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Photoshop 100% 72dpi is too small on Mac Retina Display

Community Beginner ,
Feb 07, 2015 Feb 07, 2015

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I see a lot of threads about this.

Well, the other day I actually had a tech from Adobe on the line, and after much wailing and gnashing of teeth, he admitted, "It's a Photoshop issue".

Apparently they are looking into it, just not quick enough. It is unfortunate because it seriously affects our ability to work effectively in Photoshop as you don't get the mostly accurate visual sizing.

We can only hope... Come on Adobe, FIX IT!!!

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , Feb 07, 2015 Feb 07, 2015

The image is not "too small" - your screen has more pixels, therefore smaller pixels, therefore higher resolution. That's the whole point of a Retina display!

100% simply means that one image pixel is represented by one screen pixel. 1:1. Now consider what that means.

UI scaling, however, is a different matter. But that doesn't affect the image display.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 07, 2015 Feb 07, 2015

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The image is not "too small" - your screen has more pixels, therefore smaller pixels, therefore higher resolution. That's the whole point of a Retina display!

100% simply means that one image pixel is represented by one screen pixel. 1:1. Now consider what that means.

UI scaling, however, is a different matter. But that doesn't affect the image display.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 07, 2015 Feb 07, 2015

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Come on Adobe, FIX IT!!!

The PPI of an image is not considered when you view at 100% in PS. So these two images have the same pixel dimensions, but different PPIs—left 72ppi and right 300ppi. At 100% view they take up the same amount of screen space (1000 x 667 monitor pixels):

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 11.56.26 AM.png

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 09, 2015 Feb 09, 2015

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Oh my... everyone comes up with these explanations that are not relevant. Of course if you change the resolution with "resample" set at "off" the image will always be displayed the same size as the resolution and pixels remain proportional.

Since forever, like the mid 90s, we have been able to work in Photoshop reasonably where image sizes could be viewed at similar visual sizes on the screen across most programs. Now, since RETINA display, the images in Photoshop are smaller. See below. The image at 72dpi - on the left is the size in Photoshop... On the right is the image at 72dpi in Chrome at 100%. So, Photoshop is the issue. We can not work with such tiny images. FIX IT ADOBE!

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 11.44.37 AM.png

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Community Expert ,
Feb 09, 2015 Feb 09, 2015

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You're not getting it.

The retina screen has higher resolution. That means the screen pixels are smaller, because there are more of them. This is what Retina is all about, and what you paid good money for.

And since screen pixels are smaller, the image displays smaller at 100%.

100% means that one image pixel is represented by one screen pixel. Not more, not less.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 09, 2015 Feb 09, 2015

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So, you've had a retina display forever, since the 1990s? And you dismiss the correct answers? This topic has been beat to death, but keeps coming back to life. Read up on what resolution actually is!

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Community Expert ,
Feb 09, 2015 Feb 09, 2015

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Since forever, like the mid 90s, we have been able to work in Photoshop reasonably where image sizes could be viewed at similar visual sizes on the screen across most programs.

No the physical measurement of the window at 100% in Photoshop has always depended on the monitor resolution. I run dual monitors, my iMac 27" has a resolution of 108ppi my 2nd Cinema HD display runs at 83ppi. If I move a window displaying at 100% from the iMac to the cinema display the window becomes 130% larger—72ppi has nothing to do with that change.

Also the zoom scale can be different in other applications. In Photoshop 100% represents a 1:1 monitor to image ratio. In InDesign CC and Acrobat it is the actual output size.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 09, 2015 Feb 09, 2015

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Thanks Rob

So considering that so many designers work on Mac and Photoshop, maybe ADOBE can change this so that we can at least work with larger clearer images when working with web images. That's all I was asking. Still, if Photoshop is 1:1, then does that mean that all browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox), are 2:1?

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Community Expert ,
Feb 09, 2015 Feb 09, 2015

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maybe ADOBE can change this so that we can at least work with larger clearer images when working with web images.

If you are designing for web and you want to take advantage of hi res screens then you have to do it with CSS or JavaScript querys. Search for "css retina images" and you'll find articles with code snippets that check for retina screens and allow you to use higher res images. Like this:

CSS Techniques for Retina Displays

The Chrome image in your #3 capture has clearly been upsampled. The CSS tags demonstrated in the above article would let you swap in a higher res image.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 09, 2015 Feb 09, 2015

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I am going to explain this one more time, it is also clear that some are not understanding my question, as I am making comparisons that are relevant, not just saying why is my Photoshop image soooo small...

My question is, at 72dpi image, why is the image smaller in Photoshop than what it displays in the browser, both at 100%. So you are not answering my question, I am comparing the same image, at 100% in Photoshop to Chrome, Safari, Firefox... and in Photoshop the image is significantly smaller.

Before, on previous Macs, the Photoshop image, at 100%, was similar to the same image, at 100%, in Chrome, Safari, Firefox.

So, since the retina display came out, Photoshop has an issue, but not my Chrome, Safari, Firefox? And everyone is saying it's the retina display even though it did not affect Chrome, Safari or Firefox?

NOTE to twenty_one - if Photoshop is displaying at 100%, one pixel is represented by one screen pixel, then Chrome, Safari and Firefox are representing them at 2 screen pixels. Right, as the image is double the size on screen? Plus, in Chrome, Safari, Firefox the image are super clear.

