I have an A4 size artboard with pixels as the units that I want to export as JPG at 300dpi. Whenever I try to export, it asks me to lower the resolution. At max, I can export at 150 dpi. Why is this happening and how do I fix it?

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    Hi. Welcome to GDSE. I can't replicate this problem, nor have I ever had Illustrator "ask me" to lower the resolution. Would you mind showing a screenshot of your export settings, and the warning dialog you mention? Thanks.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 11:01
  • I've had problems before. Not sure this will help you, but I have found that Photoshop handles things better (especially better than InDesign) when it comes to raster images – so what I have done on several ocations is exporting a PDF with the right resolution (if any raster elements), opened the PDF in Photoshop and adjusting the size & resolution as needed before saving to desired file format.
    – 2rB
    Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 11:26
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    What size is the image?
    – joojaa
    Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 12:03
  • @joojaa - absolutely a possible source of the problem, because potentially if the image is too big for the jpeg fomat, it might throw an error, although A4 at 300ppi shouldn't be a problem.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 12:31
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    @BillyKerr user says he has designed as pixels as unit but export at 300ppi is the same as making the image 4 1/6 times larger since unit pixel is fixed in size. And thus more than 17 times the memory usage. So if one is not careful that can really blow illustrators pixel budget
    – joojaa
    Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 12:44

1 Answer 1


The problem is that illustrator has a very strange approach when using pixels as units.

When you combine the two units "A4" and "Pixels" it automatically forces the artboard to 72PPI.

What you can do is re-assign cm or in as units.

  • Well, no not really like this. The size of a A4 is immutable in illustrator. Unless you calculated the number of pixels needed for a a4 yourself. We dont know what the OP is facing. Anyway a pixel is not a unit, if you trat a pixel as a unit you eventually end up with a erroneus thinking at some point. (Just because ots a suffix does not make it a unit)
    – joojaa
    Commented Jun 26, 2020 at 8:45
  • A pixel is a unit of information.
    – Rafael
    Commented Jun 26, 2020 at 18:50
  • its a quantity yes. Qantities are unitless
    – joojaa
    Commented Jun 26, 2020 at 19:01
  • "Unit. an individual thing or person regarded as single and complete but which can also form an individual component of a larger or more complex whole." What you are probably meaning is that a pixel has no physical dimension. "Some units have no defined physical dimension"... Untill they do.
    – Rafael
    Commented Jun 26, 2020 at 19:07
  • Well yes the scientific and technical language of Metronomy, physical scienes etc differ a bit from natural language.
    – joojaa
    Commented Jun 26, 2020 at 19:09

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