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why does photoshop export 300 ppi image as 72 ppi?

Participant ,
Nov 13, 2016 Nov 13, 2016

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why is it if i open an image in PS which has a dpi of 300 (image sourced from Shutterstock), work on the image and then use Export As JPG, the resulting ppi is 72 according to PS. I checked my Export Prefs and they are set to JPG and 100 for quality, so why does it export as 72 and not 300? I need to supply images in my document at 300dpi not 72dpi

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 01, 2021 Sep 01, 2021

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... My bad wrong post!

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LEGEND ,
Jun 22, 2017 Jun 22, 2017

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I didn't say resolution was irrekevant for JPEG and PNG. If these are to be printed or placed it's very relevant. What I said is that (1) it's irrelevant for web work and (2) export is for web work.

Either er if these statements might be wrong. (1) some people assert that ppi is important for web graphics. I've never understood the arguments here. (2) Some people might argue that the name of the Export function suggests it's for more general use. I have sympathy for that argument, but what do Adobe say?

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New Here ,
Jun 15, 2018 Jun 15, 2018

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Hi! You've posted this a long time ago, so I hope this helps you because I had the same problem.
Starting with a file set at 300 PPI with multiple layers I needed to export individually at 300 PPI. Using the Export/Layers to Files script gave me images at 72 PPI on JPG or PNG (so I could trim layers, otherwise all I needed were the JPGS). My work around this was to create a new file with the option for Artboards checked in, set to be 300 PPI. I dragged all the layers from the other file into the new one and individually converted each layer to an artboard. Each dartboard kept the size of each layer independently.

Then I went to File/Export?Artboards to files, chose the  Export content only option, unchecked the "include background option" and my files were perfectly exported at 300 PPI and at the dimension of each individual artboard (no white background included).
I tried it to export dartboards as PNG files and it still saved them all at 72.

I hope this helps you!

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 26, 2019 Jul 26, 2019

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OMG I just read all of the posts and am worse off than when I started. I need to save 300 DPI files for an ETSY store to be downloaded for printing by the customer. They keep changing to 72 DPI. I "export as" and get it that I should use "save as" instead? So like the person who started the thread, I would like to understand why but think it might just cloud the issue more.

So is everyone SIMPLY  saying that all I have to do is SAVE AS instead of EXPORT as?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 26, 2019 Jul 26, 2019

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Yes, save as is for saving a file at any ppi resolution. Save for web and export as are for saving images for web use. Export as is the replacement for save for web, but it is still a work in progress. I've heard from Adobe that export as has better rendering than save for web, which is a very old feature.

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LEGEND ,
Jul 26, 2019 Jul 26, 2019

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The “export” function is badly named and has caused lots of confusion and wasted time. Think of it as being really called “export for web”.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 27, 2019 Jul 27, 2019

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Hi

Just to be clear the ppi resolution is just a number stored as metadata alongside the image in teh image file.   Export As (and Save for Web) does not make the file 72ppi. It actually omits the ppi resolution metadata altogether. When the file is re-opened, with that ppi metadata missing, it is given a value of 72ppi as a default.


Yes - to save with 300 ppi stored as a value then use Save As.

Dave

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 27, 2019 Jul 27, 2019

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So is everyone SIMPLY  saying that all I have to do is SAVE AS instead of EXPORT as?

Yes, and also HTML and CSS code has no ppi resolution property, a browser only considers the image‘s pixel dimensions and doesn’t do anything with the output resolution even when it is included. The Export formats are web formats—JPG, PNG, GIF, SVG.

Also, in the end it doesn't matter much even when the image is placed in an InDesign print layout, which was craigriches66​‘s concern. If a 4000px X 4000px JPEG gets exported at 72ppi its output dimensions will be 55.5" x 55.5".  InDesign has an Effective Resolution property, which is the scaled output resolution. If the 55.5" x 55.5" JPEG is scaled down to 13.33" x 13.3", its Effective output resolution will be 300ppi—the starting Actual Resolution doesn‘t matter for print output.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 27, 2019 Jul 27, 2019

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/rob+day  wrote

  HTML and CSS code has no ppi resolution property,

Yes & no.  The W3C web standard for images is 96 pixels per inch, not 72.  And it has been that way for many years.   To illustrate my point, I prepared a little CSS pixels per inch test.  No matter which display you use --  high res, low res or something in between -- 96 CSS pixels = the same length as 1 CSS inch.  See screenshot taken from Firefoxr.

For anyone interested, I used the following HTML & CSS code. 

