I have a tiff raster dataset, using arcgis I clip the data (to a feature class perimeter), the clipped file displays fine within Arcgis. However, if I try to view the clipped image in any external application the whole file appears completely black.

I have opened the clipped image in photoshop, gimp, windows viewer and paint and it always appears completely black.

I managed to get the image to appear by declaring the value of 255 (white) as the transparent colour, but now all the white detail has become transparent.

I am using ArcGIS Desktop 10.2.

  • Are you using pyramids? Feb 24, 2015 at 21:16
  • 2
    These software packages may have issues dealing with floating point data.
    – Aaron
    Feb 24, 2015 at 21:29
  • Hi BritishSteel, no I am not using pyramids.
    – Leroy
    Feb 24, 2015 at 21:38
  • Hi Aaron, the data should not be floating point as it should only have values between 0 and 255.
    – Leroy
    Feb 24, 2015 at 21:40
  • How does it look in QGIS? If you want to see it in an external viewer use something like Data::Export Data in ArcMap then select 'use renderer' for 8 bit output. Feb 24, 2015 at 21:41

1 Answer 1


It could be caused by bit depth. Try to convert your raster to 8 bit raster with Copy Raster Tool (https://geozoneblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/esri_workaround/).

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