Windows TIFF IFilter and SharePoint 2007
The TIFF file format has been around for awhile, original created for scanner devices in the mid ‘80s, it’s seen many revisions but continues to be the de facto standard for scanners. Prior to the release of the Windows TIFF IFilter I wouldn’t think twice about scanning to PDF as the searchable target format for SharePoint, in many cases I would still recommend PDF. It’s nice to have TIFF back as an option for clients that need full text search ability in SharePoint, with the Windows TIFF IFilter, a built-in (I would not say free) Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7 feature, you can do FTS with TIFF.
Windows TIFF IFilter Overview
Windows TIFF IFilter enables you to search for Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) documents based on text content. Windows TIFF IFilter supports all TIFF documents that are complaint with Adobe TIFF Revision 6.0 specifications, and includes the most frequent compressions, such as LZW, JPG, CCITT v4, CCITT v6, uncompressed, and so forth.
When loaded, Windows TIFF IFilter performs Optical Character Recognition (OCR) processing of TIFF images, and then provides the recognized text to the caller for building the search index.
Windows TIFF IFilter can be used by Indexing Service (for Desktop Search), Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 or later, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, and Microsoft SQL Server 2005.
Search result considerations
Windows TIFF IFilter focuses on text-based documents, which means that searching will be more successful for documents that contain clearly identifiable text (for example, black text on a white background), and less successful for documents that contain mixed content (for example, artistic text or text inside of pictures). Additionally, low-quality images and mixed languages can negatively impact OCR processing, and consequently, lower the quality of the search results.
Source: Microsoft TechNet
Before – Advanced Search
Before the Windows TIFF IFilter in installed and configured you’ll not get any hits on the document via a full text search.
Note: All my services are installed on a single Windows 2008 R2 Standard server. If you have a distributed MOSS farm, you’ll need to install and configure the Windows TIFF IFilter on the Index server of your farm.
1. From the Server Manager select the Features node and select Add Feature.
2. Select the Windows TIFF IFilter and select Next. (Click Next to the Install Window)
3. Select Install.
4. Select Close.
5. Now you’ll need to add a new File Service Role.
6. Select the File Service role and select Next.
7. Select the Windows Server 2003 File Services. Indexing Service will automatically select. Click Next.
8. Select Install.
9. Select Close.
10. Now you’ll need to install and start the Indexing Service. In the Run command type MMC.EXE and click OK.
11. From the File menu select Add/Remove Snap-in…
12. Select the Indexing Service in the Available snap-ins and select Add.
13. You’ll be prompted for select a Computer. Select the default, Local Computer and select Finish.
14. Select OK.
15. Close the Console (you don’t need to save).
16. Verify the service is installed and running.
17. Now run a Full Crawl. You may have to do this a few times.
After – Advanced Search
After the Full or Incremental Crawl has completed you can now perform an Advanced MOSS Search and you find the document.
You can also verify the TIFF document has been crawled via the Crawl Log.
The Windows TIFF IFilter Settings
If you need to change the setting on the OCR for the IFilter you can do so via the Local Group Policy Editor for the Language and page OCR. For the page OCR you can change it to OCR every page, but this will impact server performance so use with caution.