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Issue with 4k screen

New Here ,
Mar 01, 2019

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I just got a new laptop which has a hi-dpi/4k screen. I've been searching for a while to an answer to this question but everything I've come across addresses only the UI which is not the problem for me. The UI scales fine on the computer. With the high amount of DPI on this screen, the images are smaller on the screen than usual and zooming in to make them big enough to work with makes them very pixelated and hard to work with. I tried lowering the screen resolution to what a regular laptop would be but it did not help. The images only got slightly bigger but zooming in still had them pixelated. Anyone have any tricks on working with images on a 4K screen? Thanks in advance!

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Correct answer by D Fosse | Adobe Community Professional

The size in Photoshop is correct. 820 pixels is between 1/4th and 1/5th of 3860 pixels. Remember, Photoshop at 100% displays one image pixel to one screen pixel. That's what it looks like.

At the same time, 820 pixels is a small file. Viewed at full screen magnification, it will get pixelated. To see this at roughly the size it would have on a standard HD screen (1920 x 1080), zoom in to 200%. Not fit to screen, but 200%. Then it will fill roughly half the screen width, as it would at 100% on an HD screen.

Illustrator is a completely different animal, you can't compare. A vector file in Ai is always displayed at native screen resolution, whatever the physical size.

100% means different things in PS and Ai. In Photoshop it means one image pixel to one screen pixel. Illustrator has no equivalent concept - it doesn't know what a pixel is. So here it simply means "print size".

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Issue with 4k screen

New Here ,
Mar 01, 2019

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I just got a new laptop which has a hi-dpi/4k screen. I've been searching for a while to an answer to this question but everything I've come across addresses only the UI which is not the problem for me. The UI scales fine on the computer. With the high amount of DPI on this screen, the images are smaller on the screen than usual and zooming in to make them big enough to work with makes them very pixelated and hard to work with. I tried lowering the screen resolution to what a regular laptop would be but it did not help. The images only got slightly bigger but zooming in still had them pixelated. Anyone have any tricks on working with images on a 4K screen? Thanks in advance!

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by D Fosse | Adobe Community Professional

The size in Photoshop is correct. 820 pixels is between 1/4th and 1/5th of 3860 pixels. Remember, Photoshop at 100% displays one image pixel to one screen pixel. That's what it looks like.

At the same time, 820 pixels is a small file. Viewed at full screen magnification, it will get pixelated. To see this at roughly the size it would have on a standard HD screen (1920 x 1080), zoom in to 200%. Not fit to screen, but 200%. Then it will fill roughly half the screen width, as it would at 100% on an HD screen.

Illustrator is a completely different animal, you can't compare. A vector file in Ai is always displayed at native screen resolution, whatever the physical size.

100% means different things in PS and Ai. In Photoshop it means one image pixel to one screen pixel. Illustrator has no equivalent concept - it doesn't know what a pixel is. So here it simply means "print size".

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Mar 01, 2019 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 02, 2019

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You have not provided any exact info about your system or the specs of your images, so it will be night on impossible to advise. From a wrong DPI setting at the system level to issues with your graphics driver this could be anything. Since it's a laptop, even something like a virtual/ extended desktop for external display could be at play and simply confuse PS. In any case, more details are required for more targeted solutions.

Mylenium

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Mar 02, 2019 0
New Here ,
Mar 02, 2019

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Here are the specs for the new laptop. I'm only using the laptop screen at the moment.

ASUS 2-in-1 15.6 4K Ultra HD touch-screen Laptop

Intel Core I7

16gb Nvidia GeFore GTX 1050 graphics card

Model: Q536FD-BI7T15

OS: Windows 10

All specs here: Q536FD | Laptops | ASUS USA

Recommended screen resolution: 3840 x 2160 (which is what I've got it set to)

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Mar 02, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 02, 2019

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You need to post screenshots to show this, 100% vs zoomed in. At 100%, Photoshop maps one image pixel to one screen pixel, as it always should, so it naturally gets smaller on high density screens.

What is the pixel size of these files? Note that ppi is irrelevant here, all that matters is how many pixels. For low-resolution web files, what you describe sounds more or less expected and normal.

Also, make no mistake: 4K on a 15-inch laptop screen is pretty extreme. 4K resolution makes more sense on a 24 inch desktop monitor, which I'd think is about the limit of practical usefulness - if you have absolutely perfect 20/20 eyesight.

