Truevision Targa .TGA File Description


The Truevision Targa filter imports and exports TrueVision Targa bitmap images.


File Description

TARGA is an acronym for Truevision Advanced Raster Graphics Adapter; TGA is an initialism for Truevision Graphics Adapter. Today, most people refer to the format as the "TARGA File Format".


File Format

Truevision's (now AVID) TGA file format, often referred to as TARGA file format, is a raster graphics file format. It was the native format of Truevision Inc.'s TARGA and VISTA boards, which were the first graphic cards for IBM-compatible PCs to support Highcolor/truecolor display. This family of graphic cards was intended for professional computer image synthesis and video editing with PCs; for this reason, usual resolutions of TGA image files match those of the NTSC and PAL video formats.


TGA files commonly have the extension .TGA on PC DOS/Windows systems. The format can store image data with 8, 16, 24, or 32 bits of precision per pixel, the maximum 24 bits of RGB and an extra 8-bit alpha channel. Color data can be color-mapped, or in direct color or truecolor format; optionally, a lossless PackBits RLE compression can be employed.


Uncompressed 24-bit TGA images are relatively simple compared to several other prominent 24-bit storage formats: A 24-bit TGA contains only an 18-byte header followed by the image data as packed RGB data. In contrast, BMP requires padding rows to 4-byte boundaries, TIFF and PNG are metadata containers that do not place the image data or attributes at a fixed location within the file.


File Name Extensions



Format(s) Supported for Import

device-independent bitmap; 1, 4, 8, 24 bit per pixel


Format(s) Supported for Export

device-independent bitmap; 8, 24 bit per pixel


Import Method

Choose the File | Import command.


Export Method

Choose the File | Export command or select an image module and choose the File | Save Data command.


Export Options

Specify the export options in the Export Options dialog.



See Also

File Format Chart

File | Import

File | Export

File | Save Data

Export Options