers. Furthermore, baseline decoders must test to find out which tables are identical, a waste of time and code space.

  • The JPEGInterchangeFormat field also violates TIFF's proscription against duplicate pointers: the normal strip/tile pointers are expected to point into the larger data area pointed to by JPEGInterchangeFormat. All TIFF editing applications must be specifically aware of this relationship, since they must maintain it or else delete the JPEGInterchangeFormat field. The JPEGxxTables fields are also likely to point into the JPEGInterchangeFormat area, creating additional pointer relationships that must be maintained.

  • The JPEGQTables field is fixed at a byte per table entry; there is no way to support 16-bit quantization values. This is a serious impediment to extending TIFF to use 12-bit JPEG.

  • The 6.0 design cannot support using different quantization tables in different strips/tiles of an image (so as to encode some areas at higher quality than others). Furthermore, since quantization tables are tied one-for-one to color components, the design cannot support table switching options that are likely to be added in future JPEG revisions.


Several incompatible interpretations are possible for 6.0's treatment of JPEG restart markers:

  • It is unclear whether restart markers must be omitted at TIFF segment (strip/tile) boundaries, or whether they are optional.

  • It is unclear whether the segment size is required to be chosen as a multiple of the specified restart interval (if any); perhaps the JPEG codec is supposed to be reset at each segment boundary as if there were a restart marker there, even if the boundary does not fall at a multiple of the nominal restart interval.

  • The spec fails to address the question of restart marker numbering: do the numbers begin again within each segment, or not?

That last point is particularly nasty. If we make numbering begin again within each segment, we give up the ability to impose a TIFF strip/tile structure on an existing JPEG datastream with restarts (which was clearly a goal of Section 22's authors). But the other choice interferes with random access to the image segments: a reader must compute the first restart number to be expected within a segment, and must have a way to reset its JPEG decoder to expect a nonzero restart number first. This may not even be possible with some JPEG chips.

The tile height restriction found on page 104 contradicts Section 15's general description of tiles. For an image that is not vertically downsampled, page 104 specifies a tile height of one MCU or 8 pixels; but Section 15 requires tiles to be a multiple of 16 pixels high.

This Tech Note does not attempt to resolve these ambiguities, so implementations that follow the 6.0 design should be aware that inter-application compatibility problems are likely to arise.

Unnecessary complexity

The 6.0 design creates problems for implementations that need to keep the JPEG codec separate from the TIFF control logic --- for example, consider using a JPEG chip that was not designed specifically for TIFF. JPEG codecs generally want to produce or consume a standard ISO JPEG datastream, not just raw compressed data. (If they were to handle raw data, a separate out-of-band mechanism would be needed to load tables into the codec.) With such a codec, the TIFF control logic must parse JPEG markers emitted by the codec to create the TIFF table fields (when writing) or synthesize JPEG markers from the TIFF fields to feed the codec (when reading). This means that the control logic must know a great deal more about JPEG details than we would like. The parsing and reconstruction of the markers also represents a fair amount of unnecessary work.

Quite a few implementors have proposed writing "TIFF/JPEG" files in which a standard JPEG datastream is simply dumped into the file and pointed to by JPEGInterchangeFormat. To avoid parsing the JPEG datastream, they suggest not writing the JPEG auxiliary fields (JPEGxxTables etc) nor even the basic TIFF strip/tile data pointers. This approach is incompatible with implementations that handle the full TIFF 6.0 JPEG design, since they will expect to find strip/tile pointers and auxiliary fields. Indeed this is arguably not TIFF at all, since all TIFF-reading applications expect to find strip or tile pointers. A subset implementation that is not upward-compatible with the full spec is clearly unacceptable. However, the frequency with which this idea has come up makes it clear that implementors find the existing Section 22 too complex.

Overview of the solution

To solve these problems, we adopt a new design for embedding JPEG-compressed data in TIFF files. The new design uses only complete, uninterpreted ISO JPEG datastreams, so it should be much more forgiving of extensions to the ISO standard. It should also be far easier to implement using unmodified JPEG codecs.

To reduce overhead in multi-segment TIFF files, we allow JPEG overhead tables to be stored just once in a JPEGTables auxiliary field. This feature does not violate the integrity of the JPEG datastreams, because it uses the notions of "tables-only datastreams" and "abbreviated image datastreams" as defined by the ISO standard.

