Can't open IHC images

Hi, this might be a very newbie question, but I am trying to open some immunofluorescence pictures in TIFF format and ImageJ keeps giving me the error “ImageJ can only open 8 and 16 bit/change files format (12)”.
I’ve been trying for hours to find a solution to this and nothing, so I thought I would ask.
any suggestions?
Thank you

Hi @dabronzo

Great you asked here on the Forum! Welcome!

No worries at all - let’s get you some assistance…

So if you are new to ImageJ in general… here are some helpful links to check out:

For your exact issue… Honestly, I am not exactly sure the solution myself. What version of ImageJ are you running? You can click on the status bar to see the version and let us know.

But if I were you, I would try this:

  1. Download and use Fiji as said above…
  2. We recommend opening images via File > Import > Bio-Formats - that way your metadata in read in correctly. You can read up more on Bio-Formats here.

Hope this helps solve some of your issues. If still not - post again so we can better help you.

eta :slight_smile:

Hi Eta, I am using ImageJ 1.51p version
I am trying every format listed under Imports and nothing worked so far. I will look up the Fiji workshop and see if I find some solution there.
My western blots images open fine, just the IHC that are showing this error.
Thank you

Hi @dabronzo
Just give this a try:

As I said in my response… try this first. And for sure - watch the workshops! They are a great way to get oriented in the start.


So I got it to open but I had to open the image in paint and then save it as JPEG file. The TIFF file would not work.
Thank you!


That is strange. Can you upload your TIFF file so that those on here can try it themselves?


Sure, how do I upload images or files to this?

I tried to upload one of the pictures but I can’t see it from my end. Let me know if you can see it/download it.
Thank you for your help

Dear @dabronzo,

ImageJ does not support the 12-bit TIFF files that you are trying to open. Bio-Formats, however, can open the image that you have uploaded. To verify that, you could download Fiji that already bundles Bio-Formats (or install Bio-Formats in your ImageJ). Go to Plugins > Bio-Formats > Bio-Formats Importer and select the file.

It is just the forum that cannot show your file. Right clicking and Save as should download that file.


Thank you Stelfrich, I will try the Fiji when I get to lab