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I have been dealing with this issue for a while. I have found some work arounds to get around the problem but It is very inconvenient. If I create the same size document (pixels) in illustrator and Photoshop then copy an object from illustrator and paste it in photoshop, photoshop resizes the object to fit the canvas. I have attached some photos of the document setup in case I'm overlooking something. If I do the same thing but set up the documents in inches I do not have the problem or if I set it up in inches and then change the dropdown to pixels it works fine too. any guesses on what the issue here is?

Update: I just realized when I type in the pixel dimensions in each application and then before creating the document I switch it to inches the sizes are way off. Photoshop is 6.4x3.6 (1920x1080) and Illustrator is 26.6x15 (1920x1080).

Photoshop document setup

Illustrator document setup Copying objects in illustrator Pasting in photoshop photoshop inch conversion Illustrator inch conversion

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    Photoshop > Prefs > General > Resize During Place ---- is that ticked? – Scott Feb 22 at 17:49
  • Yes it is but if I uncheck it the objects are huge when I paste them in. – kevb10 Feb 22 at 17:50
  • I think the issue may be that AI is pixel-dumb.. it assumes everything is 72/96ppi, therefore the resolution (thus size) will only match if your PS document resolution is also 72/96 ppi. – Scott Feb 22 at 17:52
  • I find it strange that I haven't seen anyone else have this problem. Maybe my workflow is just abnormal. I like to design objects in illustrator and then drag them to a composition in photoshop but the size gets screwed up and I have to resize. Like I said its not the end of the world but just inconvenient. – kevb10 Feb 22 at 17:58
  • Its not strange. But its a essential feature of how you can not have multiple different definitions of a pixel and not end up with problems. Think in physical units and all of this goes away. Note that the raster effects setting is not what you think it is. – joojaa Feb 22 at 18:01
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You have stumbled uppon one of the legacy problems of digital publishing platforms when it mixes with treating pixels as units. Scroll dow to TL;DR if you dont want to read the context.

A bit of a prologue. See there was a time when, nearly all digitally made images were for print publication. This predates internet by a safe margin and there was no efficient way to transport images to others very efficiently. So all images for commercial use were either for print, or the game industry (but this was a tiny slice and have a different historical bacground as does video abd CG. They dont have this problem). So they actually forgot that a image may not actually have a physical size at all. It just didnt occour to them at the time.

So they went ahead and convinced anybody and their dog that setting a dpi/ppi value vas the most important thing for an image creation process. Then suddenly the whole world changes. Suddenly people with a video/CG/programming background come around and say. You know ppi/dpi is pure fantasy only pixels count. And this is where the house of cards falls down.

So now we have photoshop designed to its core to be able to adress physical dimensions for print design. But you can not rip this out, so no biggie just have some conversion.

Ok, but illustrator never designed pixels. It designed printer instructions. Printer instructions describe pages so they dont need to define pixel size. In fact having a fixed pixel size would make it impossible to print a page with two raster images from different sources. Ok but suddely you have all these people who want to design in pixels... And now you have a huge problem at your hands.

As explained, size of a pixel is a bit problematic for a (printer) page description language. Mainly because there can be many things that is the size of a pixel on the same page that are of a different in size. Ok so one option is to disalow pixel size operations, that however wasnt possible when 90% of your customers are designing digital only stuff. This leaves you with 3 options. 1. Fix the size of a pixel, thisway atleast illustrator documents are compatible with other illustrator documents. 2. Allow user to specify, but this would make illustrator incompatible with illustrator. Although this would solve your problem. 3. This would have saved us all, except maybe not. Problem is it took 15 years for people to come up with this idea, lets not call them pixels. Lets call them design pixels. Perfect. Still not solving your problem.

Ok they chose option 1. They defined it as 1 pixel is one point (this is adobes internal unit which is like saying 1=1 which saves you of lot of work).

Why am i telling all of this. Well, it tells you what your solutions can be. And why all of them are unoptimal. But it also hints on how you should probably change your worldview. Theres a lot more you could add here. Like how Apple basically broke even the only pixels count or how the svg consortium broke the system so that we can never have sane units in vector formats ever again.

TL;DR

So how do you solve this?

You can jump to the video/CG/Programmers banwagon and say only pixels count. Make your photoshop document 72 PPI which is photoshop for "not set". Then if somebody really asks for the metadata to say 300 just change it afterwards. This fits the narrative of choising full hd as your image size.

Well if your really interested in the PPI value then you have some interest in the physical size of things. Just dont use pixels as units when you design then you wont have problems as all of the function is trying to preserve physical units.

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Do it like this.

  1. In Illustrator use the Web preset you want to create a new document

  2. In Photoshop do the same. (same size in pixels, and PPI 72)

  3. Set the zoom in Illustrator and Photoshop to 100% (or the exact same zoom)

  4. Make sure Resize During Place is unchecked in Photoshop's preferences

  5. Now copy and paste from Illustrator into Photoshop.

I just tried this, and everything is working as expected. Here's the screenshot below with side by side comparisons.

enter image description here

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  • Yeah that works fine for me too. I guess the issue is I have to design some photoshop files that are either 96 or 300 dpi. That seems to be when photoshop and illustrator don't sync. everything with 72 dpi/ppi works fine though. Thanks for the help. – kevb10 Feb 22 at 18:29
  • If you have a larger 300ppi document in Photoshop, click View > Print Size. Photoshop will change the zoom level lower, to the point where it should equal the Illustrator document shown at 100% zoom. – Billy Kerr Feb 22 at 18:49
  • The zoom isn't the issue, its the dpi/ppi settings that are not corresponding between the 2 apps. – kevb10 Feb 22 at 19:08
  • @kevb10 just design in 72 then change it to 300 after the fact. Its not like the pixels change in any meaningful way from a metadata instruction designed to make printing in physical size easier.if you design in pixels its a red hereing anyway. There is no PPI setting in illustrator. – joojaa Feb 22 at 19:27

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