Whole Scan Images What are Tiled TIFF (SVS) Files?
Whole Scan Images

Information in this article applies to:

  • uScope Navigator (All Versions)

Article ID: NWS1266 — Created: 26 Jul 2019 — Reviewed: 4 Aug 2022


What are Tiled TIFF or SVS image files?


TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) is a file format for storing images. TIFF files support multiple "pages" or images as well as a variety of storage formats and compression methods. One of these storage formats is called the Tiled TIFF storage format.

  • A Tiled TIFF image is composed of many square tiles of the same size (typically 256×256 pixels). The advantage of the tiled format is that extremely large images can be loaded and displayed efficiently by loading only those tiles that are absolutely necessary (rather than loading a single, large (huge), monolithic image).
  • An SVS file is a Tiled TIFF image that has a few additional pages (images) that include the slide label, overview image, and a few smaller, scaled copies of the scanned slide.

We use the term Whole Scan Image to indicate any image format that contains a Region of Interest (ROI) scanned from a microscope slide. Whole Scan Images can be (and often are) very large. Image sizes of 100,000×100,000 pixels are not uncommon. These files are too large to fit in the memory of most computers.

Traditional image file formats like jpg, png, and bmp have significantly lower limits on image dimensions and are therefore a poor choice for Whole Scan Images.

Many techniques exist for managing huge images. One such technique; slicing the image into small, square "tiles"; was conceived to allow these images to be manipulated and displayed. This is the basis of the Tiled TIFF file.

Tiled TIFF images and SVS images are basically identical. Tiled TIFF images created by uScope Navigator are interchangeable with SVS images and can be loaded in applications that support SVS images.

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