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Learn Photography

Use the flow chart below to determine if you have enough pixels to print a photograph at a certain size.

Before you sue the chart, you need to know the pixel dimensions of your photograph.

In Photoshop Elements, the pixel dimensions are located below the photograph to the left.

In the example below, the pixel dimensions are 3008 x 2000 (red rectangle).

To see the pixel dimensions, do the following.

1) Click the tiny black triangle (cyan circle).

2) Select Document Dimensions (cyan rectangle).

If inches are given instead of pixels, do the following.

1) Go to Edit > Preferences > Units & Rulers.

2) Change inches to pixels in the Rulers box.

1) Go to the Apple Menu > Preferences > Units & Rulers.

2) Change inches to pixels in the Rulers box.

Do the following.

1) Look for the pixel dimensions of your photograph in the second column below.

2) Look for the desired print size in the Print Size column.

3) Look for the resolution needed, for that print size, in the PPI Needed column.

If your print size is different than those below, estimate the ppi needed from the figures shown in the chart.

The figures for the example are highlighted with blue in the chart below.

Let's say your camera has 6 megapixels.

The pixel dimensions for your photograph are 3008 x 2000.

You want to make a 16" x 24" print.

Scan across the 6 megapixels row.

A 16" x 24" print needs a resolution of 80 ppi.

The actual resolution of your file is 125 ppi, so you can make a quality print.

Megapixels |
Pixel Dimensions |
JPEG Quality |
Size |
PPI Needed |
Actual PPI |
Quality |

2 | 1600 x 1200 | Highest | 4" x 6" | 313 | 267 | Fair |

8" x 12" | 156 | 133 | Fair | |||

16" x 24" | 80 | 67 | Fair | |||

3 | 2048 x 1536 | Highest | 4" x 6" | 313 | 341 | Excellent |

8" x 12" | 156 | 171 | Excellent | |||

16" x 24" | 80 | 85 | Good | |||

4 | 2272 x 1704 | Highest | 4" x 6" | 313 | 379 | Excellent |

8" x 12" | 156 | 189 | Excellent | |||

16" x 24" | 80 | 95 | Good | |||

5 | 2592 x 1944 | Highest | 4" x 6" | 313 | 432 | Excellent |

8" x 12" | 156 | 216 | Excellent | |||

16" x 24" | 80 | 108 | Excellent | |||

6 | 3008 x 2000 | Highest | 4" x 6" | 313 | 501 | Excellent |

8" x 12" | 156 | 251 | Excellent | |||

16" x 24" | 80 | 125 | Excellent | |||

7 | 3072 x 2304 | Highest | 4" x 6" | 313 | 512 | Excellent |

8" x 12" | 156 | 256 | Excellent | |||

16" x 24" | 80 | 128 | Excellent | |||

8 | 3264 x 2448 | Highest | 4" x 6" | 313 | 544 | Excellent |

8" x 12" | 156 | 272 | Excellent | |||

16" x 24" | 80 | 136 | Excellent | |||

10 | 3888 x 2592 | Highest | 4" x 6" | 313 | 648 | Excellent |

8" x 12" | 156 | 324 | Excellent | |||

16" x 24" | 80 | 162 | Excellent |

The above resolutions (ppi) are based on the following print viewing distances, in a normally lighted interior.

Print Size | Diagonal |
Viewing Distance (1.5 x Diagonal) |
PPI Needed |

4 x 6" | 7.21" | 11" | 313 |

8 x 10" | 12.81" | 19" | 181 |

8 x 12" | 14.42" | 22" | 156 |

11 x 14" | 17.80" | 27" | 156 |

16 x 20" | 25.61" | 38" (3.17') | 89 |

16 x 24" | 28.84" | 43" | 80 |

20 x 30" | 36.06" | 54" (4.5') | 64 |

40 x 60" | 72.11" | 108" (9') | 32 |

If the print will viewed at a closer distance, or will be displayed under optimum conditions, use a higher resolution.

For more about resolution, go to Which Resolution? and Pixels, PPI, & Print Size Calculators