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Drag/dropping images into PS (Resolution question)

New Here ,
Feb 20, 2020 Feb 20, 2020

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Here is what I know: 

 

When drag/dropping an image between PS files where the image file is opened in a separate PS tab/window: 

  • The to-be-placed image will be auto-resized to match the PPI settings of the PS file it’s being dropped into

 

When drag/dropping an image from desktop directly into an open PS file: 

  • If the to-be-placed image has smaller dimensions than the canvas size of the Open PS file, the to-be-placed image will retain its dimension size when dropped into the file. 
  • Question: What is the resolution of the placed image once it’s dropped into the PS file? Does PS auto fill/subtract pixels in the image to match the PPI settings of the Open PS file it’s being dropped into? Or does the image retain it’s original resolution (PPI) along with its size? 

 

  • If to-be-placed image is larger than the canvas size of the Open PS file, the to-be-placed image will be auto-scaled to fit within the Open PS file canvas dimensions. 
  • Question: What is the resolution of the placed image once it’s dropped into the PS file? Does PS auto fill/subtract pixels in the image to match the PPI settings of the Open PS file it’s being dropped into? Or does the image now have the resolution it would originally have if resized to match the dimensions auto-applied by PS? 

 

Additional Question: 

Is there a panel/window/tool within PS 2020 that shows the resolution of “placed” images within a PS file? The image size panel shows me the info for my working PS file, but not the individually placed images within that file (even when the individual image layer is selected). 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 20, 2020 Feb 20, 2020

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Natively in Photoshop, there is no ppi. There is only pixels, so many wide by so many high. A Photoshop file has no size, pixels are just data points without a size.

 

To print a file, you need to define a size on paper. The way to do this is to define a pixel density. How many pixels per inch of paper. That's ppi - pixels per inch. The ppi figure is added to the file as metadata.

 

When you copy/paste, one pixel grid aligns over the other, one to one. There is still no ppi, just pixels.

 

Then someone came up with the bright idea of Smart Objects. That's what you get when you Place. But to make a Photoshop smart object compatible with vector apps like Illustrator, you had to define them by physical print size, because that's what vector apps do. Luckily that is possible, by using the assigned ppi value and resulting print size.

 

So that's what placed smart objects do. They honor relative print sizes, not pixels. That's not native or natural behavior, and a smart object is a derivative function. Lots of things are possible with smart objects, but you need to be careful to avoid unnecessary resampling which is always harmful to the image.

 

The smart object doesn't resample right away because the original is embedded the whole time, unchanged - but sooner or later the smart object will be rasterized, and then you risk harmful resampling unless you know all this and can take precautions to avoid it.

 

So in short: Copy/paste aligns to pixels. Placed smart objects align to physical print size.

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Explorer ,
Nov 18, 2020 Nov 18, 2020

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Am I able to get your help on my question here by any chance? https://community.adobe.com/t5/photoshop/drag-and-drop-vs-import-layer-image-size/m-p/11605680#M4858...

 

I've just happened across this thread and it's on a very similar topic but doesn't quite answer my question. Thank you! 

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Explorer ,
Nov 18, 2020 Nov 18, 2020

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Actually ignore my question - I think I've finally figured it out! (Sorry - I can't delete it.)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 20, 2020 Feb 20, 2020

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Resizing to match PPI is a bug it degrades images.  An Image's quality should be maintained.  If the user need to scale the image for the scale of other images content they will. Changing the number of pixels an image has just degrades the imags's content quality. Place should not do it.  Place should work like Copy Paste, Duplicate Layer.  Draging Layer between document etc.

 

Places resizing for a File Print Resolution is a blunder Adobe made.  

JJMack

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 21, 2020 Feb 21, 2020

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You can call it a blunder or bug if you will, but it's how smart objects are intended to work. It's by necessity in order to make them compatible with Illustrator and other vector-based applications. Like it or not...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 21, 2020 Feb 21, 2020

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Then it should be an option for user that do not use AI and other vector editors. Photoshop is not a vector editor, Place if you not careful will degrade your placeds images.   Perhaps the why Adobe  made Placed AI files like .svg and .ai file Vector Smart objects. Where there are no vector in Photoshop for the object.  Photoshop just re-imports the placed vector file when you scale vector smart object.   For myself I wrote script that use Place in a way Image will not be degraded.  However new tools like Photoshop Frame tool uses Place. So I had to removet that tool from my tool bar and disable its shortcut. 

