Utah Division of Water Rights Home

Electronic Media Viewers

Revised: May 7, 2007

Most documents available from the Utah Division of Water Rights Imaging System are scanned as black and white single bit compressed TIF style image (CCITT Group IV) files. An external or plugin viewer is required to view them with WWW Browsers.

Microsoft Operating Systems and Tiff Viewers

A "tiff" viewer has been part of the Microsoft operating system since Windows 95. In most cases it has already been installed as part of the base operating system. Check to see if it is installed by going to CONTROL PANEL, ADD/REMOVE PROGRAMS, Select WINDOWS SETUP tab, select ACCESSORIES and press the DETAILS button. An application called Imaging should be displayed as a component with a check box marked indicating it is installed. If the box isn't Checked, Check the box and install it.

Early versions of Windows 95 or NT did not include the component so you will need to download and install it. Instructions can be found in knowledgebase article 140980 provided by Microsoft.

All newer versions of the MS Windows operating systems include the component on the installation CD so it can be installed directly from the control panel.

The Windows XP "fax and image viewer" which displays TIFF images is built into the OS. You do not need to install it.

You may also install the AlternaTIFF viewer at this link. Just follow the instructions provided on the website to download the ActiveX control for Internet Explorer. If you have already installed Alternatiff and it is not working, first try to reactivate it by selecting this Link.

Problems with TIFF Viewers

There are a couple of common problems associated with TIFF viewers. First is software which installs itself as being able to read TIFF files but lacks the sophistication to read compressed images and/or the tools to present the data in a usable way. The two common applications which cause this problem are QUICKTIME and MGI PHOTOSUITE. If you have either of these applications installed we suggest you go to the CONTROL PANEL and remove them. Graphics software provided with some digital cameras can be problematic. The major symptom of a conflicting application is the suprise startup of an application when you are trying to view an image document. Our recomended solution for all application conflicts is to uninstall, or, if you are an advanced user, modify the registry so the application doesn't associate with TIFF images.

QUICKTIME includes a plugin viewer for the www browser which is installed but doesn't advertise it's presence. It can be identified by a blue circle appearing for a moment in the viewer window. If you choose to un-install QUICKTIME you must shut down the web browser before un-installing and select the "remove all" option when the application prompts to remove the application.

The latest version of QUICKTIME (version 6.5) has a feature which will allow you to specify which image types should be associated with the application. If you want QUICKTIME to remain on your system install the latest version, then configure it to not associate with TIFF still images. You configure it by right clicking the Quicktime Icon on the taskbar, select "Quicktime Preferences" select "File Type Associations" from the pulldown menu, select the "File Types" button, click on the "+" sign to the left of "Images - Still image files", uncheck the box for "TIFF image file" and hit the "Apply" button.

Another problem which is experienced frequently is actually a Microsoft distributed "feature". Microsoft patches to the WIN9x, NT and 2000 operating systems distributed in 2002 broke the viewer operation. This is discussed in Microsoft Article 325192. A workaround was provided in Microsoft Article 319829.

If the www browser has been displaying images but suddenly stops working you might want to try removing cached temporary internet files. We have experienced incidents where Microsoft IE does not clean up the temporary files correctly when they are opened by an external application like a TIFF viewer. Eventually, the cache limit is reached and the browser won't allow additional files to download. You can remove these files by selecting from the pulldown menu at the top of Internet Explorer "Tools", "Internet Options", and hitting the "Delete Files" button. You can hit the "Settings" button and change the setting to "Every visit to the page" to reduce the potential for this problem.

Downloading and/or printing multiple TIFF images

The tools on our website are designed for online viewing of TIFF images. Copying all the documents in a folder and/or printing them can be very tedious. If you want to do that regularly you may want to consider using the following procedure:

Adobe Acrobat

Some documents, particularly printable forms require the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Forms designated with (online editing) can be filled out online before being printed for delivery to the Division of Water Rights. This feature requires Acrobat 3.0 or higher. To enter information on a form click in the area the information is to be entered and type in the information. Note: Sometimes the information won't appear in the field until you click outside the entry area.

Sound Files

Sound bytes (recordings) are MP3 files and require a special player and hardware (a sound card and speakers). Several MP3 audio players are available on the Internet. Microsoft's latest media player product works well on windows platforms.

JAVA Enabled Pages (Mapserver)

The Mapserver which displays interactive maps requires the Java Runtime Environment available for free from Sun Microsystems. Follow the link to download and install the software. You will get a red X in the map window or a black map window if the component isn't functioning or is not installed.