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Mar 02, 2019 0
New Here ,
Mar 02, 2019

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I wasn't having issues with image size in Illustrator so opening files in Photoshop was a bit of a shocker lol. Here's a screenshot of the image I'm attempting to work on. It's set up as 820x360 with a 300dpi setting: (facebook cover image)

100% scaling:

2019-03-02 (1).png

Using Fit to Screen:

2019-03-02 (2).png

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Mar 02, 2019 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 02, 2019

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Adobe Scale Its UI so it will be useable the image Photoshop displays is not is not scaled its zoomed. Zoomed to 100% the image is displayed at your displays native high resolution.  It will be smaller then you are use to, smaller and sharper like your images print size when printed at a high print resolution.   At any zoom percentage other that 100% you are not viewing your image.  You a viewing a quickly scaled version of your image. This scaling is done quickly so Photoshop will be responsive. This scaling is not done for image quality using a good interpolation method.  At some zoom percentages the image quality is quite poor.  Your Real image quality can not be judged at percentages other than 100% where you view your images's actual pixels.  Do not work your image zoomed to a percentage where you find it hard to work on because of the image you see quick zoom quality.

JJMack

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Mar 02, 2019 0
New Here ,
Mar 02, 2019

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Thank you for your response. I understand that's how this works and I'm looking for help on how to make it where I can see the image I'm working on since zooming as I usually do is not working in this case cause of the larger screen resolution. It's not so much that image quality can't be judge when I zoom in to work on it, but the fact it's way too pixelated to even work on it at all and when it's not zoomed in, it's too small to even see the image I'm working on.

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Mar 02, 2019 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 02, 2019

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Consider this:

1. Quit the app if it is open

2. In the Finder, choose Application Folder

3. In the Application folder that opens, choose Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 and in that folder click on the Photoshop CC 2019 app icon so that it is highlighted

4. Choose Get Info from the File menu at the top of the screen

5. Place a checkmark next to "Open in Low Resolution"

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Mar 02, 2019 0
New Here ,
Mar 02, 2019

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Thanks for your help. I missed adding my OS to my specs post. My laptop is running Win10.

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Mar 02, 2019 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 02, 2019

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Chances are, its equivalent option is available there too, but I can't confirm it. Perhaps a Windows user can.

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Mar 02, 2019 0
New Here ,
Mar 02, 2019

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The low resolution option for Windows 10 is 640 x 480 which isn't great, but it's also greyed out or not available in the Photoshop compatibility options. That was one of the first things I checked. Thanks though!

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Mar 02, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 02, 2019

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The size in Photoshop is correct. 820 pixels is between 1/4th and 1/5th of 3860 pixels. Remember, Photoshop at 100% displays one image pixel to one screen pixel. That's what it looks like.

At the same time, 820 pixels is a small file. Viewed at full screen magnification, it will get pixelated. To see this at roughly the size it would have on a standard HD screen (1920 x 1080), zoom in to 200%. Not fit to screen, but 200%. Then it will fill roughly half the screen width, as it would at 100% on an HD screen.

Illustrator is a completely different animal, you can't compare. A vector file in Ai is always displayed at native screen resolution, whatever the physical size.

100% means different things in PS and Ai. In Photoshop it means one image pixel to one screen pixel. Illustrator has no equivalent concept - it doesn't know what a pixel is. So here it simply means "print size".

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Mar 02, 2019 1
New Here ,
Mar 02, 2019

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Thank you. I see the point you're making. While it's not perfect (and likely won't be on such a large screen for such a small file), keeping it at 200-300% is far less pixelated but makes the file workable at least.

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Mar 02, 2019 0
New Here ,
Sep 26, 2020

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Sep 26, 2020 0
New Here ,
Sep 26, 2020

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Just re-read and this is not your issue I dont think - ignore!

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Sep 26, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 26, 2020

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Well, that "fix" on https://danantonielli.com/app-scaling-on-high-dpi-displays-fix-2019/ might seem to work, but it's not what I'd call a solution. People  buy high resolution screens to see the detail in photos, surely? This "fix" makes Photoshop ignore the high resolution screen and scale up like other cheap and nasty apps as if you'd never paid for a better screen! No photographer would want to do this. However, I can see that if you are designing only for web sites, that it might  be ok because it matches what the web site does. However, nobody has ever explained why zooming to 200% (exactly 200%, not wildly as the discussion has covered) isn't a complete and better solution, which still keeps the high resolution screen.

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Sep 26, 2020 0