Converting TIFF files to PDF?

Hey there,

I currently have a Linux-based solution that converts large multi-page, group 4 compressed TIFF files to PDF using GhostScript and libtiff. It’s a rather ugly piece of work that pipes raw postscript output from libtiff’s conversion tool in to GS, but it works and has been very reliable for 7 months now.

However, I am intrigued by this seemingly very nice image processing API offered by AppleScript through ImageEvents. I am curious if anybody here can tell me whether this API has support for Multi-Page TIFFs? I know it can do single page conversions from TIFF to PDF, but I need it to be able to recognize all the pages (or directories as they’re called in libtiff lingo) in the TIFF file.

I ran one of the simple conversion scripts offered on Apple’s website, and not only did it just pick up the first page of the TIFF and converted it to PDF, it also decompressed the image in the process. I feel that with my limited knowledge of AS, I might very well be missing some options that would enable ImageEvents to do what I want, so I thought I’d ask the experts.

Thanks for any input!


I will play around with Image Events and Multipage tiffs and see what it can do. The dictionary does show that the “Image Suite” Class Image has a plural value.

Class image: An image contained in a file
Plural form:

But for a quick start Andreas von Heydwolff has a bash script that uses tiffjoin to create a multipage tiff from several tiff images.

The scripts need to be customized for your scanner setup and a single directory ~/tmptiff has to be created. They depend on scanimage from sane-utils and the libtiff-tools package.
Of course your current script solution may work well enough.

Here are some suggestions for Applescriptable applications that can create or read MultiPage Tiffs: GraphicConverter iMagine Photo (I think, documentation suggests it but it is not explicitly defined)


Thanks for taking the time to answer. My current solution is working quite well, but the TIFF to PDF conversion is quite resource intensive. It seems like the Apple API is very, very fast so I was hoping to be able to tap into that.

Also, in my case creating the TIFFs isn’t an issue - they’re already they’re. What I am looking for is a way to translate large multi-page TIFF files to PDF with all pages being converted and TIFF compression retained (or specified to what I want it to be).

I don’t know if this is what you had in mind, but splitting TIFFS for conversion and joining them afterwards probably isn’t a good idea for me since I’d potentially be creating thousands of files for each converted document, and the filesystem overhead in cleaning that up would be substantial.

Anyway, if you come up with more information on the capabilities of ImageEvents in this area, I’m all ears.

Thanks again.