Page history Edit this page How do I edit this website?
This page describes the SCIFIO library for scientific image I/O.


SCIFIO is a flexible framework for SCientific Image Format Input and Output. In other words, it is a library for reading and writing N-dimensional image data—e.g., to and from files on disk. SCIFIO is built on the SciJava Common library.

ImageJ2 uses SCIFIO by default for most image input tasks. You can change this behavior at any time by running EditOptionsImageJ2 and modifying the Use SCIFIO when opening files option.

Benefits of using SCIFIO

SCIFIO is focused on robust and extensible support for reading and writing image file formats. Using it with ImageJ2 provides many advantages:

  • There is no need to call a special SCIFIO plugin; it works with commands like FileOpen automatically.
  • There are additional import options available via the FileImportImage… command.
  • There is a Bio-Formats plugin for SCIFIO, included with the Fiji distribution of ImageJ2, that adds automatic support for over a hundred life sciences file formats.
  • Additional SCIFIO file format plugins can be added to your ImageJ2 installation and will also work automatically.
  • Unlike ImageJ’s TIFF implementation, SCIFIO’s support for TIFF adheres to the specification, allowing to successfully read many more sorts of TIFFs.
  • Similarly, SCIFIO supports more sorts of JPEG files since it uses its own JPEG decoder.
  • SCIFIO also ships with support for several QuickTime codecs, allowing ImageJ2 to read QuickTime MOV files even in 64-bit mode without QuickTime for Java.
  • SCIFIO supports many additional open file formats out of the box:
    • animated GIF
    • animated PNG
    • encapsulated postscript (EPS)
    • JPEG-2000
    • Micro-Manager datasets
    • Multi-image Network Graphics (MNG)
    • Nearly Raw Raster Data (NRRD)
    • Imspector OBF
    • OME-TIFF (multidimensional rich metadata TIFF)
    • OME-XML
    • PCX
    • PICT (even in 64-bit mode and/or without QuickTime for Java installed)
  • If SCIFIO cannot handle the image file, it falls back to ImageJ.
  • You can save to SCIFIO-supported file formats using the FileExportImage… command. Supported formats for export include:
    • APNG
    • AVI
    • EPS
    • ICS
    • JPEG
    • JPEG2000
    • QuickTime
    • TIFF

Current limitations of SCIFIO

  • SCIFIO is still in beta, so there is likely to be a higher incidence of bugs. Issues can be reported on the SCIFIO issue tracker.
  • Although we strive for full backwards compatibility, some files may appear slightly different when opened.
  • Opening files with SCIFIO is not fully macro recordable yet.