Since Paint in Windows 7 was the only image editor that I had handy right at that moment and since it was updated to be quite good, yet basic image editor, I used it to do a small work on a really big (as for Paint) image.
Sadly, it turns out, that it can handle some basic operations on such big images, but it can't... open an image it just saved to disk!
I scanned two images (half of A3 size) on my A4 scanner and tried to merge them together as one image. Both halves were scanned as 600 DPI TIFF images, so resulting two files were around 30 MB in size and around 7000x5000 pixels. Although merging both images into one took some time and was slow even on my 4 GB RAM computer, I eventually was able to write one 66 MB large TIFF file.
After saving it, I closed Paint and reviewed results in IrfanView. I noticed that upper half was slightly rotated. Since lower half was OK, I decided to re-scan only upper part and and copy it (again in Paint) to replace half of just created image.
So, I opened file damn back in Paint and... all I got was an error message claiming that either this is not a valid bitmap or image is in format unsupported by Paint.
WTF? That damn program has just wrote the file and about thirty seconds later claims it can't open it?
I've tried to open this file in all possible ways:
- from File menu,
- by Ctrl+O shortcut,
- from Windows Explorer, by selecting Edit item from context menu,
- by drag-and-dropping it from shell into Paint.
Of course I was able to open that 66 MB TIFF file in IrfanView. And I was able to open each 30 MB half-files in Paint. I was even able to re-create the image again, from scanned halfs, only to find out that again Paint can write a correct large TIFF file, but is unable to open it later.
Yes, I understand that Paint isn't perfect solution to handle such files. But, after all, if its developers knew that it can't open such files, I think it would be wiser to block both save and open, with proper message, right? Also notice, that this limitation comes to TIFF file only. When I converted that "bad" image into 192 MB BMP file, Paint has opened it without any problems.
Well, it seams that Bill Gates has stroke again. Years ago he said, that people will never need more than 640k of RAM memory. Now, it looks like he issued an internal memo, that people will never need a TIFF bigger than 60 MB.