How is resolution connected to ppi and dpi units? In the context of editing photos, resolution is a measurement of the output quality of an image. DPI and PPI because that is what you will be dealing with most often when printing photographs.


1 Answer 1


Andrew Dacey has written a nice explanation of this on his site. To summarize, here are a few points:


All that PPI does is affect the print size of the image.


DPI only refers to the printer. Every pixel output is made up of different coloured inks (usually 4-6 colours, although many printers use more now). Because of the small number of colours, the printer needs to be able to mix these inks to make up all the colours of the image. So each pixel of the image is created by a series of tiny dots (you could think of them as sub-pixels). Generally, the higher the DPI, the better the tonality of the image, colours should look better and blends between colours should be smoother.

Higher = better for both, with most screen images at 72 PPI and print graphics typically in the 300-600 PPI range.

  • not many modern displays have 72 PPI. Its best not to dwell too much about PPI/DPI unless you prepare for print. At the end of the day it comes down to number of pixels all other qualities are just to help in estimation.
    – joojaa
    Commented Jun 9, 2014 at 20:31
  • This question has been pretty thoroughly answered: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/a/6083/1286 Commented Jun 9, 2014 at 23:45
  • I was referring to the settings of the average graphic being 72 PPI, @joojaa, not the display's DPI settings. The majority of the images you will run into on a daily basis are still 72 PPI. This question also referenced printing, so I think it absolutely is best to dwell on PPI/DPI, since that will directly affect the quality of your printed image. I agree that, if you aren't printing, PPI/DPI isn't as relevant, but with the way this question is [confusingly] worded, I assumed the asker meant for print.
    – Manly
    Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 14:17

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.