To prevent confusion with the old design, the new design is given a new Compression tag value, Compression=7. Readers that need to handle existing 6.0 JPEG files may read both old and new files, using whatever interpretation of the 6.0 spec they did before. Compression tag value 6 and the field tag numbers defined by 6.0 section 22 will remain reserved indefinitely, even though detailed descriptions of them will be dropped from future editions of the TIFF specification.

Replacement TIFF/JPEG specification

[This section of the Tech Note is expected to replace Section 22 in the next release of the TIFF specification.]

This section describes TIFF compression scheme 7, a high-performance compression method for continuous-tone images.


This TIFF compression method uses the international standard for image compression ISO/IEC 10918-1, usually known as "JPEG" (after the original name of the standards committee, Joint Photographic Experts Group). JPEG is a joint ISO/CCITT standard for compression of continuous-tone images.

The JPEG committee decided that because of the broad scope of the standard, no one algorithmic procedure was able to satisfy the requirements of all applications. Instead, the JPEG standard became a "toolkit" of multiple algorithms and optional capabilities. Individual applications may select a subset of the JPEG standard that meets their requirements.

The most important distinction among the JPEG processes is between lossy and lossless compression. Lossy compression methods provide high compression but allow only approximate reconstruction of the original image. JPEG's lossy processes allow the encoder to trade off compressed file size against reconstruction fidelity over a wide range. Typically, 10:1 or more compression of full-color data can be obtained while keeping the reconstructed image visually indistinguishable from the original. Much higher compression ratios are possible if a low-quality reconstructed image is acceptable. Lossless compression provides exact reconstruction of the source data, but the achievable compression ratio is much lower than for the lossy processes; JPEG's rather simple lossless process typically achieves around 2:1 compression of full-color data.

The most widely implemented JPEG subset is the "baseline" JPEG process. This provides lossy compression of 8-bit-per-channel data. Optional extensions include 12-bit-per-channel data, arithmetic entropy coding for better compression, and progressive/hierarchical representations. The lossless process is an independent algorithm that has little in common with the lossy processes.

It should be noted that the optional arithmetic-coding extension is subject to several US and Japanese patents. To avoid patent problems, use of arithmetic coding processes in TIFF files intended for inter-application interchange is discouraged.

All of the JPEG processes are useful only for "continuous tone" data, in which the difference between adjacent pixel values is usually small. Low-bit-depth source data is not appropriate for JPEG compression, nor are palette-color images good candidates. The JPEG processes work well on grayscale and full-color data.

Describing the JPEG compression algorithms in sufficient detail to permit implementation would require more space than we have here. Instead, we refer the reader to the References section.

What data is being compressed?

In lossy JPEG compression, it is customary to convert color source data to YCbCr and then downsample it before JPEG compression. This gives 2:1 data compression with hardly any visible image degradation, and it permits additional space savings within the JPEG compression step proper. However, these steps are not considered part of the ISO JPEG standard. The ISO standard is "color blind": it accepts data in any color space.

For TIFF purposes, the JPEG compression tag is considered to represent the ISO JPEG compression standard only. The ISO standard is applied to the same data that would be stored in the TIFF file if no compression were used. Therefore, if color conversion or downsampling are used, they must be reflected in the regular TIFF fields; these steps are not considered to be implicit in the JPEG compression tag value. PhotometricInterpretation and related fields shall describe the color space actually stored in the file. With the TIFF 6.0 field definitions, downsampling is permissible only for YCbCr data, and it must correspond to the YCbCrSubSampling field. (Note that the default value for this field is not 1,1; so the default for YCbCr is to apply downsampling!) It is likely that future versions of TIFF will provide additional PhotometricInterpretation values and a more general way of defining subsampling, so as to allow more flexibility in JPEG-compressed files. But that issue is not addressed in this Tech Note.

Implementors should note that many popular JPEG codecs (compressor/decompressors) provide automatic color conversion and downsampling, so that the application may supply full-size RGB data which is nonetheless converted to downsampled YCbCr. This is an implementation convenience which does not excuse the TIFF control layer from its responsibility to know what is really going on. The PhotometricInterpretation and subsampling fields written to the file must describe what is actually in the file.

A JPEG-compressed TIFF file will typically have PhotometricInterpretation = YCbCr and YCbCrSubSampling = [2,1] or [2,2], unless the source data was grayscale or CMYK.

Basic representation of JPEG-compressed images

JPEG compression works in either strip-based or tile-based TIFF files. Rather than repeating "strip or tile" constantly, we will use the term "segment" to mean either a strip or a tile.