<!doctype html>

<html>

<head>

<meta charset="utf-8">

<title>CSS Pixels Per Inch Test</title>

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=edge,chrome=1">

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">

</head>

<style>

body {

background: #555;

color: white;

width: 50%;

margin: 5vh auto;

}

.css-box > span {

display: inline-block;

height: 2rem;

border-right: 2px solid red;

}

.px72 > span {

width: 72px;

background: pink;

}

.px96 > span {

width: 96px;

background: aqua;

}

.inch > span {

width: 1in;

background: gold;

}

</style>

<body>

<h1>CSS pixels per inch test</h1>

<div class="css-box px72">72 pixels<br>

<span></span></div>

<div class="css-box px96">96 pixels<br>

<span></span></div>

<div class="css-box inch">1 inch<br>

<span></span></div>

</body>

</html>

The 72 ppi screen res was an Apple-only standard that didn't last long.  Its origin dates back to the mid 1980's when Apple released its first Macintosh computers. The early Macs included a built-in 9 inch display with a screen resolution of 72 pixels per inch. Why 72 pixels per inch? Because the Mac screens were specifically designed to work with Apple's ImageWriter printers, which had a print res of 144 dots per inch - exactly twice the res of the screen. This made it easy to scale the screen display to the printed page for WYSIWYG rendering of graphics and text. Later on, as Apple began making larger displays for Macs, they made sure to keep the screen res set to the same 72 pixels per inch so users would always see an accurate on-screen preview of the printed document (as long as they were using an ImageWriter printer).  Meanwhile, Apple's competitors had no reason to stick with 72 ppi res.

Today, 72 ppi screens are long gone.  But for some strange reason, Photoshop still clings to this woefully outdated number as if it were the gold standard.   And what's worse, the developers and some PS experts would like us all to believe that ppi is only relevant in print which is ridiculous.   When I export 96 ppi images, I need the ppi setting to remain unchanged.  The Export As feature used to work correctly.  Now it's as badly broken as legacy Save For Web  <shaking head>.

Nancy O'Shea, Adobe Product User & Community Professional
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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LEGEND ,
Jul 27, 2019 Jul 27, 2019

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they cling to it because Apple has power in the US and Adobe is a US controlled company with Mac on the brain i.e, human error

p.s, nice neat code as always Nancy

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 27, 2019 Jul 27, 2019

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Thanks.   Human error is one thing.  But the Photoshop developers have been told repeatedly and stubbornly refuse to hear.

Nancy O'Shea, Adobe Product User & Community Professional
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 27, 2019 Jul 27, 2019

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But 96ppi is equally arbitrary. None of the three screens on my desktop have a resolution of 96ppi, so your 1 inch div example never measures as 1 inch on screen. It also doesn’t print as 1 inch when the page setup is set to 100%.

We are also talking about images here. This HTML example displays three, 300 x 250 pixel images at 100%. The images have been saved at different resolutions—72ppi, 96pp, and 300ppi respectively—but they all display as the same size in the browser page.

Resolution Comparison

Screen Shot 5.png

The page code:

<!DOCTYPE html>

<html>

<head>

<meta charset="UTF-8">

<title>Resolution Comparison</title>

</head>

<body style="background-color:#000;">

    <div style="margin: 10px; width:100%">

        <img src="Snapper72.jpg">

    </div>

    <div style="margin: 10px;  width:100%">

        <img src="Snapper96.jpg">

    </div>

    <div style="margin: 10px;  width:100%">

        <img src="Snapper300.jpg">

    </div>

</body>

</html>

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LEGEND ,
Jul 27, 2019 Jul 27, 2019

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yes its arbitrary and yes moden screens will display almost any rubbish as a clear image, yes we have to smile politely at clients who think adding an S to HTTP makes their site secure because Google said it does. a pro web designer needs to know about industry standards and we need to follow them so the site meets those standards which is why Adobe was correct to change the name from "save for web"

to be clear, HTTPS is fine as a base protocol and an inch is as good as anything else for measuring but "export as" is not a tool for web designers... its just a quick option for people that want 'good enough'

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 27, 2019 Jul 27, 2019

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I feel really stupid because this was so confusing but thanks for all the

information. All I'm concerned about is that my customer gets a 300 dpi

file to Print... Print being the key word. I'm just going to save as and

ignore the export. Why do they have it if it changes your file regardless

of how you're going to use it. All I'm concerned is how it prints...art

scanned, edited, to drop shipper who prints on canvas and ships to

customer OR customer downloads and prints themselves. These files are not

for web...they are to print. Thanks again.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 28, 2019 Jul 28, 2019

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All I'm concerned about is that my customer gets a 300 dpifile to Print... Print being the key word.

Right, with disk space running at $20 a terabyte there's no reason to use a web format for print. If you are placing images in an InDesign page layout .PSD is the best option. InDesign will recognize a .PSD's Actual Resolution and scale the res accordingly, and you can turn its layers on and off as needed in the layout.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 28, 2019 Jul 28, 2019

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All I'm concerned about is that my customer gets a 300 dpifile ppi file to Print...

As a Photoshop 'beginner' I have adopted these practices that seem to ensure that every file is set as 300ppi when opened.

I learnt this lesson when a newspaper said my 6000x4000 image was not "detailed enough" (at 72ppi).

Experts can correct me if I am wrong, and if still following this long thread!

Open files from Lightroom:- my External Editing preferences are set to Open in Ps at 300ppi.

Open files directly to Photoshop:- I have my File Handling preferences set to automatically open all files through ACR, including JPGs and TIFFs.

Then I set the {ACR / Workflow Options / Image Sizing} options to 300ppi.

Hence every 'Export' of any file through Ps is already preset to 300ppi.

