Picture Print Size Calculator, Calculates Optimal Print Sizes

by Photo Enhancer

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A common misconception is that the file size of a picture determines how large a print that picture will make. That's not true. File size has nothing to do with print size. The use or, the misuse of the word resolution is chiefly responsible for this misconception. 

How print sizes are determined:

Print sizes are determine by dividing the width and height of the picture by the ppi (pixels per inch) value. If you don't know the ppi value of your pictures, use the default setting of 180 to determine how big the prints can be. I can change the ppi value when I do your enhancement. I only change the ppi value if requested or it's outside the range of 180 to 360 and I think prints are going to be made. Click here for the best ppi settings for pictures displayed on computer monitors only - this link's to the bottom of this page. The recommended ppi range for prints is 180 to 360. A high ppi value results in higher quality prints. A low ppi value results in larger prints with a slight sacrifice in quality. A picture with a ppi value of 180 will make a quality print that is twice as large as one with a value of 360. Unless you want prints with the quality of say those in a National Magazine and are printing them on very high quality paper, a lower ppi will generally render the quality of prints you want and give you the benefit of getting them in larger sizes. Click here to see why digital pictures don't enlarge well to make larger prints.

You can change values below and click [Calculate] numerous times to see variations.
Click [Reset] to change everything back to the default settings.

Check I want to input the size in pixels to get the print size in inches (default).
Check I want to input the size in inches to get the digital picture size in pixels..
Input the width and height. Click on the Calculate button. Changing the ppi value is optional.

I want to input the size in pixels
I want to input the size in inches
width: height:
ppi: Print or Pic Size:

All sizes are shown in standard print size format. That is to say, the smaller value is shown as the width and the larger value is shown as the height as in 8 x 10. If your picture layout doesn't match this, think of it as rotating your picture 90 degrees, then the layout will match. Printers do this automatically.

The optimal print size is calculated to give you the largest, high quality print size. The optimal print size usually won't match a standard print size. It's usually safe to select a slightly higher standard print size than the optimal print size and still get a good high quality print. Click on the View Standard Print Sizes button below to see the standard print sizes and what size your picture has to be in pixels to make a print that size. You can change the ppi value below to see how the ppi value effects picture print sizes.

Table ppi: Opens in a popup Window.
Hold the [Ctrl] Key down and click [View Standard Print Sizes] to override a popup blocker.

The above will accept any ppi value but, remember, the proper ppi value range is180 to 360 for prints. This means you may be able to get larger prints with ppi values that are less than 180 but the quality may be poor. The only way to find out is by lowering the picture ppi value and trying it.

For example, the print size from a picture with a ppi value of 180 may be doubled by lowering the ppi value to 90 but the quality of the print may be poor. It may be worth a try if you have a good, sharp picture and you want larger prints. You need a Photo Editing Program to lower the ppi value. I can do this for you at no extra charge you if you have an enhancement done.

You can usually get high quality prints that are one print size larger than the closest match to the Optimal Print Size from good, sharp pictures. Click on the View Standard Print Sizes button above to find the proper print size.

Sharpness and good lighting in the original picture is very important to getting quality prints. Extra sharp pictures that had good lighting when taken will often render quality prints as much as two or three standard print sizes larger than the optimal print size.

It's better to exaggerate the print size than enlarge a picture for bigger prints. Digital pictures blur when enlarged even a little bit. The more they're enlarged, the more they blur and distort. Exaggerating the print size doesn't cause as much blurring. A somewhat similar effect occurs when a picture is lightened. Pictures wash out when lightened too much.

If your picture is blurry, the print is going to be blurry. There's nothing that can done to change that. If your picture is grainy or has little square blotches, I can remove these somewhat by blurring the picture and retouching the important areas. Retouching the important areas can be very time consuming and thereby expensive if the important areas are large.

Click here for tips on how to take sharper pictures.

It's easy to have your photos enhanced by Photo Enhancer.
Attach your photos to an email and describe the changes you want made.
Send the email to - there's an email link at the bottom of every page of this Website.
Photo Enhancer will email you a total cost quote with payment links.
Most transpose and change background enhancements are done for $7.00 to $9.00.
Your scheduled enhancement time will be included with your payment receipt.
I will work with you to make your enhancements the way you want them.
I strive to do enhancements within one business day after receipt of payment.
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Resolution is define at Wikipedia as "the detail an image holds" which sounds grand until you try to measure resolution. Further down the Wikipedia page if says "The term resolution is often used as a pixel count in digital imaging, even though American, Japanese, and international standards specify that it should not be so used, at least in the digital camera field." These organizations condemn using pixel counts to determine resolution but do not suggest an alternative.

Therefore, the only viable, universal way to measure resolution is to defy the international standard setters and use pixel counts. Both video technicians and printers have done just that. They use ppi (pixels per inch) to measure resolution which sounds reasonable. Except they set different standards for what they call a picture's resolution.

Video technicians set the measurement standard to be compatible with the lines a computer monitor displays and the printers set the measurement standard to be compatible with the dots printers print. So, when talking to someone who wants a high resolution, be sure to find out if they want a high resolution for computer monitors or for prints.

Click here to return to the top of this page.

The best resolution for pictures

This is my opinion: If your picture size is less than 640 x 480, then the difference between a ppi value of 72 and 180 is insignificant when it comes to viewing pictures on a computer monitor. But, can be very significant when making prints. Therefore, I prefer a ppi value of 180 but won't argue with anyone that wants it set different. Some pictures will make good double in size prints by lowering the ppi from 180 to 90. Others won't. It's a trial and error thing.

Click here for tips on how to take sharper pictures.

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Picture Print Size Calculator, Calculates Optimal Print Sizes

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