When it comes to determining the resolution of a digital image on Photoshop, most people opt for pixels per inch (PPI). However, when the time comes to print these images, most professionals recommend you convert your measurement from PPI to drops per inch (DPI) for idea image quality and size.
If you’re new to Photoshop or DPI, you might struggle figuring out how to change your PPI to DPI, but it’s a simple process once you know how. In this article, we will provide an in-depth guide that will take you through the process of changing PPI to DPI in four easy steps. By the end, you’ll be able to print crips, high-quality images in DPI every time.
Open the Image and Image Size Menu
Once your Photoshop image is ready to be converted from PPI to DPI, the first thing you’ll need to do is open the “Image” menu.
You’ll find the “Image” menu located in the menu bar at the top of the screen in between the “Edit” and “Layer” menu option.
Here, you can choose from an array of image alteration options, such as:
- Tone, contrast, color
- Image size
- Canvas size
Because we are converting the measurements of your Photoshop image, the menu option you’ll want to select within the “Image” drop down menu is “Image size.” You can also do this using the shortcut of pressing “Alt”, “Ctrl”, and “I” simultaneously.
Inside the “Image Size” menu, you’ll see various settings regarding how your Photoshop image is measured. Here, you can set the ideal height, width, resolution, and preferred measurements, such as inches, pixels, percentages, and so on.
Decide if You Want the Resample Setting On or Off
Before we get into altering the measurements so you can convert PPI to DPI, there’s another setting in this menu you’ll want to be conscious of: the “Resample” setting. When enabled, this setting will change the pixel dimensions of an image by adding or subtracting pixels to ensure it is proportional when the image’s width and height are altered.
Typically, the resample setting is on by default in Photoshop, but you’ll need to determine for yourself whether it is in your image’s best interest to leave this setting on or turn it off before changing from PPI to DPI.
There’s a decent amount of debate between Photoshop users whether it is best to leave resample on for this process (or in general). In our opinion, it is best to turn it off.
We say this because turning the resample setting off now means you are actually resizing your image, and so, the existing pixels will be redistributed to alter its physical size and resolution. This is ideal for images that you intend to print, which is the overarching reason why most people switch from PPI to DPI.
Having the resample setting on is great for keeping your image proportional as you alter elements of its size and measurements. This can be extremely helpful to photographers and graphic designers who are new to understanding how size affects resolution and what the ideal dimensions are for their piece. However, keeping resample enabled can also cause your image to lose visual quality, potentially resulting in a blurry print.
While you can perform this process with the resample setting on, we recommend turning it off for ideal results.
Convert and Resize Your Image
Now that we have everything setup in terms of your Photoshop settings and are in the right place, it’s time to change your image from PPI to DPI.
The first thing you’ll want to do is ensure both your width and height measurements are in inches and not pixels, and that your resolution is in pixels/inch. Once that is done, enter your preferred resolution, width, and height measurements.
There is a 1:1 ratio between DPI and PPI, so luckily, you don’t have to do any significant math when entering these measurements. Typically, images you intend to print should have a DPI of at least 250, but a 300 DPI is ideal, so if you’re unsure what to strive for when changing from PPI, this is a good place to start.
When entering your ideal resolution and measurements, you’ll want to keep a close eye on each box because they will sometimes change automatically even with the resample setting turned off.
For example, if you originally had a resolution of 240 pixels/ inches, a width of 17.7 inches and a height of 22.125 inches and then you decide to bump up your resolution to 300 pixels/inches, your width and height measurements will change because they are at the maximum dimensions this image can be printed at for 300 DPI. The same will happen if you drop the resolution significantly to 150, so keep always check your input before getting ready to print.
Save and Check
After you’ve entered all the necessary information for your ideal DPI, you’ll want to click the “Ok” button within the “Image Size” menu and get ready to save.
To save a Photoshop image, select the “File” option on the top menu and select either the “Save” or “Save as” option.
If you are unsure what the difference is between the two, “Save” will save your image over it’s original file so you only have one save overall versus “Save as” will create a new save file, meaning you have the original from the save before these changes, and then a new one with your most recent alterations.
Once you’ve saved, we recommend opening the preset menu where you can check the various print options for this image to ensure you choose the one with the closest dimensions and DPI.
Changing your Photoshop image from PPI to DPI shouldn’t take you more than a few seconds and can guarantee the best print product possible. What often throws people off here is that they assume there is a “PPI to DPI” setting option they can just choose, when in reality, you just have to alter your measurements and maintain the 1:1 ratio. Now, you can change any future Photoshop images when necessary, with ease.