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  1. As you see, the image in Photoshop is smaller than the saved one. The image gets bigger after saving it.
  2. There's a noticeable decrease in photo's quality after I save it. The one in Photoshop is higher quality than the saved as PNG one.

Why do these two weird things happen after I save the image as PNG? (or even JPEG and save for web)? I tried to save the image in different formats but that gave the same result.

  • Do both applications show the images at the same zoom level? Before replying: do you know how you can check this? – Michael Schumacher Nov 26 '16 at 22:32
  • Yeah Michael, i managed to do that and there's still a noticeable decrease in quality between the one in PS and the one in the Photo App. Just like the big one above but smaller. – user3279936 Nov 27 '16 at 0:42
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Can you show us a screenshot of your "Save for Web" save dialog please? I suspect you are bumping the size up on the save. That would account for both the size change, as well as the quality loss.

Also, what happens if you preview the saved PNG in a browser, not in the Windows file viewer? The file viewer thing may be giving a false size.

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The answer may very well be your image resolution.

Your image has a pixel height and width, but it also has a third attribute called resolution that determines how dense the pixels should be displayed. Now this can be a hit or miss across programs, some will read the resolution and scale it accordingly and some will completely ignore it.

The widely accepted default is 72 pixels/inch, which is called screen resolution. simply because that is the resolution of most screens. Retina and high resolution displays may be up to 300 pixels/inch.

If you've ever printed an image you got from the web logo you've probably experienced this firsthand. Screens only require 72 pixles/inch to look seamless (no jagged edges) while photos require 200-300 pixels/inch to be printed out smoothly.

enter image description here

Check your image resolution under the image menu under image size. If this is not set to 72, you may experience weird scaling issues like this. Either try saving with another method like save for web (which always saves to 72 resolution) or recreate your image at a different resolution.

PNG should not have any artifacts such as with what JPG would have, since there is no compression, only optimization in how the colors are stored.

  • Sorry, but this advice is not only out of date, but incorrect too. Pixels are pixels. If you want to set a size of 200px x 200px, you set it at that dimension. The device it is displayed on will dictate the resolution. That brings us to the out of date part: That 200px x 200px image is going to appear far different sizes on an old CRT monitor, an newer LED display, and even more so on a "retina display" on an iPhone. 72 PPI (pixels per inch) hasn't been a reliable indicator of display resolution for probably a decade or more. – TunaMaxx Nov 28 '16 at 22:03
  • @TunaMaxx a lot of programs I've seen will try to hit a target resolution that was specified in the file if possible, leading to weird scaling issues. this issue looks like the image is set to 96 ppi, resulting in a scaled 133% image. While I do work with a lot of legacy software, I've noticed this is often an issue with Microsoft software. – Tyler Smith Nov 28 '16 at 22:26
  • Honestly would know what is relying on resolution for display scaling these days. Even back when it was a thing, it was a horribly unreliable kludge that varied wildly between devices/platforms. Now that almost everything is displaying actual pixels (LED, LCD, OLED, etc) the "pixel is a pixel" idea is more solid then ever. – TunaMaxx Nov 29 '16 at 0:00

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