I've opened up some TIFF graphics in Photoshop CS4. When going to Image -> Mode, they all show "Grayscale" and "8 bits per channel" checked. But when looking at the tabs, some show "Gray/8", and others show "Gray/8#". What's the difference?


"If ... you see a pound sign (number sign, #), it means your image has no color profile associated with it." From Earthbound Light, "What Do Those Symbols after the File Name Mean in Photoshop's Title Bar?"

That's the best I could find. I know you're not asking about the title bar, but it seems likely related.

Essentially, this short piece explains the logic behind the pattern you describe (slash, number, symbol), so it should be applicable here. It boils down to this:

  • color mode (RGB, CMYK, Grayscale, Lab, Index)
  • bit depth (/8, /16, /32)
  • * = color profile mismatch
  • # = no color profile

Grayscale/8 = grayscale with 8-bit depth in the working color profile

Grayscale/8* = grayscale with 8-bit depth and color profile mismatch

Grayscale/8# = grayscale with 8-bit depth but no associated color profile

  • Thanks! I have to double check at work again to be 100% sure, but I was checking file XML attributes and I'm almost certain I visually confirmed what you just said: no color profile on the guys with the pound signs. Stackexchange comes through again! Nov 15 '13 at 0:21
  • 1
    Wow. And all this time I thought the * meant my document has been modified since it was last saved. A lot of other software uses this convention (although less now that macOS displays a dot within the close button to indicate this). Good to know.
    – Mentalist
    Sep 29 '17 at 2:09

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