How to Calculate Dots Per Inch

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    • 1). Look for the pixel dimensions for the image scanned or printed. This can be found through Windows Explorer by pressing the Windows key and "E" simultaneously. Navigate to the picture, right-click it and click "Properties." On the "Details" tab, look for a listing for "Dimensions." The number to the right of it is the pixel resolution, which will look something like "1600 x 1200."

    • 2). Measure the required size of the printout. As an example, if you wanted the printout to fit in a 6 inch by 4 inch picture frame, you would want that size.

    • 3). Divide the pixel width of the image by the desired width of the printout. In the example, you would divide 1600 by six to calculate a dpi of 267.

    • 4). Divide the pixel height of the image by the desired height of the printout. In the example, you would divide 1200 by four to calculate a dpi of 300.

    • 5). Compare the two dpi calculations. If they are different, use the bigger dpi. Otherwise, you will have to crop some of the picture on the width/height measurement corresponding to the larger dpi. However, if you feel you can comfortably crop the picture, you may opt for the smaller dpi. If the image has the same width-to-height ratio as the desired printout size, you will not have this dilemma.

      In the example, you would choose 300 dpi, because choosing 267 dpi would make the width fit, but the height would be too long.

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