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3 image resolution myths debunked

Added on Tuesday 22nd of July 2008 07:28 am EST
 
Application:
Adobe Photoshop CS/CS2/CS3
Operating Systems:
Microsoft Windows, Macintosh


Anyone who works in Photoshop needs to understand image resolution and resizing methods. But don’t be misguided by common image resolution generalizations. We’ll set the facts straight on three of the top image resolution misconceptions.

To clear up image resolution myths, we’ll:
 

  • Tell you why your web graphics don’t need to be 72 ppi.
  • Explain why your print graphics don’t all need to be 300 ppi.
  • Clarify why resampling isn’t as bad for an image as you might think.

Whether creating images for web or print, you’ll no doubt spend some time in the Image Size dialog box. But don’t turn your image resizing into a guessing game—educate yourself on the right way to handle all of your image resizing needs. Read on to discover the truth about image resolution and what really matters when it comes to pixels.

Myth #1: Web graphics should be 72 ppi
In the early days of the World Wide Web, the standard screen resolution was 800 x 600 pixels, which in turn, provided a resolution acceptable for viewing images at 72 or 96 ppi. Hence, 72 ppi images for the web became the norm, as well as part of the lingo. When we hear the term low-res image, a 72-ppi image is what comes to mind.
              However, images don’t necessarily need to be 72 ppi to use online. Image resolution is of utmost importance for print graphics, but not so much for web graphics. For one thing, you can’t control what the end user has set for his monitor resolution. Another point is that changing the resolution alone doesn’t change the file size or the dimensions of the image. You need to resample the image to accomplish that.

To test this on your own:
  1. Launch Photoshop and open an image.
  2. Choose Image > Image Size to display the Image Size dialog box.
  3. Deselect the Resample Image check box, as shown in Figure A.




A

  1. Change the resolution.
  2. Note that while the Document Size Width and Height values change, the Pixel Dimensions file size, Height, and Width remain the same, as shown in Figure ...