Photoshop Print Size Vs Actual Pixels

By | 11/11/2022

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Over the years we have establish that most customers aren’t aware they can view their images at actual print size in photoshop and if they are, they aren’t doing it properly so that’s the ground for today’southward post.  In that location are a few steps to calibrating Photoshop properly and then that the view you run into when going to View — Print Size is the actual print size.

The Big Problem – Photoshop Doesn’t Know Your Screen Resolution

If you lot simply become to View — Print Size information technology’south going to show you lot the image zoomed in to your impress size, simply based on the default screen resolution within Photoshop of 72 ppi.  You will need to find out what your screen resolution is and make the change in the Photoshop settings which we’ll get to in a flake.

Sample Epitome Showing Impress Size of ix×iii.5″ at Screen Resolution of 72 PPI
.  Notice how minor information technology is and you’ll notice in this instance it actually zooms out rather  than in.  That is the beginning clue something is wrong!


Sample Image Showing Impress Size of 9×3.5″ at
Right Screen Resolution
of 128 PPI

. Your screen resolution may differ from mine but most will well-nigh likely be in the 120-130 range.  Below is a screenshot of Photoshop previewing the epitome at actual print size correctly.


And so there you take it!  You can meet what a big difference it makes when Photoshop isn’t properly calibrated to view at print size.

Determine Your Screen Resolution And Prepare It

Measure your laptop/pc screen horizontally in inches
.  Just the screen itself.  For example, on my Macbook Air the horizontal  measurement is xi.25″ across.


2.  Brand sure monitor is in native resolution.  On most PC’s yous tin correct click on the desktop to go to display settings and on the Mac you tin can go to Apple tree Icon (upper left) — Well-nigh This Mac — More Info.  This will display your screen resolution in pixels (image i).  On my Macbook Air you can see the screen resolution is 1440×900 and if you click Brandish Preferences on that screen you can modify the screen resolution.  Yous desire to leave information technology in its native default resolution which is “All-time For Display” or 1440×900.


Now exercise the math.

At present that y’all know the length of your screen horizontally in inches (in this case xi.25″) and the number of pixels horizontally (always commencement number in pixel dimension then in this example 1440) to determine your screen PPI or pixels per inch.

And then divide 1440 pixels / eleven.25 inches =  128 pixels/inch (PPI).

Update PPI setting in Photoshop
.  Heading downwardly the home stretch here .. Find your “Units & Rulers” section.  Depending on your version and whether you’re on a PC or Mac it will either be under Photoshop – Preferences or Edit – Preferences.  You will run into the screen below or something very like. Next to “Screen Resolution” simply put in the PPI y’all only calculated for your monitor which in my example was 128.  Hit salve and you’re done!


Open a photo in Photoshop if y’all don’t already have i in that location.

Alter your print size and view at print size
.  To view the electric current print size and/or change it merely become to Image — Image Size and make sure information technology’s in inches as shown in the below screenshot.
Y’all can change to

the print size you want then become to View – Print Size and it will zoom in so you tin see how the image volition look at actual impress size.


Verify everything is correct.
  If yous don’t run into the Ruler at the superlative, enable it past going to View – Rulers and selecting it.  If everything is setup properly (and yous are viewing at print size), the ruler you lot have in that location in photoshop should represent a real inch. Get a ruler or tape measure and make sure and inch is an inch!  If and so, well done! At present you lot can begin viewing all your photos at actual print size in whatsoever impress size.


Generally speaking how large can I print?

That’s a question nosotros get several times a day and it’s not an like shooting fish in a barrel reply since at that place are quite a few variables involved, the almost important being the quality of the photographic camera.  Information technology’due south likewise important to know that artificially resizing an image in Photoshop will not improve print quality much if at all (at least not that the eye can see).   What matters are the native pixels off the camera.  Taking this image as an case and assuming the native pixel dimension is 2722×1102 (which it is), nosotros’ll start viewing the impress at 100 PPI to meet how it looks.  So in this instance well-nigh 27×11″.

It was taken with a quality photographic camera and I meet it looks really expert at 27×xi″ so I’ll go another v″ or so to 32×thirteen″ and it even so looks real sharp at 85 PPI.  This is typically well-nigh where nosotros might come across resolution problems even with quality cameras.  However, this particular image enlarges really well and can be printed at high quality at 37 – 40″ fifty-fifty though PPI is quite low around 70.  Here is a screenshot showing a portion of the epitome at 40×16.  Information technology’south unusual to impress at PPI below 85 or so, but the signal is that the quality of the camera is huge.  You lot won’t be press most iPhone photos below 100 PPI.


Don’t dethrone your images – edit equally RAW or TIFF
.  Be certain to exercise all your editing every bit RAW or TIFF and but make a final save as a JPEG.  JPEG’s are great because they’re easier to motion around (much smaller file = faster upload to us!) and there is no visible loss in quality when printing.  Just remember that just the final salvage should be as JPEG since each edit and salvage as a JPEG will dethrone the quality of the paradigm.  .