Printing a photo or illustration seems like it should be as piece of cake as printing anything else, but it isn’t. Fix the DPI incorrectly, and yous’ll end upward with glossy photos that are blurry and low quality, or a affiche that prints no larger than a stamp.
If y’all’re a designer or photographer, or only want to make sure your vacation shots print without problems, you demand to understand what DPI is, and how to change your print resolution. Let’s take a wait at everything you need to know almost DPI and how to change the DPI of an prototype.
What Is DPI and What Does 300 DPI Mean?
DPI stands for “dots-per-inch,” and is a specification for press and for setting the print resolution of an image.
A impress is made from millions of tiny dots of ink. The DPI setting determines how many dots the printer drops onto every square inch of the image—300 dpi means 300 dots of ink, while 150 dpi is half every bit much.
You lot demand to understand how DPI works because information technology controls the two most of import things in printing:
- The quality of your print. In unproblematic terms, a higher DPI ways a college quality print. Almost good home printers can output at 300 dpi, which is the recommended minimum for loftier-quality press, and professional person printers much college.
- The size of your impress. A pixel in a digital epitome is equivalent to a dot in a print. And then, if you print an 1800 pixel wide image at 300 dots-per-inch, the printed image volition be six inches wide. Print the same image at 180 dpi and information technology volition be x inches wide. Information technology’s basic math—just divide the number of pixels by the DPI.
How DPI Affects Your Prints
Hither’south an image to illustrate. Below are two lines that consist of the aforementioned twoscore blocks—the same size and same color. The blocks are less tightly packed on the superlative line, equating to a lower DPI; and more tightly packed on the bottom line for a higher DPI.
The effect is articulate. On the
line, the gradient is a lot less smooth. You tin can see clear edges confronting each of the blocks. The line is also a lot longer.
line, the gradient is much smoother. Information technology’s almost seamless. The line is also a lot shorter.
This demonstrates the balancing act you oft need to make when setting the print resolution: size versus quality. A lower DPI paradigm prints larger, just at a lower quality. If you’re working with depression res images, then you lot’ll accept to make a trade-off betwixt the ii.
Where possible, yous should always save your work in as high a resolution every bit you tin can. Because resizing your epitome to make it larger won’t improve the print quality.
What DPI Should You Utilise?
All this begs the question: What is the best DPI to print at?
The standard rule is that you should aim for a 300 dpi epitome. This is corking quality for photographs, and information technology’s questionable how much extra detail the human eye tin even discern across that level.
Just if your image is as well modest to impress at 300 dpi, don’t worry. The intended viewing distance of the print plays a large function in what resolution you need.
For images yous’ll hold in your hands, like photos, leaflets, or magazines, 300 dpi or higher is the target, but 250 will do at a push button.
With posters or pictures that you’re going to frame, you can get away with a lower resolution considering you’ll more often than not be looking at them from a few feet away. 200 dpi should be okay, or even a lilliputian lower. This also applies when you’re printing on different materials, like sheet, which agree less detail due to their texture.
And this continues. The farther away you intend to look at your prototype, the lower you tin fix the resolution. A billboard poster designed to exist seen from beyond the street might be printed at as low as 20 dots per inch.
It’s too important to notation that these rules only use to photos and raster images. If you’re doing graphic design work with vector images, so you can resize them every bit much equally you like without whatever loss of quality.
How to Cheque the DPI of an Image
To observe out an image’s DPI in Windows, right-click on the file name and select
Properties > Details. You’ll see the DPI in the
On a Mac, you lot need to open the image in
Tools > Adjust Size. Information technology’due south labeled
How to Modify the DPI of an Image: four Ways
You lot tin can alter an image’s DPI in most graphics packages, including the all-time upkeep blueprint apps. Yous’ll need an app or online service if yous’re using Windows, equally you can’t change the DPI natively otherwise. Y’all can change the resolution in Preview on a Mac.
Remember that DPI is only a measurement of print resolution. Changing the DPI does non change the size of your digital epitome or the size of the file.
If you lot’re working with an epitome you think you’ll demand to impress, it’s a expert idea to set your target print resolution earlier y’all resize information technology. That will help to ensure you don’t brand it too small to print safely at your preferred size.
How to Change the DPI in Photoshop
To change an image’southward DPI in Photoshop, go to
Image > Image Size. Uncheck
Resample Image, because this setting will upscale your image, which will brand information technology lower quality.
At present, next to
Resolution, type in your preferred resolution, set as
Pixels/Inch. Detect how the
figures change, as well. This shows you the size your image volition print.
You lot can, of class, specify the width and height instead, in inches or centimeters. If you practice this, just brand sure your DPI doesn’t drop besides depression to dethrone the quality. That tin can happen if your image is minor.
How to Alter the DPI In GIMP
To change the DPI of an image in GIMP, go to
Epitome > Impress Size. Enter your preferred DPI next to
X Resolution, set in
should update automatically, likewise.
Like in Photoshop, you tin can set the physical width and height instead. Over again, make sure the DPI doesn’t drop too low when you exercise this.
How to Change the DPI Online for Free
If you’re in a compression and you don’t have your graphics program of choice to hand, you can always alter the DPI of an prototype with Convert Boondocks, a DPI-changing spider web app, for free online.
All yous have to do is input the DPI y’all need the image inverse to (common resolutions like 300 dpi are available as handy presets), drag and drop the file to upload information technology, and look. When it’s done converting, it should automatically download your updated image to your default download folder.
How to Change the DPI in Preview on macOS
You lot should use i of the higher up options if y’all’re using Windows. There’s a built-in solution on a Mac: Preview. The default app for viewing images also lets you alter the DPI of those images, and it’s really like shooting fish in a barrel to practise.
Open the image in Preview and go to
Tools > Accommodate Size. Uncheck the box labeled
to ensure you don’t increase or decrease the number of pixels in the image. Now, with
pixels/inch, blazon in your target resolution (such as 300).
You’ll notice that the width and height also alter, showing yous the new size the prototype will print at.
Become Better Photo Prints
Agreement the pregnant of DPI is so important when y’all’re printing. It’due south easy to ruin entire projects because you’re working at also low a resolution or to get bad prints considering y’all’re printing them larger than they can handle.
Merely this is but the first step in printing—there’due south a lot more you demand to know to get the perfect print.