Photoshop: Resizing image to specific dimensions for printing.

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Hello I am Marianne. I have a question about resizing to a specific dimensions FOR PRINTING in Photoshop. I need the print to be 8 by 10 inches at 300ppi resolution. This means (8*300)=2400 pixels by (10*300)=3000 pixels. My current imzge is 4000 pixels by 5568 pixels so I need to DECREASE the size. So the way I was taught to do this is by using the crop tool RATHER THAN the image>size dialog box. The reason being that using image>size dialog I can specify ONLY ONE dimension and the other one is calculated by Photoshop (assuming Width and Height are linked and they need to stay linked) So we use the crop tool - we specify the Height and Width and resolution that we need in the options bar on top, then decide what part of the image to crop out. However, I would prefer IF AT ALL POSSIBLE NOT to crop the image. So what I noticed is in the image>size dialog box if we expand the dropdown menu where it says "Fit to" there are presets of various combinations of height, width and resolution. But the resolution is in Dpi (dots per inch) RATHER THAN Ppi (pixel per inch) For example it has a preset 8 by 10 at 300 Dpi. Dpi is NOT the same as Ppi so can we still use these presets to make the ENTIRE image smaller WITHOUT cropping? Have any of you used it, how exactly does it work? What do you do when you need to print specific size for your customers? Do you ACTUALLY crop the images or is there a better way that does NOT involve cropping? I hope you can help me figure this out, thank you very much, Marianne
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Marianne Christian

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Posted 7 months ago

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Cristen Gillespie

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If I resize and it's not going to fill the required print size proportionally, I have no choice but to crop OR distort the image. I think distorting the image is generally the worst option.  '-}

I work on a duplicate flattened image to preserve my original. I haven't found it matters at all whether I use the Crop tool set to a given size and resolution, or Image size set to a given size and resolution as far as printing itself goes.  The main difference is Image size will fill to the shortest size and crop the longest if it has to, maintaining proportions, versus the Crop tool letting me click to set the Crop, then move the image for the best crop, if a crop is necessary.

Not cropping is often what we all desire, but a fixed size for an image that doesn't have the same exact ratio as the print doesn't make that possible without either cropping, or have paper showing around edges. Call if a "frame" if you like.<G>
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Marianne Christian

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Thank you for such detailed and helpful answer:) It looks like there is no choice but to crop, which is disappointing. Unlinking the H and W and distorting the image is as you said the worst option and is simply unacceptable to me.
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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Marianne,

Your image does not have the same aspect ratio as the paper, so you have no choice but to crop (or indeed add a white border). If you think of it with a little bit extreme example, this may become more clear. Suppose you have a square image and you want to print it borderless on a rectangle piece of paper. Do you think that would be possible without distorting or cropping the square so it becomes a rectangle? Of course not. Same for your image. It is 4000 pixels by 5568 pixels, so its aspect ratio is not 8 x 10 but 8 x 11.136 and without cropping you can't change this (unless you distort the image).

DPI versus PPI has nothing to do with this. People often mix these two and they are indeed not the same, but the difference between DPI and PPI is completely irrelevant for your problem.
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Marianne Christian

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Thank you very much for your helpful reply. So does that mean that when printing for clients you always crop? It looks like we have to, no other choice.
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Michel DELFELD

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Lets consider the things:
- Your target dimensions are at ratio of  1,25 - 10/8 inch or 300/2400pixels
- Your original image is having a ratio of 1,392 - 5568/4000 pixels

Ratio are different. This mean that original image won't fit in the target size.
To fit it entirely you are forced to change the original ratio.

Two ways to do that:
1 - you cut out the original image using the crop tool
2 - you change the dimension using the PS tool image size (in the drop down menu "image")

There by clicking on the small chain link (situated just at the left of the zone) you can maintain or get free this ratio (look at the very thin lines that are there or not). Look at the dump screen.

Getting the link ratio free gives you to obtain correct dimensions fitting perfectly to your target dimensions. This without cropping the image.

BUT!

Doing this is not only forcing the image ratio but all elements being in this image will be adapted!
Sometimes it don't give any real problem sometimes it's not at all acceptable.

My experience is that if the elements in the image are well known (like people, or cars......) Changing the ratio is not at all acceptable while very large elements, this could sometimes be done.

This decision is yours.....

And, as Cristen is saying work always on duplicate
 
Dimension ratio fixed
  

Dimension ratio free
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Marianne Christian

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Thank you very much for your help and even providing the screenshots. I will keep this information in mind.
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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If you would really consider distorting the image so it fits 8 x 10 aspect ratio, then there's a better way of doing this than just using 'Image size' and unlocking 'keep aspect ratio'. Photoshop has something called 'Content-aware scale'. In that tool you can select and protect certain details before you distort the image.

Here's what you can do with this tool. At the top is the original image. At the bottom left is what happens when you simply distort it with 'Image Size' so it becomes a portrait sized image; the children and the boats are horribly distorted. At the bottom right is what you can do with Content-aware scale, protecting the children and the boats before you scale the image.

(Edited)
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Michel DELFELD

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Effectively, this could be also a solution. On the type of picture Johan, it works very good. But for instance, I didn't got very good results on a picture crowded of people.