 

 

Place does not vectorize raster image to make photoshop pixel image compatable with vector applications.

JJMack

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 21, 2020 Feb 21, 2020

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People are overcomplicating it in my humble opinion.   If your primary image is (as a for instance) 4000 pixels wide, and you need to introduce an element that will occupy one quarter the width of the primary image, then the introduced element should be at least 1000 pixels wide.  That's all there is to it.  As Dag says, ppi is not relevant.  It's OK for the introduced element to be more than 1000 pixels wide, and it is true that it is an excellent idea to make the layer a Smart Object before Free Transforming it.   

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 21, 2020 Feb 21, 2020

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Yes converting layer to a smart object does not degrade the layers in fact it  hardens the layer quality. Place is not involved in the conversion and the layer is in the document there is only one print ppi.  Its when Placed is used where there are external image files that may have a different print resolution then the current document current print resolution which can be changed.   Print resolution it for the print pixel size not the number of Pixels in an image.  However, Place will change the number of pixels if you are not diligent.  The Scripts I wrote do that before and after using place.  I match the current document resolution to the external file print resolution place in the image then restore the current document to the resolution it had before place was used. I do not use Linked Smart object only use embedded smart object and shared embedded smart objects.

JJMack

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New Here ,
Jan 05, 2021 Jan 05, 2021

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When we copy/paste, duplicate layers, etc. The result is what we excpect. 

When we drag and drop a document from outside Photoshop, the result is and has always been a "Smart Object" that does whatever "smart" resizing it wants without asking you. 

Doesn't matter how many times this subject appeared on forums and how many times, instead of a solution, some people tried to explain "why" it happens.

"Why" is of no interest. It shouldn't happen. It feels very much like a bug. And if it's not, why after so many years of users complaints, there is still not an option to STOP that "smart" behavior of the drag&drop of documents from outside Photoshop. 

It's always been very annoying. And ignored by Photoshop coders.

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New Here ,
Oct 21, 2021 Oct 21, 2021

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I have spent COUNTLESS hours trying to figure this out. I do a lot of composite art work, and when I drag a low resolution JPEG onto a high resolution canvas it sizes it wrong on the page (way bigger than it should be if it was respecting the canvas DPI). I just want the image to maintian its size in the canvas resolution., which is a no brainer and not asking so much.

 

I finally figured out just to cut copy and paste, but photoshop devs, if you are listening this is just an infuriating, non intuative,  no good, worthless thought process that only serves to enrage your end users.

 

I have deselcted "resize when placed", as well as  always create smart objects" in the preference window, which you would think would be a solution, but neither of these resolve the problem.

 

Rant complete...please drive through...

 

I get the whole raster image thing, but for the love of god make it an option and not a mandate....

 

Just a side note I am an otherwise happy person, but this has sucked the life force out of me for weeks, since I uograded to 2021 and its just a terrible idea...

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 21, 2021 Oct 21, 2021

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You need to understand that resolution is a Printer setting it is the pixel print density PPI the printed Pixel size. Photoshop Place create the correct Smart Object with all your images Pixels, However Place will scale your  Smart Object  layer to match you current document  printer setting,  You cans scale the smart object to the size you want it to be. That will scale the smart object pixels  to the layer size you want. Scaled from you image file actual pixels in the hardened object. Photoshop most likely scaled the smart object layer smaller them you want it.   What you discovered is the copy and paste does not do any scaling, You Image pixels are just copied and pasted. After you do the copy and paste you can convert the pasted in layer to a smart object layer. The Smart object pixels will be the same as Placed image files smart object however the Place  smart object is a is your image file and the convert layer smart object is a Photoshop layer that has the same Pixels as you files. The same pixels as your placed smart object. However,. Place will scale the smart object layer size if the Place file print resolution does not match the current document print resolution. If will scale up or down in size. In any case the smart object has your image files actual pixels.

JJMack

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