Opening OME-TIFF with drag & drop in ImageJ/Fiji

I’m starting to use tiled and/or compressed OME-TIFF images more and more, and I find it isn’t possible to open these in ImageJ or Fiji directly by drag & drop.

There is invariably one of two error messages:

  • ImageJ cannot open TIFF files compressed in this fashion
  • ImageJ cannot open tiled TIFFs. Try using the Bio-Formats plugin

Opening through the Bio-Formats plugin works fine, but is there a trick to get drag & drop to work?

Or does it need a change to ImageJ1 to try Bio-Formats when the built-in TiFF reader fails?

I think the relevant code is here where HandleExtraFileTypes is not given a chance if the image is recognized as TIFF.

I know from others that some OME-TIFF images work with drag & drop, but my guess is that these must be neither tiled nor compressed, so that ImageJ’s TIFF reader handles them. But if so, it still seems preferable to use Bio-Formats for metadata-parsing reasons.


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Can confirm issue, drag and drop works with non-tiled OME.TIFF images only.

Hi I just reproduced this, annoying isn’t it. I’ve alerted the appropriate people :wink: This is a new error. I wasn’t having a problem with 2 weeks ago. Not sure what has changed. A

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Thanks @A.P_Wheeler and @Research_Associate!

I find that if I go to Edit → Options → ImageJ2… and turn on SCIFIO then my OME-TIFFs open very nicely with drag & drop. The trouble is that ImageJ TIFFs open differently… most importantly, they don’t have the ‘origin’ property set, which is something I use within QuPath to relate small images extracted from whole scans back to where they came from.

It would be very helpful if either

  • ImageJ1 allows Bio-Formats to have a go at TIFFs it cannot understand (or, preferably, all OME-TIFFs - even untiled and uncompressed)
  • SCIFIO could read ImageJ TIFFs in a way that closely matches how they are read by ImageJ itself

Sorry for the long delay in reply. Of course, we want SCIFIO to handle ImageJ1 TIFFs correctly. The fact that it doesn’t is a bug. It would be helpful if someone would file an issue for it. And I believe @tpietzsch was also just today investigating a similar issue—so maybe there will be news there soon.

See also:


Upgrade to the current version of ImageJ (1.53a) using the Help>Update ImageJ command and you will be able to open compressed OME TIFF files using drag and drop.