NOTE to Semaphoric - Never said we've had retina display since the 90s but your obvious frustration must have made you assume what I wrote. Not very nice.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 09, 2015 Feb 09, 2015

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The browsers are scaling. That's part of the "retina support". Photoshop isn't, because its purpose in life is to be accurate.

72 dpi is irrelevant on screen. That's for printing on paper. Screen resolution is a fixed pixel grid. You can't adjust resolution on screen as you can on paper.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 09, 2015 Feb 09, 2015

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So you're saying that the browsers all have Retina Support and Photoshops purpose is to annoy designers until the end of the world? Their accuracy is tiny!

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Community Expert ,
Feb 09, 2015 Feb 09, 2015

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Well, have it your way then. You've been given the answer, but refuse to accept it, which I suppose is your right. I don't really care one way or the other.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 09, 2015 Feb 09, 2015

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Chrome is simply detecting your screen res and upscaling—Chrome's 100% on a hi res screen is not 1:1.

Google Chrome 34.0 Beta Updated with Retina Display Fixes - Softpedia

There's nothing stopping you from working at 200% in Photoshop.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 09, 2015 Feb 09, 2015

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What 100% means is not universal. Here's 400x300 pixels at 100% in ID vs. PS:

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 10.54.44 AM.png

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Community Expert ,
Feb 09, 2015 Feb 09, 2015

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Er, I don't think we should confuse the issue by dragging InDesign into this, a page layout program that naturally deals in physical print size only...100% does not have the same meaning in InDesign as it has in Photoshop.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 09, 2015 Feb 09, 2015

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100% does not have the same meaning in InDesign as it has in Photoshop.

But it used to, prior to IDCS6 100% was 1:1 and it still is 1:1 in Illustrator—what the zoom scale means is up to the application designers

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Community Expert ,
Feb 09, 2015 Feb 09, 2015

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So you're saying that the browsers all have Retina Support and Photoshops purpose is to annoy designers until the end of the world? Their accuracy is tiny!

No, I am saying that Photoshop does exactly what it is supposed to do with View > 100%.

Not all image editing has web browser display as its ultimate goal.

What you call "retina support" seems to amount to an upsampling of images that a lot of people seem to be ignorant of.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 09, 2015 Feb 09, 2015

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From the Retina Display wiki:

"When an Apple product has a Retina Display, each user interface widget is doubled in width and height to compensate for the smaller pixels. Apple calls this mode HiDPI mode."

c.pfaffenbichler made mention above of the HiDPI article.  It's well worth the quick read.  You will find this right up top in it:

"HiDPI and Apple's Retina Displays allow more pixels to be displayed on your screen. The result is that your images display sharper; however, your images could display smaller. If this issue occurs, view your images at 200% in Photoshop (choose View > 200%). "

Work at 200%.  It really is that simple.

- shud

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New Here ,
Jun 28, 2016 Jun 28, 2016

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if we work on 200% then it will not be clear and sharp also all the time you need to set the zoom at 200%.

BTW this is serious problem and Adobe is not taking it serious ... they must need provide solution ASAP.

Also open photoshop on low resolution is most stupid technique i have every found.

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Community Expert ,
Jun 29, 2016 Jun 29, 2016

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Photoshop is an image editing application and as such it makes sense that View > 100% translates one image pixel to one screen pixel and that at higher magnifications one can perceive the images pixels as squares enclosing more screen pixels, Photoshop’s primary function should not be simulating the behaviour of browsers in my opinion.

if we work on 200% then it will not be clear and sharp

Would you really want Photoshop to interpolate previews higher than 100% with a method that differs in effect from »Nearest Neighbor«? Or what are you getting at with the statement?

BTW this is serious problem

I disagree.

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Community Expert ,
Jun 29, 2016 Jun 29, 2016

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It's only a problem because there's no consistency between applications and platforms.

Som fake it (browsers and some other viewers), some display correctly (Photoshop).

And insofar as it's a problem, it has nothing, zero, to do with Photoshop. PS does what it's always done, and will always do - it displays one screen pixel for one image pixel. The problem is one of changing display technology. If you want to blame someone, blame display panel manufacturers for making better panels...

Illustrator was mentioned above. While web browsers and image editors are all pixel-based, Illustrator is a vector-based application. It never cared about pixels - it always displays according to the physical dimensions given in the file. It's like setting Photoshop to always display at "Print Size". You can do that, but then you will always have on-screen scaling. That doesn't matter with a vector file, but it butchers a raster file.

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Community Expert ,
Jun 29, 2016 Jun 29, 2016

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Very nicely put.

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Community Expert ,
Jun 29, 2016 Jun 29, 2016

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I've had some practice I must have replied to a hundred of these by now...

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Community Expert ,
Jun 29, 2016 Jun 29, 2016

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Adobe is not taking it serious ... they must need provide solution ASAP.

The development of hi res screens and Google's preference for mobile friendly responsive web sites have made the 1:1 view pretty much useless for screen design. Designers are now force to create responsive sites so the majority of images are being scaled as needed to fit the screen size. In that case it would be impossible to predict what the image pixel to monitor pixel ratio will be when the image is scaled and displayed in a modern browser.

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