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Setting your screen resolution

From: Photoshop CS4: Sharpening Images New Features

Video: Setting your screen resolution

In the previous exercise you discovered the resolution of your screen. In this exercise, I am going to show you what to do with that information, but first I am going to tell you a little story here. If you go up to the file menu, and you choose the new command or you press Ctrl+N, Command+N on the Mac, you'll bring up a new dialog box, at which point you can choose from Presets. You can say, "Hey, I want to create a new image for the Web," in which case Photoshop is automatically going to set the resolution to 72 pixels per inch. Because it thinks that's what if other web applications need some sort of information to show off images properly on screen, then they are going to need 72 pixels per inch.

Setting your screen resolution

In the previous exercise you discovered the resolution of your screen. In this exercise, I am going to show you what to do with that information, but first I am going to tell you a little story here. If you go up to the file menu, and you choose the new command or you press Ctrl+N, Command+N on the Mac, you'll bring up a new dialog box, at which point you can choose from Presets. You can say, "Hey, I want to create a new image for the Web," in which case Photoshop is automatically going to set the resolution to 72 pixels per inch. Because it thinks that's what if other web applications need some sort of information to show off images properly on screen, then they are going to need 72 pixels per inch.

That's the reason it does it that way. Fair enough. But if you instead choose that you want to create a print image for US paper, let's say, then it's going to automatically change that resolution to 300 pixels per inch. And this is assuming that you're working in pixels per inch. Those of you who are working with pixels per centimeter, you are going to see different results. But those two values are the default: 72 and 300 inside the New dialog box. I am going to press the Escape key, because we're not creating a new document. I am, you may recall, working inside the screen resolution.tif file found inside the 01_how_it_works folder.

In this file document, I am working on a MacBook Pro. That's what I'm pretending, which is fairly hilarious because I'm obviously using Windows Vista right here, but bear with me. So here I am tootling away on my MacBook Pro. I did the measurements and everything and whipped out my calculator, and I found out my screen resolution is 117 pixels per inch. Ok. What do I do with that information? Well, let me show you. You go up to the Edit menu, you PC people. You Macintosh people, you go to the Photoshop menu. Then you go way down here to Preferences, unless you are a Mac user and then you just go slightly down the list, and choose Preferences. And then you choose this command, Units and Rulers.

It also has a keyboard shortcut, curiously enough, of Ctrl+K and then Ctrl+7. Command+K, Command+7 on the Mac. I know terribly memorable, but that's it. Now BTW, if you don't have Rulers set to Pixels, you'll probably want to do that. That's the better way to work and it's going to match what I'm up to, so if you don't, you might have some confusion later on down the line. It is really a better way to work than inches or centimeters or any of those because when you're working with an image file, you really care about the pixels more than anything else.

You could be outputting to any of 7,000 worlds with different resolutions, so the pixels are what really matter. Anyway, having said that, I will get off that soapbox. Here's these new document preset resolutions, of print resolution 300, and screen resolution 72. This is where those default settings come from. Now you might figure you've got to know your printer resolution, right? You've got to set that right there, but it's not printer resolution. Photoshop does not care about the resolution of your printer. That's all handled automatically. Your printer itself, the physical device deals with that.

This is print resolution. So the resolution at which the image is going to be output. Well, this is just a default setting folks. That varies at an image by image basis. So don't worry about it. I would do nothing here. Screen Resolution though, that matters. That is tracked by that Print Size command. So go ahead and enter your value into that Option box. That's all you want to do, except change Rulers to Pixels of course, and then you click on the OK button in order to accept that modification. Now, if you go up to the View menu and choose the print size command, it's actually going to function properly.

I will show you what that means and why it's so very important in the next exercise.

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Photoshop CS4: Sharpening Images New Features

13 video lessons · 12258 viewers

Deke McClelland
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