Regards. My System: Lr-Classic 11.0.1, Photoshop 23.0.2, Lightroom 5.0, Bridge 12.0, Windows-10.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 29, 2019 Jul 29, 2019

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Your method ensures saved files will have PPI set at 300ppi. However Exported files (using Save for web or Export As) have no ppiI value set.

As for the comments of the paper, there may be other reasons to set PPI at their requirement, but a 6000 x 4000 pixel image has the same detail whether PPI is set to 600ppi, 300ppi, 72ppi or has no PPI value set at all. The PPI number is just a value held in the file alongside the image.

Dave

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 29, 2019 Jul 29, 2019

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As Dave suggests you can’t use Export if your printer requires 300ppi.

You also don’t have to involve another application, just use Image Size to set the print dimensions and resolution and use Save As to either TIFF or PSD.

If you uncheck Resample you can change the Resolution and maintain the 6000 x 4000 pixel dimensions, and the output Width & Height dimensions will be adjusted accordingly. At 72ppi your 6000 x 4000 pixel image would have an output dimension of 83.3 x 55.5 inches and get placed at that size in page layout.

Screen Shot 8.png

At 300ppi the same pixel dimensions would have an output size of 20 x 13.3 inches

Screen Shot 9.png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 27, 2019 Jul 27, 2019

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This is only going to add to the confusion, but it's important. When we say the CSS standard is 96 pixels per inch, it must be emphasized that does not mean 96 screen pixels. It means 96 CSS pixels. This is because a CSS pixel is not defined by any hardware. This is intentional, so that when a mobile/web designer specifies 96 pixels (or one inch) in a vector graphics program, it will appear more or less the same size whether the screen hardware itself is 100 ppi, 220 ppi, or 356 ppi.

It's because the CSS pixel is defined as a specific angle of view. That angle resolves to different numbers of pixels depending on the combination of screen resolution and typical distance to the screen. (By the way, this is why Apple correctly does not provide a single number for what Retina resolution is. That number is, and must be, different for phones, laptops, etc.)

Device screens are categorized as 1x, 2x, 3x etc. depending on their pixel density, and this helps viewing software (like web browsers) correctly adjust the size of a web graphic. It is why, when you draw a 800-pixel-wide rectangle in Photoshop and put it on a web page, the rectangle size is relatively consistent when viewed on an old 110-ppi screen (1x), a Retina/HiDPI screen (2x), or a high resolution phone (2x or 3x). It is also why Export As has 1x/2x/3x options.

Photoshop doesn't do that compensation in the document window, which is why a common forum question is "how come my web graphics look too small in Photoshop at 100% compared to the browser?" Because the browser compensates for CSS pixels, and Photoshop does not. Photoshop 100% magnification always maps one image pixel to one hardware pixel (not CSS pixel).

My point here is just that when we talk about ppi for web/mobile screen graphics, we have to make that distinction between hardware pixels and CSS pixels.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 28, 2019 Jul 28, 2019

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When we say the CSS standard is 96 pixels per inch, it must be emphasized that does not mean 96 screen pixels. It means 96 CSS pixels.

And for the same reason the CSS inch property doesn’t mean the Nancy‘s div will display as one inch. On my imac it measures as .625", on my cinema display it measures as .6875", and on my iPad it measures as .4375". On a responsive web page the inch CSS property is useless.

And again the CSS relationship of pixels to inches is static—there's no way to spec a ppi resolution with CSS, and none of this relates to images. The 3 images in my example also have different output inch dimensions—4.167" x 3.472" @72ppi, 3.125" x 2.604" @96ppi, and 1" x .833" @300ppi—the HTML code to display the images ignores the output inch dimensions as well as the PPI resolution and displays all 3 as the same size because they have the same pixel dimensions.

If Photoshop happened to default to a static 96ppi instead of 72ppi when the resolution metadata was missing, it wouldn't change the way the image is displayed on an HTML page because the pixel dimensions wouldn't change.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 29, 2019 Jul 29, 2019

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PPI data is saved in the TIFF metadata namespace. The pixels on disk do NOT change regardless of this setting.

If you save with a method that doesn't write that metadata, some programs default to 72ppi.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 29, 2019 Jul 29, 2019

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Here are the Save As formats that include the PPI resolution and print output dimensions:

Screen Shot 12.png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 29, 2019 Jul 29, 2019

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ONLY if the tags are present in the proper namespace and if the viewer supports it.

This is like talking about color management. Lots of formats support color profiles, IF the creating program writes a profile tag and IF that is not deleted from metadata and IF the viewer also supports profiles.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 29, 2019 Jul 29, 2019

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My example is showing Save As to 11 different formats out of Photoshop, and InDesign is recognizing the output width, height, and resolution info for all—I didn’t have to do anything special. For Print applications it is not complicated, just use Save As and don't use Export.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 29, 2019 Jul 29, 2019

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Thanks for the lesson and good explanations.

I now know that to embed a Resolution ppi, I must "Save As" ..

Perhaps Adobe should add a "ppi" field to the Export dialog.

Regards. My System: Lr-Classic 11.0.1, Photoshop 23.0.2, Lightroom 5.0, Bridge 12.0, Windows-10.

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