Files that use the extension TGA are TrueVision Graphics Adaptor image files, the file format is more commonly known by the full acronym TARGA which stands for TrueVision Advanced Raster Graphics Adaptor. TARGA files are most commonly used for video game texture files, but are also popular for icons, as the type of lossless compression used by the format is especially effective for low complexity images.
TARGA files can vary dramatically in size even for images that appear basically identical, it is possible to save files with either 8, 15, 16, 24, or 32 bits per pixel. Additionally, files can be saved in a raw uncompressed format or using a form of lossless Run-Length Encoding (RLE) compression. RLE compression takes consecutive pixels with the same values and stores them as a single value and a count, this makes the compression especially effective on simple images such as icons that tend to use relatively large areas of single colors, although it is less effective with more complex images like photos.
How can you open TGA files?
TGA files can be opened by most advanced graphics programs, or by proprietary software such as video-games. Online and offline tools exist that can convert TGA files into other more common image formats.
What programs work with TGA files?
TGA files can be opened and converted to other image formats with graphics programs, such as Adobe Photoshop, GIMO, TGA Viewer, Corel PaintShop Pro, and Paint.NET. Online conversions tools such as Zamzar and FileZigZag can convert TGA files into a wide range of other image file formats. The offline tool VTFEdit can convert TGA files into the Valve Texture (VTF) format. Another offline tool tga2dds from Easy2Convert can convert TGA files into DirectDraw Surface (DDS) files, the professional version of this software supports batch conversions.