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Man Pages

Manual Reference Pages  -  TIFFSETFIELD (3)


TIFFSetField, TIFFVSetField - set the value(s) of a tag in a TIFF file open for writing




#include <tiffio.h>

int TIFFSetField(TIFF *tif, ttag_t tag, ...)

#include <stdarg.h>

int TIFFVSetField(TIFF *tif, ttag_t tag, va_list ap)


TIFFSetField sets the value of a field or pseudo-tag in the current directory associated with the open TIFF file tif. (A pseudo-tag is a parameter that is used to control the operation of the TIFF library but whose value is not read or written to the underlying file.) To set the value of a field the file must have been previously opened for writing with TIFFOpen(3TIFF); pseudo-tags can be set whether the file was opened for reading or writing. The field is identified by tag, one of the values defined in the include file tiff.h (see also the table below). The actual value is specified using a variable argument list, as prescribed by the stdarg(3) interface ( or, on some machines, the varargs(3) interface.)

TIFFVSetField is functionally equivalent to TIFFSetField except that it takes a pointer to a variable argument list. TIFFVSetField is useful for writing routines that are layered on top of the functionality provided by TIFFSetField.

The tags understood by libtiff, the number of parameter values, and the expected types for the parameter values are shown below. The data types are: char* is null-terminated string and corresponds to the ASCII data type; uint16 is an unsigned 16-bit value; uint32 is an unsigned 32-bit value; uint16* is an array of unsigned 16-bit values. void* is an array of data values of unspecified type.

Consult the TIFF specification for information on the meaning of each tag.

Tag Name                      Count                     TypesNotes

TIFFTAG_ARTIST                1    char* TIFFTAG_BADFAXLINES           1    uint32 TIFFTAG_BITSPERSAMPLE         1    uint16               † TIFFTAG_CLEANFAXDATA          1    uint16 TIFFTAG_COLORMAP              3    uint16*              1<<BitsPerSample arrays TIFFTAG_COMPRESSION           1    uint16               † TIFFTAG_CONSECUTIVEBADFAXLINES     1                    uint32 TIFFTAG_COPYRIGHT             1    char* TIFFTAG_DATETIME              1    char* TIFFTAG_DOCUMENTNAME          1    char* TIFFTAG_DOTRANGE              2    uint16 TIFFTAG_EXTRASAMPLES          2    uint16,uint16*       † count & types array TIFFTAG_FAXFILLFUNC           1    TIFFFaxFillFunc      G3/G4 compression pseudo-tag TIFFTAG_FAXMODE               1    int                  † G3/G4 compression pseudo-tag TIFFTAG_FILLORDER             1    uint16               † TIFFTAG_GROUP3OPTIONS         1    uint32               † TIFFTAG_GROUP4OPTIONS         1    uint32               † TIFFTAG_HALFTONEHINTS         2    uint16 TIFFTAG_HOSTCOMPUTER          1    char* TIFFTAG_ICCPROFILE            2    uint32,void*         count, profile data TIFFTAG_IMAGEDEPTH            1    uint32               † TIFFTAG_IMAGEDESCRIPTION      1    char* TIFFTAG_IMAGELENGTH           1    uint32 TIFFTAG_IMAGEWIDTH            1    uint32               † TIFFTAG_INKNAMES              2    uint16, char* TIFFTAG_INKSET                1    uint16               † TIFFTAG_JPEGCOLORMODE         1    int                  † JPEG pseudo-tag TIFFTAG_JPEGQUALITY           1    int                  JPEG pseudo-tag TIFFTAG_JPEGTABLES            2    uint32*,void*        † count & tables TIFFTAG_JPEGTABLESMODE        1    int                  † JPEG pseudo-tag TIFFTAG_MAKE                  1    char* TIFFTAG_MATTEING              1    uint16               † TIFFTAG_MAXSAMPLEVALUE        1    uint16 TIFFTAG_MINSAMPLEVALUE        1    uint16 TIFFTAG_MODEL                 1    char* TIFFTAG_ORIENTATION           1    uint16 TIFFTAG_PAGENAME              1    char* TIFFTAG_PAGENUMBER            2    uint16 TIFFTAG_PHOTOMETRIC           1    uint16 TIFFTAG_PHOTOSHOP             ?    uint32,void*         count, data TIFFTAG_PLANARCONFIG          1    uint16               † TIFFTAG_PREDICTOR             1    uint16               † TIFFTAG_PRIMARYCHROMATICITIES 1    float*               6-entry array TIFFTAG_REFERENCEBLACKWHITE   1    float*               † 6-entry array TIFFTAG_RESOLUTIONUNIT        1    uint16 TIFFTAG_RICHTIFFIPTC          2    uint32,void*         count, data TIFFTAG_ROWSPERSTRIP          1    uint32               † must be > 0 TIFFTAG_SAMPLEFORMAT          1    uint16               † TIFFTAG_SAMPLESPERPIXEL       1    uint16               † value must be <= 4 TIFFTAG_SMAXSAMPLEVALUE       1    double TIFFTAG_SMINSAMPLEVALUE       1    double TIFFTAG_SOFTWARE              1    char* TIFFTAG_STONITS               1    double               † TIFFTAG_SUBFILETYPE           1    uint32 TIFFTAG_SUBIFD                2    uint16,uint32*       count & offsets array TIFFTAG_TARGETPRINTER         1    char* TIFFTAG_THRESHHOLDING         1    uint16 TIFFTAG_TILEDEPTH             1    uint32               † TIFFTAG_TILELENGTH            1    uint32               † must be a multiple of 8 TIFFTAG_TILEWIDTH             1    uint32               † must be a multiple of 8 TIFFTAG_TRANSFERFUNCTION      1 or 3‡ uint16*           1<<BitsPerSample entry arrays TIFFTAG_WHITEPOINT            1    float*               2-entry array TIFFTAG_XMLPACKET             2    uint32,void*         count, data TIFFTAG_XPOSITION             1    float TIFFTAG_XRESOLUTION           1    float TIFFTAG_YCBCRCOEFFICIENTS     1    float*               † 3-entry array TIFFTAG_YCBCRPOSITIONING      1    uint16               † TIFFTAG_YCBCRSAMPLING         2    uint16               † TIFFTAG_YPOSITION             1    float TIFFTAG_YRESOLUTION           1    float

† Tag may not have its values changed once data is written.
‡ If SamplesPerPixel is one, then a single array is passed; otherwise three arrays should be passed. * The contents of this field are quite complex. See The ICC Profile Format Specification, Annex B.3 "Embedding ICC Profiles in TIFF Files" (available at for an explanation.


1 is returned if the operation was successful. Otherwise, 0 is returned if an error was detected.


All error messages are directed to the TIFFError(3TIFF) routine.

%s: Cannot modify tag "%s" while writing. Data has already been written to the file, so the specified tag’s value can not be changed. This restriction is applied to all tags that affect the format of written data.

%d: Bad value for "%s". An invalid value was supplied for the named tag.


TIFFOpen(3TIFF), TIFFGetField(3TIFF), TIFFSetDirectory(3TIFF), TIFFWriteDirectory(3TIFF), TIFFReadDirectory(3TIFF), libtiff(3TIFF)

Libtiff library home page:

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libtiff TIFFSETFIELD (3TIFF) October 29, 2004

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