When the Compression field has the value 7, each image segment contains a complete JPEG datastream which is valid according to the ISO JPEG standard (ISO/IEC 10918-1). Any sequential JPEG process can be used, including lossless JPEG, but progressive and hierarchical processes are not supported. Since JPEG is useful only for continuous-tone images, the PhotometricInterpretation of the image shall not be 3 (palette color) nor 4 (transparency mask). The bit depth of the data is also restricted as specified below.

Each image segment in a JPEG-compressed TIFF file shall contain a valid JPEG datastream according to the ISO JPEG standard's rules for interchange-format or abbreviated-image-format data. The datastream shall contain a single JPEG frame storing that segment of the image. The required JPEG markers within a segment are:

  • SOI (must appear at very beginning of segment)

  • SOFn

  • SOS (one for each scan, if there is more than one scan)

  • EOI (must appear at very end of segment)

The actual compressed data follows SOS; it may contain RSTn markers if DRI is used.

Additional JPEG "tables and miscellaneous" markers may appear between SOI and SOFn, between SOFn and SOS, and before each subsequent SOS if there is more than one scan. These markers include:

  • DQT

  • DHT

  • DAC (not to appear unless arithmetic coding is used)

  • DRI

  • APPn (shall be ignored by TIFF readers)

  • COM (shall be ignored by TIFF readers)

DNL markers shall not be used in TIFF files. Readers should abort if any other marker type is found, especially the JPEG reserved markers; occurrence of such a marker is likely to indicate a JPEG extension.

The tables/miscellaneous markers may appear in any order. Readers are cautioned that although the SOFn marker refers to DQT tables, JPEG does not require those tables to precede the SOFn, only the SOS. Missing-table checks should be made when SOS is reached.

If no JPEGTables field is used, then each image segment shall be a complete JPEG interchange datastream. Each segment must define all the tables it references. To allow readers to decode segments in any order, no segment may rely on tables being carried over from a previous segment.

When a JPEGTables field is used, image segments may omit tables that have been specified in the JPEGTables field. Further details appear below.

The SOFn marker shall be of type SOF0 for strict baseline JPEG data, of type SOF1 for non-baseline lossy JPEG data, or of type SOF3 for lossless JPEG data. (SOF9 or SOF11 would be used for arithmetic coding.) All segments of a JPEG-compressed TIFF image shall use the same JPEG compression process, in particular the same SOFn type.

The data precision field of the SOFn marker shall agree with the TIFF BitsPerSample field. (Note that when PlanarConfiguration=1, this implies that all components must have the same BitsPerSample value; when PlanarConfiguration=2, different components could have different bit depths.) For SOF0 only precision 8 is permitted; for SOF1, precision 8 or 12 is permitted; for SOF3, precisions 2 to 16 are permitted.

The image dimensions given in the SOFn marker shall agree with the logical dimensions of that particular strip or tile. For strip images, the SOFn image width shall equal ImageWidth and the height shall equal RowsPerStrip, except in the last strip; its SOFn height shall equal the number of rows remaining in the ImageLength. (In other words, no padding data is counted in the SOFn dimensions.) For tile images, each SOFn shall have width TileWidth and height TileHeight; adding and removing any padding needed in the edge tiles is the concern of some higher level of the TIFF software. (The dimensional rules are slightly different when PlanarConfiguration=2, as described below.)

The ISO JPEG standard only permits images up to 65535 pixels in width or height, due to 2-byte fields in the SOFn markers. In TIFF, this limits the size of an individual JPEG-compressed strip or tile, but the total image size can be greater.

The number of components in the JPEG datastream shall equal SamplesPerPixel for PlanarConfiguration=1, and shall be 1 for PlanarConfiguration=2. The components shall be stored in the same order as they are described at the TIFF field level. (This applies both to their order in the SOFn marker, and to the order in which they are scanned if multiple JPEG scans are used.) The component ID bytes are arbitrary so long as each component within an image segment is given a distinct ID. To avoid any possible confusion, we require that all segments of a TIFF image use the same ID code for a given component.

In PlanarConfiguration 1, the sampling factors given in SOFn markers shall agree with the sampling factors defined by the related TIFF fields (or with the default values that are specified in the absence of those fields).

