What is DPI in photos? Learn how to change the print resolution of your images

Whatis DPI in photos? Printing a photo, design or illustration looks as easy as printing anything else, but it’s not. If you set the DPI or PPI wrong, you’ll end up with glossy, blurry, poor quality photos, or a portrait no bigger than a postage stamp!

If you’re into design or photography, or just want to ensure your pet photos print smoothly, it’s key that you know what DPI is in photos and how to change the print resolution.

In this article, we explain everything you need to know about DPI, how to change the DPI of an image and what is the difference between DPI and PPI. In addition, we will show you how to increase the resolution of an image on PC and how to set the DPI on your cell phone. join us!

what does DPI mean and what is its importance?

what if we told you that DPI in photos is as crucial as lenses in cameras? To better understand what DPI in photos is, think of it as “pixels per inch” or, for an exact definition, it is the amount of dots per inch that a digital file has.

Now, what are dots per inch? Well they are equivalent to pixels in the analog world. The more DPI in photos, the more dots per inch there are in an inch that make up the images, so they have better resolution. give any image a zoom in and you’ll see even the smallest pixel!

Image: future

In fact, DPI (dots per inch) is a term that appears frequently in photography or graphic design to determine the resolution of an image, but if you are a beginner or amateur you may have some doubts similar to the following: Why is my printed image pixelated? isn’t there a special button to scan my photographs without lowering the resolution on them?

can you imagine how many creative projects can be affected by not understanding exactly what the resolution of an image is? don’t let that happen to you! If you want to have sharp images you will need to explore more about DPI in photos.

how to know the DPI of an image?

If you want to know how many DPI an image has it is very simple. let’s see how to visualize it!

To check the resolution of an image on a Windows PC, first right click on the image and then select Properties > Details. that’s it! You will see the DPI on the photos as Horizontal Resolution and Vertical Resolution.

Image: fusion year book

Image: fusion year book

If you want to view the resolution of an image on a Mac, open the image in Preview and then select Tools > Resize. that’s it! You will find the DPI as Resolution.

Image: clongeek

how to choose the right DPI?

have you ever come across a feature called “DPI” in the specifications of a scanner or printer? We’re sure you have. Maybe, at the time you didn’t pay much attention to it. But knowing more about DPI in photos and how to choose it properly will help you keep your images in good quality!

In the case of a scanner it is important to select the right DPI for digitizing physical images, because a wrong choice can make your photos look unsharp. Also, keep in mind that if you select a higher DPI level on the photos you will make the scanning process take longer than usual.

If you want to have the best resolution of an image, the scanning should be at least 300 DPI. While a lower value is recommended for lightly weighted images oriented for web pages or, for example, if you are trying how to make a photographic portfolio.

Image: Freepik

Meanwhile, if you want to print a picture of your pet or an inspiring landscape to decorate your living room wall, then you need to know how DPI works for print photos.

remember we mentioned earlier about dots per inch? When printing images, it’s very important to keep them in mind. The DPI applied in printing indicates the number of dots that can be printed per inch, i.e. the higher the number of dots, the higher the print quality.

If the resolution of an image is your main concern, then you should set it to 300 DPI to obtain a satisfactory result. Ideally, the photo should have the required number of pixels. do you already know the importance of megapixels in a camera?

If you have had the opportunity to go to an art gallery, surely, you will have been stunned at every detail of the works, right? The choice of a good DPI in photos is key to project that immersive magic!

Image: Art Lima

is it possible to change the DPI of an image?

If you are wondering how can I change the DPI of an image, well, let me tell you that it is possible! In fact, you can find the DPI inside most photo editing programs. This is where there is sometimes some confusion and we will tell you why.

The DPI on a digital photo is simply a conversion calculator, which shows you what the image size will be for printing or, if necessary, changing the DPI of the image before it goes live.

It is a very useful setting for graphic artists who usually work in printing, since it is useful to know what the resolution of an image is in different paper sizes. Or, for example, when designing a magazine in Indesign you will be able to modify the DPI in the photos until you get the recommended size.

However, you must be very careful when changing the DPI of an image, because if you don’t do it correctly you can get unwanted results (like the image below).

Image: mixed media creation

here’s how to change the DPI of an image and enlarge it without blurring it, either from your PC or mobile device.

how to change the DPI of an image on PC?

Changing the DPI of an image is as easy as editing photos on Instagram. Below, we’ll show you how to do it to ensure your photos print in good quality.

To do this, we’re going to turn to one of the best photo editing programs, Adobe Photoshop. let’s get started!

To change the DPI of an image in Photoshop, first click on the Image> Image Size option. Then uncheck Resample, as this option will increase the scale of your photo, which may cause it to lose quality.

Finally, in the Resolution option, type in the number you prefer. This will help to make sure that the DPI of a photo is optimal and print it without problems.

but Photoshop is not the only one! You can also change the DPI of an image in GIMP software.

If you want to change the DPI of an image in this program, click Image > Print Size. Then enter your preferred DPI next to the Resolution X option, set in pixels / in. and you’re done!

Just like in Photoshop, you can set the physical width and height. Make sure that the DPI on the photos is not less than the ideal figure.

Image: clongeek

how to change the DPI from your cell phone?

If what you are looking for is how to set the DPI from your cell phone, we will also tell you how to do it in simple steps. There are online converters to change the DPI on Android or the DPI on your iPhone without installing other applications.

Convert Town: change the DPI online for free

If you want to change the DPI of an image online and you don’t have access to other programs like Photoshop, then Convert Town is the best alternative. you can easily modify it from your smartphone! it’s free!

