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As all Illustrator users know, there is a hard limit on the size you can export a PNG file. I'm curious if anyone knows the maximum limit on this, and if it differs depending on the DPI of the exported PNG file.

For my immediate needs I am interested in a 300 DPI export, but curious what the dimension limit is for 72, 150 if it's dependent on the DPI.

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2 Answers

A fellow Illustrator artist tracked down the answer by doing it manually and we've discovered that at least in CS5, the max limit is basically a pixel dimension limit.

When exporting a 300 DPI .png file, the maximum artboard dimensions are 1965pt x 1965pt. To find the artboard limits for other DPI settings, you'd need to do the algebra to figure out the numbers. It seems the maximum pixel dimensions are 8190px x 8190px.

This equates to a 27.3" x 27.3" raster image at 300 DPI.

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The limit is somewhat dependent upon your system - RAM and resources - and the artwork.

It is pretty much impossible to give exact limits since the rasterization depends entirely upon the artwork. A full artboard of gradients will take far more to rasterize than a blank artboard with one flat element on it.

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It's definitely not RAM or the system, I have a dual-quad Mac Pro with 14 GB RAM. You can hit the export limit even with a file that just has a big plain rectangle and that's it. It's definitely a dimension/DPI thing. –  George C Mar 20 '12 at 22:32
    
@GeorgeC : (Currently) Illustrator on the Mac is a 32Bit app.. Max ram usage is 3.3GB. And it's not multi-threaded in 99.9% of the app. So it runs one 1 processor with, at most, 3GB of RAM. A faster processor can help, but the best you'll get is what I've posted. Compair that to a system with a 1.8GHz single core and 1GB of RAM and you'll see... it DOES depend on the system somewhat. But the main factor is the artwork. –  Scott Mar 20 '12 at 23:25
    
I'll agree that someone with an underpowered computer might run into their own bottlenecks, but my system far outperforms the specs you mentioned. And tests with nothing but a single rectangle as the artwork resulted in the same exporting issues which rules out artwork complexity. See my answer above for the solution an artist friend & I tracked down. Bumping the artboard to just one point larger than the max mentioned above will result in the error message. Anything below exports fine. –  George C Mar 21 '12 at 5:38
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