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Yet another resolution question

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  • Yet another resolution question

    I have been reading about resolution, ppi and dpi and unfortunately I am so confused. I know you guys have given a lot of advice about this, but I might understand better if I ask a specific question.

    I have transferred my digital image from RAW to TIFF and opened in photoshop. When I check the image size it is 2272 x 1704 pixels but only a resolution of 72pixels/inch. Should I change the 72 ppi to a higher number and save the image and then print as usual? Would this give me a better quality print? Or do I leave the resolution of the image alone in photoshop and change the settings of my printer to have more dpi?

    I know it must get frustrating explaning this over and over to newbies like me, but I would appreciate any help you guys could give me.

  • #2
    This can get a little confusing. Ok, your document is 2272x1704. That is the number of pixels and that will not change unless you resample the image. At 72dpi your image will print 31.55x23.66inches. If you change the DPI, Photoshop will assume you want to keep that size and RESAMPLE the image by default (changing the number of pixels in the image), uncheck the little check box at the bottom of the Image Size dialog box that says "Resample Image" and you will be able to change the resolution to, say, 300dpi without changing the number of pixels. Now your 2272x1704 pixel image will print only 7.57x5.68inches.

    By printing more pixels in a smaller space you will improve the apearance of the print. You may need to resample the image to print at larger sizes, but remember that resampling causes a certain amount of blurring to the image, so watch out for that.

    Resolution is the total number of pixels in an image.
    DPI and PPI are the number of dots or pixels that will be printed per inch.

    General rule of thumb: higher DPI=better quality but smaller print
    I, as a rule, never resample an image element more than once. I play with it until I get it the size I want, then back up and make it that size in a single move, this prevents interpolation artifacts.

    Hope this helps,



    • #3
      A 2272 x 1704 image at 72ppi is exactly the same image as an 2272 x 1704 image at 600ppi. The only difference is a data setting from within the file. You can set the resolution to anything you want as long as resample is turned off. If you leave resample on it will actually change the number of pixels in your image, lowering the quality.

      I'd suggest leaving it be until you were completely finished with editing, then make a copy and (with resample on) apply your desired resolution and dimensions settings before printing. This allows you to maintain your original, in case you want to reprint it later on with different settings.
      Learn by teaching
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      • #4

        Thanks guys. I appreciate your help. I believe it is starting to sink in finally. I also read a really good article that helped alot. Here is the link if anyone is interested: The name of the article is Printing and File Formats by shan Canfield.


        • #5
          Thanks Doug!!

          Originally posted by Doug Nelson
          A 2272 x 1704 image at 72ppi is exactly the same image as an 2272 x 1704 image at 600ppi.
          Glory Be! I just had an epiphany! It all makes sense to me now.


          • #6
            Just so you know....

            Printer resolution settings have NOTHING to do with you actual file resolution.
            In any case, when printing photos, whatever pixel resolution your file ends up using, don't forget to set your printer settings (basically) to the highest quality for the paper type you are using. The more dots the printer sprays, the better.


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