Convert DPI: change the resolution of an image in minutes

looking for more options to change the DPI of an image? Convert DPI will help you do it in minutes. Just drag the image, drop it into this online DPI, wait for it to load and you’re done!

DPI vs. PPI: What’s the difference?

Now that you know what DPI is in photos, you should know what PPI (Pixels per inch) is. Often, PPI and DPI are used interchangeably (when they shouldn’t be). While it is true that both define the resolution or clarity of an image, each refers to a different medium, i.e. digital and print.

Therefore, understanding the differences and how to apply each in your projects will allow you to produce quality print, optimize digital images for the web, and ultimately save you valuable time. To do this, let’s start by looking in detail at what PPI is.

what is PPI?

As we mentioned at the beginning, PPI stands for pixels per inch. PPI describes the resolution of a digital image, not a print, and is used to resize images in preparation for printing. To understand this, we also need to understand what a pixel is.

what are pixels?

To better understand what DPI and PPI mean, we first need to have a good understanding of what pixels are. When referring to digital images, a pixel is defined as the smallest controllable element in a digital photo or on a screen.

When you get really close, you can see every little square in the image that is made up of blue, green and red elements. On a digital screen, you can’t see them easily, but when you zoom in on an image in Photoshop they are easier to recognize.

When you take a photograph, you use the RGB mode, but printing uses a different model, although both are based on the same idea. More pixels is usually a good thing because on digital screens or in print they will produce cleaner, clearer images. Bottom line:

Each pixel is made up of RGB subpixels.
Pixel count describes the dimensions of an image in terms of the number of pixels.
PPI, or pixel density, describes the amount of detail in an image as a function of pixel concentration.

Image: 99designs.com.mx

Explanation of PPI

PPI refers to digital media that uses pixels. Each pixel in digital can be one of over 65 thousand colors, allowing for great flexibility. Notice how the variation of PPI changes the image detail on your screen between 300 PPI, 72 PPI, and so on.

Each difference between PPI means a change in resolution and file size. These little dots make up the display on your screen.

Image: photographycourse.net

When the image resolution is around 72-150 pixels per inch, as it probably is on your screen, you don’t even notice these little squares. The same is true when we print a photo with 150-300 pixels per inch.

However, the quality or “smoothness” of the image increases as the density increases. If you ever look at a retina display, you will notice that the resolution is higher than an older Apple display.

This is because there are more than 300 pixels per inch on a retina display, which makes your screen much clearer and prettier to look at. Think about the quality of pixel output when investing in your next computer or camera display.

how to change the PPI?

There are many programs you can use to change your (PPI pixels per inch) these include popular editing software such as Photoshop and Lightroom. You can locate the number of pixels in the list with the other settings when you open a new document or digital image.

If you want to increase the resolution of an image, you must resample it, i.e. change the pixel dimensions. Resampling simply means that you will increase the number of pixels per square inch in your digital image and the software will remove or add pixels to maintain high quality regardless of the final image size. This is the easiest way to change the PPI.

In Photoshop:

Click Image > Image Size.
Then look for the “Resample” checkbox.
Set it to “Keep details” so you can keep a high resolution image. If you increase this number, you will be able to print your image at a larger size.

Pro TIP: Whenever possible you should avoid adjusting the PPI of your existing images. This process forces you to create new pixels and computers are not the best at viewing images the same way people do (they often make mistakes in your image).


Modern LCD screens use something called subpixels. Each is represented by a different color including red, green and blue or the RGB color model.

The combination of all these colors results in white on the screen, but the opposite happens in printing, where the combination of all these colors results in black. This is important to know because they can be manipulated to create a sharper screen.

You may never need to adapt or use subpixels, but it is important to keep this in mind.

PPI printing

The industry standard for printing is to export an image at 300 PPI. The higher the PPI number, the better the quality of your print. Always use PPI when working with digital images and remember that increasing the PPI means increasing the file size.

Therefore, only increase the PPI when you need to print images with very clear details or textures. PPI is not really important for web images because your monitor determines the pixel density.

Pro TIP: There is no noticeable difference on your monitor between a 72 PPI image and a 6000 PPI image.

DPI Explained

DPI (dots per inch) refers to the number of dots printed within one inch of an image being printed. The larger the image size means that more DPI is needed.

Working with a printed image or DPI is a little different than working with PPI, i.e., with printers, you usually only have 3 or 4 colors. Those colors have to be combined to emulate over 65 thousand colors of ink dots that digital displays can show.

If you use a magnifying glass to look at the picture from an inkjet printer, you will see that it is the same as a halftone image. Just as you see all the dots in the halftone photo below, this is what all the dots on an inkjet would look like with a magnifying glass.

Image: en.123rf.com

When you move away from each of them you no longer see the dots, but see the photograph as a smooth composition. If you move a little further away from your computer, you can see what we mean.

The higher DPI ink means that the image elements are clearer and you can avoid a pixelated image. Remember that the more dots per inch DPI, the better the quality of your photo.

what type of printer should I use in DPI?

When the size of your image is larger and needs to be printed, the printer uses DPI (dots per inch) to produce the final product. Laser printers create images from 600 to 2400 DPI and inkjet printers use a resolution of 300 DPI to 700 DPI.

There is no standard for print size or dot shape. Therefore, higher DPI does not always mean better printing. Magazines typically use 150 DPI, while newspapers typically use 72 DPI. It is advisable to ask for help where you are going to print to choose the right DPI for your printing needs.

We hope this article has clarified what DPI is in photos and any confusion between PPI and DPI. In conclusion, the most important thing to remember is that PPI refers more to digital displays and cameras and DPI refers more to inkjet printers and the resolution of an image when printed. It is possible to use them interchangeably at times when trying to avoid low resolution of digital screen or printed images.

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