When DCT-based JPEG is used in a strip TIFF file, RowsPerStrip is required to be a multiple of 8 times the largest vertical sampling factor, i.e., a multiple of the height of an interleaved MCU. (For simplicity of specification, we require this even if the data is not actually interleaved.) For example, if YCbCrSubSampling = [2,2] then RowsPerStrip must be a multiple of 16. An exception to this rule is made for single-strip images (RowsPerStrip >= ImageLength): the exact value of RowsPerStrip is unimportant in that case. This rule ensures that no data padding is needed at the bottom of a strip, except perhaps the last strip. Any padding required at the right edge of the image, or at the bottom of the last strip, is expected to occur internally to the JPEG codec.

When DCT-based JPEG is used in a tiled TIFF file, TileLength is required to be a multiple of 8 times the largest vertical sampling factor, i.e., a multiple of the height of an interleaved MCU; and TileWidth is required to be a multiple of 8 times the largest horizontal sampling factor, i.e., a multiple of the width of an interleaved MCU. (For simplicity of specification, we require this even if the data is not actually interleaved.) All edge padding required will therefore occur in the course of normal TIFF tile padding; it is not special to JPEG.

Lossless JPEG does not impose these constraints on strip and tile sizes, since it is not DCT-based.

Note that within JPEG datastreams, multibyte values appear in the MSB-first order specified by the JPEG standard, regardless of the byte ordering of the surrounding TIFF file.

JPEGTables field

The only auxiliary TIFF field added for Compression=7 is the optional JPEGTables field. The purpose of JPEGTables is to predefine JPEG quantization and/or Huffman tables for subsequent use by JPEG image segments. When this is done, these rather bulky tables need not be duplicated in each segment, thus saving space and processing time. JPEGTables may be used even in a single-segment file, although there is no space savings in that case.


  • Tag = 347 (15B.H)

  • Type = UNDEFINED

  • N = number of bytes in tables datastream, typically a few hundred

JPEGTables provides default JPEG quantization and/or Huffman tables which are used whenever a segment datastream does not contain its own tables, as specified below.

Notice that the JPEGTables field is required to have type code UNDEFINED, not type code BYTE. This is to cue readers that expanding individual bytes to short or long integers is not appropriate. A TIFF reader will generally need to store the field value as an uninterpreted byte sequence until it is fed to the JPEG decoder.

Multibyte quantities within the tables follow the ISO JPEG convention of MSB-first storage, regardless of the byte ordering of the surrounding TIFF file.

When the JPEGTables field is present, it shall contain a valid JPEG "abbreviated table specification" datastream. This datastream shall begin with SOI and end with EOI. It may contain zero or more JPEG "tables and miscellaneous" markers, namely:

  • DQT

  • DHT

  • DAC (not to appear unless arithmetic coding is used)

  • DRI

  • APPn* (shall be ignored by TIFF readers)

  • COM (shall be ignored by TIFF readers)

Since JPEG defines the SOI marker to reset the DAC and DRI state, these two markers' values cannot be carried over into any image datastream, and thus they are effectively no-ops in the JPEGTables field. To avoid confusion, it is recommended that writers not place DAC or DRI markers in JPEGTables. However readers must properly skip over them if they appear.

When JPEGTables is present, readers shall load the table specifications contained in JPEGTables before processing image segment datastreams. Image segments may simply refer to these preloaded tables without defining them. An image segment can still define and use its own tables, subject to the restrictions below.

An image segment may not redefine any table defined in JPEGTables. (This restriction is imposed to allow readers to process image segments in random order without having to reload JPEGTables between segments.) Therefore, use of JPEGTables divides the available table slots into two groups: "global" slots are defined in JPEGTables and may be used but not redefined by segments; "local" slots are available for local definition and use in each segment. To permit random access, a segment may not reference any local tables that it does not itself define.

Special considerations for PlanarConfiguration 2

In PlanarConfiguration 2, each image segment contains data for only one color component. To avoid confusing the JPEG codec, we wish the segments to look like valid single-channel (i.e., grayscale) JPEG datastreams. This means that different rules must be used for the SOFn parameters.

In PlanarConfiguration 2, the dimensions given in the SOFn of a subsampled component shall be scaled down by the sampling factors compared to the SOFn dimensions that would be used in PlanarConfiguration 1. This is necessary to match the actual number of samples stored in that segment, so that the JPEG codec doesn't complain about too much or too little data. In strip TIFF files the computed dimensions may need to be rounded up to the next integer; in tiled files, the restrictions on tile size make this case impossible.

Furthermore, all SOFn sampling factors shall be given as 1. (This is merely to avoid confusion, since the sampling factors in a single-channel JPEG datastream have no real effect.)

