Photos In Print 101: Resolution

How to select photos that will appear clear, not pixelated, in print.

What is “high resolution”?

Most publications require high-resolution images, with at least 300ppi (pixels per inch) for photos to be reproduced clearly on paper. Images online are compressed to load faster. Though they may appear sharp onscreen, such photos will look blurry in print.

Choosing the right source

Social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter compress images to reduce the file sizes, so avoid simply downloading photos from online. The same goes for apps such as WhatsApp. Instead, use the original uncompressed files from your camera.

Size matters

The higher the resolution of the image, the larger the file will be. A photo that has a file size of 2MB is more likely to be in high resolution, compared to a 58KB one of similar dimensions.

Checking the resolution

Windows users can simply right-click on the file, choose "Properties" and check the resolution under "Details". Mac users can open the image in Preview and call up the Inspector window (under the "Tools" menu).

The right send-off

Found a fitting high-resolution image? Be sure to send the original file directly as an email attachment. Avoid embedding photos in Microsoft Word or PowerPoint – this will once again compress the images and reduce the resolution.

Look out for Part 2 of this series in the May/June issue.

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    Mar 14, 2016
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