How to Fix Illustrator Exporting at Wrong Pixel Size

There are few things worse in graphic design than putting a ton of time and effort into an image only to have it come out wrong when you go to export it. It’s most annoying when it’s something as simple as the pixel size. So what exactly do you do when the image you exported from Illustrator is coming out at the wrong pixel size?

If Illustrator is exporting at the wrong pixel size you should first check that the pixel values are set to whole numbers. The values for both the X and Y-axis can be changed by clicking on them in the toolbar and manually editing them. If they are already whole numbers you must troubleshoot. 

If you’re having trouble getting Illustrator to export your images at the right pixel size, you’ve come to the right place. In the sections below, we will review the most common problems people run into with pixel size as well as what you can do about them. So let’s see if we can get your image back to its appropriate size and dive right in!

Why Doesn’t My Pixel Size Match My Artboard Size in Illustrator?

It doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense. You would think that if your image was one size in Illustrator it would be the same size once you export it. Right? So what are some reasons why your pixel size could be so thrown off?

The pixel size doesn’t always match because the size of the image in illustrator is simply the size it had before you did anything to change it. By running it through illustrator, you make subtle changes to it based on how it’s positioned, what all is on your artboard, and the settings you have for the X and Y axis.

Specifically, most people run into trouble because somewhere between finding/creating the unedited image and exporting it from illustrator, they accidentally made subtle changes to it. The most common of these changes is inadvertently adding one extra pixel to the image. Next, we’ll talk about why that happens and what exactly you can do about it. 

Why Does Illustrator Export an Extra Pixel?

The most common pixel problem people run into when trying to export their images is that Illustrator adds an extra pixel to each dimension or at least one of them. In other words, the exported image ends up being a pixel or so larger than you expected or wanted. Why exactly does this happen?

Illustrator adds an extra pixel when the artboard is positioned on a non round number on the X or Y-axis. Illustrator will round up to the nearest whole number, thus giving you an extra pixel on each dimension that was not already a whole number. 

Additionally, the size of the canvas can also create problems with your pixel count. It too will round to the next whole number if it’s not already set at one. 

How Do I Export Exact Pixel Size in Illustrator?

If an extra pixel is the problem that led you to this page, there are two super-fast, super-easy fixes that can address the problem. The one/ones you use will largely be determined by where the problem lies in your own individual project. Fortunately, the problem is as easy to identify as it is to fix. 

Below, we’ve outlined the steps you should take if Illustrator is exporting your images with an extra pixel:

  • Figure out where the problem lies: The first thing you want to do is identify where the problem is coming from. Is it your pixel values or is it the size of the canvas? Keep in mind that it could be both. To check, simply look at the toolbar where the values are laid out (top, center of the screen). Whichever are set to decimal points need to change.   
  • Change the pixel values to whole numbers: If you noticed the pixel size is set to something like 100.35 on the X-axis, you simply need to delete the .35 and make it a round 100. The same is true of the Y value. Delete whatever decimal comes after the whole number. Now when you export you should get the right pixel count. 
  • Change the canvas values to whole numbers: If your pixels were fine or they didn’t fix the problem, now you should turn your attention to the canvas values. Again, you simply need to delete whatever decimals that come after the main values. Once you have done this, everything should export properly. 

It’s as simple as that. Now that all of your values are set to whole numbers, you should be able to export and get the pixel count you’re supposed to get. 

What Should You Do With Your Pixel Perfect Images?

Once you have your image created exactly the way that you want it, you should consider using a service like Placeit to put it to use. With Placeit you can use your pixel-perfect image to create designs, logos, and even clothing products. Placeit truly makes for a great companion piece of software with Illustrator.  

So Really, How Do I Fix Illustrator Exporting at Wrong Pixel Size?

To review, if Illustrator is exporting your images at the wrong size, one of two issues are likely behind it. Either your pixel values are not set at whole numbers and thus Illustrator is rounding up to the next whole number, or your canvas values are set at decimal places and the same thing is happening. Whichever the case may be for you, it will cause you to have extra pixels. 

Fixing this problem is quite simple and only takes a few moments. Basically, you just need to delete whatever decimal points are on either your pixel values or your canvas. When you do that, Illustrator should export your work exactly the way you intend for it to. Now you should be all set to export your next big project!