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Photoshop is the world’s most powerful image editor, and it’s arguably the most complex, as well. Fortunately, nobody knows the program like award-winning book and video author Deke McClelland. Join Deke as he explores such indispensable Photoshop features as resolution, cropping, color correction, retouching, and layers. Gain expertise with real-world projects that make sense. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download Deke's free dekeKeys and color settings from the Exercise Files tab.
Throughout this chapter, we'll be approaching the Print options in the order that I think you're most likely to need them. For example, your first and foremost concern when printing an image from Photoshop is how big is it going to be? Are you printing a small postcard size image? Are you printing a large poster size image? How big do you need that image to be? So in this exercise, I'm going to show you how to gauge and modify that Print Size. Now some of this we've seen before back in chapter 3, but it's worth refreshing your memory, because it all really comes into play when you're printing from Photoshop.
Now I'm working inside this image called The joy of color.psd found inside the 11_printing folder. I'm seeing this image at the 66.7% zoom ratio. So not yet 100%, and yet it seems gargantuan. We're not seeing most of the image as warranted by this thumbnail here. There is a lot of the photograph that's missing. I'm zoomed in on these color chiclets at this point. So I have this sense right now that this is going to be a massive image. Yeah, it's actually small enough to fit on a letter-size page. So how do I find out what that Print Size is? Well, there is a variety of different options available to you.
First, under the Image menu, you can choose the Image Size command. Remember that guy, again from Chapter 5. Ctrl+Alt+I, Command+Option+I on the Mac, brings up the Image Size dialog box. First and foremost, you'll see the Pixel Dimensions, 2250 pixels wide, 1500 pixels tall. That doesn't tell you squat about the print size of this image. Those are the actual Pixel Dimensions. If you want to know the Print Size, you drop down to this guy right there, Document Size. What the word Document means is Print. That's exactly, absolutely and only what Document Size means is how big will the image print? In our case, it's going to be 7.5 inches wide by 5 inches tall with a resolution of 300 pixels per inch.
Now just by way of a refresher, if you want to change that physical print size, but you don't want to change the number of pixels inside the image which is the way I generally recommend you go, then you want to turn the Resample Image check box off like so. That turns off your access to the Pixel Dimensions. It links all three of these Document Size values to each other. Then I can go ahead and reduce the size of this image to 5 inches wide, which would automatically set the Height value to three and a-third inches. Then my Resolution grows to 450 pixels per inch.
Again, you may remember that when you reduce the size of the printed image. You increase the Resolution, because you're packing more pixels into a smaller area. Whereas, if you increase the size value, I'll take it up to 10 inches wide, six and two-third inches high. Now my Resolution drops down to 225 pixels per inch, which is just barely acceptable for close viewing purposes. Anyway, I don't want to change this. I'm going to cancel out, but that is how I could change the Print Size if I wanted to.
Another way to gauge Print Size inside of Photoshop is to bring up the Info panel. I'll go ahead and double-click on this gray area to the right of the word Info, or I could choose the Info command from the Window menu or I could press the F8 key. If you modified this panel the way I suggested earlier in this series, then you will see the size of the image 2250 pixels wide by 1500 pixels tall. That however does not tell you how big the image is gong to print. If you want to see the print size, go over to this X, Y option right there.
Notice this cross with this tiny little arrowhead. The arrowhead shows you that there is a pop-up menu, click, and switchover to one of your physical units of measure. That's going to be Inches or Centimeters or Millimeters or Points or Picas, totally up to you. So one of these five options there. I'm going to switch to Inches. Now that should be all it takes. You should now see the size of your printed image represented in Inches. I'm working in a Beta version of the software, so this isn't quite functioning right.
If for some reason it ends up not functioning right for you, here is what you do. You go to the Fly-out menu icon, click on it, choose panel Options, and that'll bring up this dialog box here, just change any of these check boxes. You could turn on Timing for example if you want to, and then click OK. Notice that that goes ahead and refreshes this area, shows me that the image is 7.5 inches wide, 5 inches tall with a resolution of 300 pixels per inch. Now, I'm also seeing the time spent on the last operation that I performed inside of Photoshop for what that's worth.
Anyway, I'm now going to switch that guy back off. So I'll go to panel Options. Once again, turn Timing off. I don't want to see that, click OK. The other option that's available to you is you can click right here on the Document Size in the lower left corner of the image window. Click and hold, and you will see the size of the image represented not only in pixels, but also in my case in inches. You will see the resolution of your image as well. Now, in the old days in Photoshop CS3 and earlier, when you clicked and held on this option, you would see this box with an X through it.
That showed you how the image was going to line up on the printed piece of paper. That's no longer available to you here from this option. If you want a preview how your image will print, then you need to go up to the File menu, and choose the Print command or you can press Ctrl+P, Command+P, the industry standard keyboard shortcut for Print. That brings up the Print dialog box, which actually shows you a preview of your color image on a physical piece of paper right there. You also have the Scaling options available to you as well.
I'm gong to show you how to scale the image on the page as well as change the orientation whether it's horizontal or vertical in the next exercise.
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