Any downsampling will need to happen externally to the JPEG codec, since JPEG sampling factors are defined with reference to the full-precision component. In PlanarConfiguration 2, the JPEG codec will be working on only one component at a time and thus will have no reference component to downsample against.

Minimum requirements for TIFF/JPEG

ISO JPEG is a large and complex standard; most implementations support only a subset of it. Here we define a "core" subset of TIFF/JPEG which readers must support to claim TIFF/JPEG compatibility. For maximum cross-application compatibility, we recommend that writers confine themselves to this subset unless there is very good reason to do otherwise.

Use the ISO baseline JPEG process: 8-bit data precision, Huffman coding, with no more than 2 DC and 2 AC Huffman tables. Note that this implies BitsPerSample = 8 for each component. We recommend deviating from baseline JPEG only if 12-bit data precision or lossless coding is required.

Use no subsampling (all JPEG sampling factors = 1) for color spaces other than YCbCr. (This is, in fact, required with the TIFF 6.0 field definitions, but may not be so in future revisions.) For YCbCr, use one of the following choices:

YCbCrSubSampling field

JPEG sampling factors


1h1v, 1h1v, 1h1v


2h1v, 1h1v, 1h1v

2,2 (default value)

2h2v, 1h1v, 1h1v

We recommend that RGB source data be converted to YCbCr for best compression results. Other source data colorspaces should probably be left alone. Minimal readers need not support JPEG images with colorspaces other than YCbCr and grayscale (PhotometricInterpretation = 6 or 1).

A minimal reader also need not support JPEG YCbCr images with nondefault values of YCbCrCoefficients or YCbCrPositioning, nor with values of ReferenceBlackWhite other than [0,255,128,255,128,255]. (These values correspond to the RGB<=>YCbCr conversion specified by JFIF, which is widely implemented in JPEG codecs.)

Writers are reminded that a ReferenceBlackWhite field must be included when PhotometricInterpretation is YCbCr, because the default ReferenceBlackWhite values are inappropriate for YCbCr.

If any subsampling is used, PlanarConfiguration=1 is preferred to avoid the possibly-confusing requirements of PlanarConfiguration=2. In any case, readers are not required to support PlanarConfiguration=2.

If possible, use a single interleaved scan in each image segment. This is not legal JPEG if there are more than 4 SamplesPerPixel or if the sampling factors are such that more than 10 blocks would be needed per MCU; in that case, use a separate scan for each component. (The recommended color spaces and sampling factors will not run into that restriction, so a minimal reader need not support more than one scan per segment.)

To claim TIFF/JPEG compatibility, readers shall support multiple-strip TIFF files and the optional JPEGTables field; it is not acceptable to read only single-datastream files. Support for tiled TIFF files is strongly recommended but not required.

Other recommendations for implementors

The TIFF tag Compression=7 guarantees only that the compressed data is represented as ISO JPEG datastreams. Since JPEG is a large and evolving standard, readers should apply careful error checking to the JPEG markers to ensure that the compression process is within their capabilities. In particular, to avoid being confused by future extensions to the JPEG standard, it is important to abort if unknown marker codes are seen.

The point of requiring that all image segments use the same JPEG process is to ensure that a reader need check only one segment to determine whether it can handle the image. For example, consider a TIFF reader that has access to fast but restricted JPEG hardware, as well as a slower, more general software implementation. It is desirable to check only one image segment to find out whether the fast hardware can be used. Thus, writers should try to ensure that all segments of an image look as much "alike" as possible: there should be no variation in scan layout, use of options such as DRI, etc. Ideally, segments will be processed identically except perhaps for using different local quantization or entropy-coding tables.

Writers should avoid including "noise" JPEG markers (COM and APPn markers). Standard TIFF fields provide a better way to transport any non-image data. Some JPEG codecs may change behavior if they see an APPn marker they think they understand; since the TIFF spec requires these markers to be ignored, this behavior is undesirable.

It is possible to convert an interchange-JPEG file (e.g., a JFIF file) to TIFF simply by dropping the interchange datastream into a single strip. (However, designers are reminded that the TIFF spec discourages huge strips; splitting the image is somewhat more work but may give better results.) Conversion from TIFF to interchange JPEG is more complex. A strip-based TIFF/JPEG file can be converted fairly easily if all strips use identical JPEG tables and no RSTn markers: just delete the overhead markers and insert RSTn markers between strips. Converting tiled images is harder, since the data will usually not be in the right order (unless the tiles are only one MCU high). This can still be done losslessly, but it will require undoing and redoing the entropy coding so that the DC coefficient differences can be updated.

