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Photoshop Elements Tutorial: How to Edit Print Resolution in Photoshop Elements

written by: SparkKD•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 4/12/2010

Learn how to edit print resolution in Photoshop Elements with this software tutorial. The process is described with screenshots for easy understanding.

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    What is Print Resolution?

    Print resolution refers to the rate at which pixels are distributed on a image for printing.

    It is usually denoted in terms of DPI (dots per inch) or PPI (pixels per inch).

    The higher the number, the higher is the resolution and the better the print quality.

    Normally a DPI of 300 or above is used for printing.

    How does Print Resolution influence Printing?

    Many times, people are confused by the number of pixels in an image and its dimensions. The pixel dimensions of a file usually indicate how the pixels are arranged geometrically and do not denote the size of the image.

    For example, an image which is 1024 x 768 pixels denotes that there are 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

    Now this gets translated to a particular size or dimension by means of the print resolution, i.e. DPI

    A DPI of ~100 or so would mean the image is 10 inches (1024/100) in height, whereas a DPI of ~200 would mean the image is about 5 inches (1024/200) in height.

    Read Understanding Image Resolution for Printing to learn more about image resolution and how it affects printing.

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    How to Edit Print Resolution in Photoshop Elements

    Print resolution can be edited in Adobe Photoshop Elements by making use of the following steps:

    1. Open the image in Adobe Photoshop Elements.
    2. Navigate to the Image Size window by clicking on Image --> Resize --> Image Size. Alternatively you can make use of the keyboard shortcut Alt + Ctrl + I.Change Print Resolution - Adobe Photoshop Elements 
    3. To change the print resolution, modify the figure in the text box as desired.
    4. In order to have the print resolution impact the dimensions, you need to de-select the Resample Image checkbox. The resample function is used to interpolate while performing upsampling/downsampling to increase/decrease the pixel resolution.
    5. By changing the resolution in pixels/inch one can modify the same image to different dimensions as can be seen from the screenshots shown here.
    6. Save a copy of the image by choosing File --> Save As.

    As it can be seen from the screenshot, higher the print resolution, smaller is the file size.

    Note: Ensure that the Constrain Proportions checkbox is selected. This ensures that the image does not get distorted and that the aspect ratio is maintained. This can be used to stretch a photo without distorting it.Print Resolution Display - Adobe Photoshop Elements 

    The print resolution which is currently selected as well as the document size will be shown in the bottom left corner of the image screen within Adobe Photoshop Elements. The screenshot on the right shows where the Print Resolution is displayed.

    Photoshop Elements and Photoshop are very similar and the steps described above can also be used in Adobe Photoshop.

    A good understanding of the resize and resample functions is essential in order to use print resolution effectively in order to print images as required. As mentioned earlier, a DPI of at least 300 for print and a DPI of 75 or more for the web can be used as general guidelines for images. This will ensure good quality of the images.