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I'm working on a comp provided by a designer. It's an Illustrator file. My normal workflow is I copy (to the clipboard) a visual element from Illustrator and paste it into Photoshop. This allows me to work on and prepare the element I need to turn into a PNG for use on the web.

The first day, elements I copied to Photoshop were large and high-res. I knew the percentage to reduce them when saving for the web in Photoshop to make them right (27.33%). However, on day two, when I copied elements (some same and some others, but all in the same file) they came through into Photoshop as regular size (e.g., I did not need to scale them down).

I never saved the Illustrator file, so it's not something in the file I might have changed. I assume this is some kind of setting?

I know this must be something bone-headed I did, but I can't figure it out.

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(1) are the elements you're copying from Illustrator raster or vector? (2) Were they natively created in Illustrator or placed from some other program? (3) did you change something in the Photoshop file, like the dpi? –  Lauren Ipsum Dec 5 '11 at 12:15
    
1. How do you tell? 2. Native, I think. 3. No –  Justin Dec 5 '11 at 22:50
    
I wondered this myself and thought I had lost my mind. When copying to photoshop I hardly get the same size. Wonder if there is an explanation behind this... –  Yisela Dec 6 '11 at 10:48
    
Raster or vector: either you can edit the points and lines in Illustrator, or you can't (that is, it's a solid image). –  Lauren Ipsum Dec 6 '11 at 12:37
    
I can edit the points. –  Justin Dec 6 '11 at 15:09

2 Answers 2

I finally remembered an instance where this happened to me:

When you are copying the element out of Illustrator, pay attention to stray points. Occasionally an item has a single loose point not connected to anything which somehow gets grouped with the element you're copying, or there's something all the way out in the pasteboard of the layer which is selected if you "select all."

When you paste into Photoshop, it pastes the entire item, whatever the width. If your item is (random numbers) 250px wide, it comes in at 100%. But if the 250px item is grouped with a single no-fill no-stroke point 600px to the left, the "entire item" is 250px plus 600px, so it comes in as 850px, which then needs to be scaled down to 33%.

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When you copy something from Illustrator and paste it into Photoshop, Photoshop places it with the same "physical dimensions" that the object had in Illustrator. So, if your object is 14 inches wide in Illustrator, it will place the object in Photoshop at 14 inches wide, regardless of how many pixels that is.

Take a look at this screenshot, and note the dimensions on the rulers:enter image description here

Notice how the object is ~4.5 inches in each of the images. This was the same Illustrator object placed into 2 different Photoshop images.

So if you want objects from Illustrator to copy over to Photoshop at their exact size, you need to make sure that Your Photoshop Document is using the same Pixels per Inch that your Illustrator document is using.

To change the Pixels per Inch in Photoshop, go to Image > Image Size, deselect "Resample Image," then change the Resolution. To change this in Illustrator, go to Effects > Document Raster Effects Settings and change the Resolution.

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