There is no default value for JPEGTables: standard TIFF files must define all tables that they reference. For some closed systems in which many files will have identical tables, it might make sense to define a default JPEGTables value to avoid actually storing the tables. Or even better, invent a private field selecting one of N default JPEGTables settings, so as to allow for future expansion. Either of these must be regarded as a private extension that will render the files unreadable by other applications.


[1] Wallace, Gregory K. "The JPEG Still Picture Compression Standard", Communications of the ACM, April 1991 (vol. 34 no. 4), pp. 30-44.

This is the best short technical introduction to the JPEG algorithms. It is a good overview but does not provide sufficiently detailed information to write an implementation.

[2] Pennebaker, William B. and Mitchell, Joan L. "JPEG Still Image Data Compression Standard", Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1993, ISBN 0-442-01272-1. 638pp.

This textbook is by far the most complete exposition of JPEG in existence. It includes the full text of the ISO JPEG standards (DIS 10918-1 and draft DIS 10918-2). No would-be JPEG implementor should be without it.

[3] ISO/IEC IS 10918-1, "Digital Compression and Coding of Continuous-tone Still Images, Part 1: Requirements and guidelines", February 1994. ISO/IEC DIS 10918-2, "Digital Compression and Coding of Continuous-tone Still Images, Part 2: Compliance testing", final approval expected 1994.

These are the official standards documents. Note that the Pennebaker and Mitchell textbook is likely to be cheaper and more useful than the official standards.

Changes to Section 21: YCbCr Images

[This section of the Tech Note clarifies section 21 to make clear the interpretation of image dimensions in a subsampled image. Furthermore, the section is changed to allow the original image dimensions not to be multiples of the sampling factors. This change is necessary to support use of JPEG compression on odd-size images.]

Add the following paragraphs to the Section 21 introduction (p. 89), just after the paragraph beginning "When a Class Y image is subsampled":

In a subsampled image, it is understood that all TIFF image dimensions are measured in terms of the highest-resolution (luminance) component. In particular, ImageWidth, ImageLength, RowsPerStrip, TileWidth, TileLength, XResolution, and YResolution are measured in luminance samples.

RowsPerStrip, TileWidth, and TileLength are constrained so that there are an integral number of samples of each component in a complete strip or tile. However, ImageWidth/ImageLength are not constrained. If an odd-size image is to be converted to subsampled format, the writer should pad the source data to a multiple of the sampling factors by replication of the last column and/or row, then downsample. The number of luminance samples actually stored in the file will be a multiple of the sampling factors. Conversely, readers must ignore any extra data (outside the specified image dimensions) after upsampling.

When PlanarConfiguration=2, each strip or tile covers the same image area despite subsampling; that is, the total number of strips or tiles in the image is the same for each component. Therefore strips or tiles of the subsampled components contain fewer samples than strips or tiles of the luminance component.

If there are extra samples per pixel (see field ExtraSamples), these data channels have the same number of samples as the luminance component.

Rewrite the YCbCrSubSampling field description (pp 91-92) as follows (largely to eliminate possibly-misleading references to ImageWidth/ImageLength of the subsampled components):

(first paragraph unchanged)

The two elements of this field are defined as follows:

Short 0: ChromaSubsampleHoriz:

1 = there are equal numbers of luma and chroma samples horizontally.

2 = there are twice as many luma samples as chroma samples horizontally.

4 = there are four times as many luma samples as chroma samples horizontally.

Short 1: ChromaSubsampleVert:

1 = there are equal numbers of luma and chroma samples vertically.

2 = there are twice as many luma samples as chroma samples vertically.

4 = there are four times as many luma samples as chroma samples vertically.

ChromaSubsampleVert shall always be less than or equal to ChromaSubsampleHoriz. Note that Cb and Cr have the same sampling ratios.

In a strip TIFF file, RowsPerStrip is required to be an integer multiple of ChromaSubSampleVert (unless RowsPerStrip >= ImageLength, in which case its exact value is unimportant). If ImageWidth and ImageLength are not multiples of ChromaSubsampleHoriz and ChromaSubsampleVert respectively, then the source data shall be padded to the next integer multiple of these values before downsampling.

In a tiled TIFF file, TileWidth must be an integer multiple of ChromaSubsampleHoriz and TileLength must be an integer multiple of ChromaSubsampleVert. Padding will occur to tile boundaries.

The default values of this field are [ 2,2 ]. Thus, YCbCr data is downsampled by default!