Eliminate confusing DPI term from product interface

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  • Updated 5 years ago
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DPI is a confusing subject for most people. How about just removing it from all the products? In todays world it is a meaningless piece of metadata. It would teach people to think in terms of actual pixel dimensions instead of an outmoded term.
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David Randall

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Posted 5 years ago

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Andres Cathalifaud

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Good point. Part of the confusion is encapsulated in your message, David. Since resolution on the screen is related to pixels, not dots (what dots?). The correct term is "ppi"; "dpi" (and "lpi", for that purpose) is an old term used in the printing industry ...
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Eric Chan, Camera Raw Engineer

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Which specific part(s) of the user interface are you referring to?
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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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I disagree.
For printing purposes the effective resolution is relevant.

That some people have troubles grasping the effects of their actions (like using but a small section of an otherwise fine image and blowing it up beyond what the image’s quality and resolution warrant) would not be alleviated by removing the term »resolution« in my opinion.
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Rob Cole

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Indeed, the term "resolution" can be confusing. I think of it as synonymous with "number of pixels" (e.g. a hi-rez image is one with a lot of pixels...), but in Lr "resolution" really refers to "print resolution" - I'd vote for a name change to make things clearer (i.e. change "Resolution" to "Print Resolution" in export dialog box).
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Eric Chan, Camera Raw Engineer

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But "Resolution" doesn't always mean "Print Resolution". It can, and often does, but doesn't have to. It could refer to any arbitrary physical device resolution, including a monitor/display. Resolution is really just the relationship between the number of samples (or pixels) and a physical unit of measurement (such as an inch, or a centimeter).
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Rob Cole

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The problem (small as it is) is that the terms high-resolution and low-resolution are common-place for meaning lotsa pixels and fewer pixels (independent of output device, i.e. not a ratio).

Example lunch conversation:
Question: What resolution is your new camera?
Answer: 14 megapixels.

How about "Physical Device Pixel Density" instead (have the term "resolution" in a tooltip instead, along with additional clarification)
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Eric Chan, Camera Raw Engineer

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Do you think that will __really__ improve the situation?
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Rob Cole

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Perhaps changing to "Physical Device Pixel Density" at this stage would cause more problems than it solves.

However, the term "Resolution" *is* a source of constant confusion amongst newbs, and veterans helping newbs in the forum.

But it's a relatively small thing, so hardly worth sweating.
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David Randall

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The problem is when people output to anything other than print. They think 72DPI is low resolution and 300DPI is high resolution. In fact, they are exactly the same.
DPI is only meaningful when going to print, and even that isn't as true as it was. As long as you have enough resolution, the print house is going to scale it to the proper resolution for the size of the print anyway.
I see MANY people get confused when resizing for web output and many do not know what the "resample" check box does, and whether it should be on or off. So they put in a recommended DPI setting to get the output they think they should have, but depending on the "resample" setting they may not get what they expected.
I guess the other question is, who really uses the DPI setting, even in printing? Almost all devices are going to scale the output anyway. I know lots of people that print at 240DPI because that is the Camera RAW default.
I set the DPI to 1 for all my web postings. If people download your picture and then try to print using the standard system printer, they get a message that it will take 40+ pages to print the image :P
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Rob Cole

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All good points David - the "Resolution" field is rarely used these days, but not never - thus it can't be removed.

I fancy myself pretty savvy, but even I was confused by it in the early days of Lr learning curve (did experiments to try and gauge it's effect on exported output, before concluding it had no effect whatsoever). Thus the reason I'd vote for a label change. That said, it __really__ is only a small thing to me ;-}.
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Rob Cole

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Another idea: create a new section, or subsection of Image Sizing dedicated to "Ouput Device Considerations, e.g. Print", and put the "Resolution" field there, instead of with the rest of the image sizing fields.

That way it's clear: "Resolution" has nothing to do with exported image "resolution" (dimensions/pixel-count) as most people think of it.

Once in it's own section or subsection, a bit of further explanation could also be included without cluttering the rest.
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Eric Chan, Camera Raw Engineer

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Is the concern here only with the Export dialog? The specific term "Print Resolution" is used in the Print Module, so I think that context is pretty clear already.
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Rob Cole

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Yes.
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Rob Cole

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Example of confusion from user-to-user forum:

http://forums.adobe.com/message/58112...

Perhaps, instead of renaming, just a clarifying rollover tooltip...