Why are these in TIFF format?

These scans are in LZW-compressed TIFF format. In short, this format was chosen because it uses a relatively compact yet lossless compression and retains resolution information (in this case 200 dpi). Most importantly, the person who scanned and supplied these feels it the best choice for printing the scans to make the counters that you need.
Why not JPEG?
JPEG is a lossy compression, which means that information is actually thrown away. JPEG does well with photos because photos typically contain many shades of each color. Counter scans do not. Counter scans represent a relatively limited number of colors where the "edges" between colors are what carry the information. For example, the printed values on a counter represent edges. Even very high quality JPEGs will show artifacts at these edges and will be visibly inferior to a lossless compression as is used in these TIFF files.
Why not GIF?
Because these scans are in LZW-compressed TIFF format, they are comparable in size to GIF files. GIF files also use LZW compression. However, unlike GIF, a TIFF file retains the resolution the counters were scanned at (200 DPI) so getting them to print the correct size is much easier.
Why not PDF?
Some of you might want to cut and paste from the various scans to make one consolidated file to print. Perhaps you don't want to waste expensive "label paper". Scans in PDF format would make that much more difficult, because your "paint" program would need to accept PDF files as input. In addition, some of you might want to adjust the scans prior to printing to alter the color saturation, color balance, gamma, brightness, etc. Again, scans in PDF format would be a hindrance.

How am I supposed to look at these? My browser won't display a TIFF file.

Microsoft Windows
You likely have a paint program already installed that can read and print TIFF files. If not, Irfanview is an excellent image viewer and is free.
In anything but the most bare-bones installation, you should have a multitude of choices for viewing TIFF files. For example, ImageMagick, XV, EE, Gimp.
I doubt that any Mac user would even admit they didn't know how to view a TIFF file. :)

© 2004 MultiMan Publishing, LCC