In fact, there are lots of solutions one can apply depending one the photo and the target. 
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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Yes, obviously it won't work so well on an image that is so full of details that there is little or no room for squeezing non-detailed areas, like an image of a crowd of people. But I would expect it to be still as good or better than simply unlocking the aspect ratio in 'Image Size'.
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Michel DELFELD

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surely, Personally, I really prefer a crop than any other resizing that give me a choc to my eyes....
The picture you took as example for this function show a real good transformation. Would I not see the original, I would accept it without any problem. However, knowing the original my choice is the original. Thats always a real problem. I am used to generate such crazy panels (see the dump) and it's every time a difficulty to have them perfectly aligned. I must admit that some times I change a bit the dimensions. But it's almost 10 to 100 pixels on 3.000 pix. This kind of "changing ration" people don't see that....
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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"The picture you took as example for this function show a real good transformation. Would I not see the original, I would accept it without any problem. However, knowing the original my choice is the original."

Sure, but that's irrelevant. The point is not 'which photo is the best', because that answer does not only depend on technical things like how well the scaling went, but also on things like the composition of the resulting image. The point is that 'content-aware scale' (sometimes) allows you to transform pictures in such a good way that people won't see what you did.
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Michel DELFELD

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Is quite clear, the aim is to show images to other people and as I said if you only show the result having made somme perfect correction te way you did it is a technical subject. The one looking at the images don't care about from where the picture is coming. The problem come when you don't respect dimensions, proportion or ratio that are instinctively known by the most of people.
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Brad Watson

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Please indicate what the current resolution of your image is or post a screen shot of your Image Size dialogue box from Photoshop. You say it is 4000 X 5568 pixels, but is that @ 72 ppi, 300 ppi or some other resolution. Your starting resolution will help determine what you need to do to achieve 300 dpi in output. Also, could your output image be ok @ 600 dpi for printing or must it be 300 only? A 600 dpi image can print to a 300 dpi printer without problem in most instances.
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Marianne Christian

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Thank you very much for replying. My resolution is 300 ppi on the original image. So it's the same as the target resolution.
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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Disregard Brad's remark, please. That is a common misunderstanding. The required output (8 x 10 inch @ 300 ppi, so 2400 x 3000 pixels) is all that matters. The current resolution setting is irrelevant for that.
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Brad Watson

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When going to print output, the original resolution matters in that, for example, 72 ppi won't produce a good resolution print output unless the image dimensions are reduced. Your answer shows that by acknowledging that in order to get 300 ppi results you have reduced the image from 4400 pixels to 2400. ~ For example, linking to Photoshop images within InDesign with a need for 600 DPI output for commercial printing purposes, the Photoshop image may be 110 ppi or 150 ppi but have a print resolution equal to 600 or higher because the image dimensions on the InDesign page are considerably smaller than the original PSD file. The original question clearly stated "FOR PRINTING", and there is more than one method for obtaining the results she desires.
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Michel DELFELD

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Ok brad, when speaking about resolution, you are effectively correct.
But when speaking about ratio, changing the psi value does nothing.

So, I think that it's currently easier to explain these things in two different steps.
Once the ratio or the crop is done, one can speak about psi density.

One aspect that is very essential is when mixing different images they preferably should have the same ppi.

But I think that basic question of Marianne is about ratio. Not ppi
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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The point is that when you resize the image, you can set the resolution at the same time. The original resolution is irrelevant for that.
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Cristen Gillespie

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 Please be extremely careful if you use Content Aware Scale. I use it all the time to resize background papers to fit my print size, and I've used it when pushed on photos. With artsy stuff, I'm going to be covering up most of the background most of the time anyway — although if it's a photographed scene, it becomes really tricky to hide distortions much of the time. When it's photos, it completely depends upon the photo being similar to the example with very good edges, no straight lines, no round objects, and subjects that are easy to isolate with a mask so they aren't distorted. I have on occasion used it to slightly scale an image if the edges are fairly insignificant, but it's very easy to make minor changes you don't spot right away—straight lines aren't straight anymore, minor distortion is less minor to a client, you still have to watch out for smearing (in the waves, sand, clouds, even if they look like they would be fine—sometimes they aren't). etc.

IOW, if you plan to use Content Aware Scale, you will need to practice in order to be able to use it, and in order to know what to mask so it isn't affected without causing everything that does scale to be awful. And then to go over the image at 100% with a fine tooth comb to make sure that nothing untoward is happening.

Content Aware Scale is magic. I couldn't live without it. But it's not a simple fix. I don't know how much you have to do in a limited amount of time, but cropping a very small bit from an image might be the better way, so be prepared with both solutions in mind. You can always ask the client to shoot with room to crop if they can't shoot at the ratio needed for print. At the least, explain to them the issue of ratios not fitting neatly inside each other so they understand the need to crop—should they be complaining.

Good luck.
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Marianne Christian

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Thanks again everybody for your replies. What I still have a question about is the Image>Size dialog box where it says "Fit to" there is a dropdown menu with several PRESETS. One of the PRESETS said 8 by 10. So I got all happy thinking great I can use this PRESET to PRINT 8 by 10 WITHOUT CROPPING. I understand what you are saying that resolution is irrelevant BUT this preset says 8 by 10 at 300 Dpi so what are the implications of that? it is NOT THE SAME as 8 by 10 at 300 Ppi. So I am wondering if any of you have used this PRESET  and how exactly does it work? It is acting a little weird, for example when I select this 8 by 10 preset, I expect the dimensions fields in the dialog box (H and W) to CHANGE to indeed 8 by 10. However, that does NOT happen, the dimensions fields show some random H and W instead. At best it gives me Height 8 inches and some random dimension for the width. So again, have any of you used any of these PRESETS? I hope you can shed some light on this issue for me. Thank you so much for your help.