Maybe this is an age old question: I used to store files in TIFF format
as long as layer is the only information I wish to keep (80% of the
times). I always think that is better then keeping PSD format which is a
special format of special software (Photoshop) and may be unusable on
computers without photoshop.

Now I wish to do the same on GIMP, I saved in TIFF format, but the
layers are merged.

Is it possible to save as TIFF format while keeping layers (and its
alpha channel)? If not, isn't it better to keep this feature as an
option (e.g. ask user if they wish to save in multi-layer format) or
preference (e.g. always save as multi-layer format, unless user set
preference not to do so).

I don't wish to keep a lot of GIMP format image in our company's
document management system, because other colleagues cannot use it with
their Photoshop. However they feel fine with multi-layer TIFF (even if
they know text layers are converted to bitmap: that's not a big headache
for them thanks to our entry level use of Photoshop/GIMP. They only want
the layer information including alpha channel)

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