It is often hard for people that don’t have experience in print to understand what exactly is image size. Pixel dimensions, physical dimensions and resolution get confused, not to mention translating between units and visualising how a photo sitting on one’s hard drive will perform in print.
Do you think it is too small to use?
We hear similar questions on many occasions. Then a process of tactful education starts as we try to explain why that photo of 400×300 pixels won’t work as cover image despite the fact it behaves really well on a website.
To avoid further miscalculations, I have created a Simple Bitmap Calculator to assist inexperienced clients, but also designers, with translating popular size units:
Instructions — easy as 1, 2, 3
- Choose source unit type
First press a button at the bottom with units you want to translate from. Yo may choose pixels, megapixels, centimetres or inches.
- Enter image dimensions
Just select the text inside either blue window and enter horizontal and vertical dimension of your image.
To check pixel dimensions of an image in Windows, right-click the file, select ‘Properties’, ‘Summary’ tab and press ‘Advanced’ button. On Mac, open the image in Preview, select ‘Tools’ menu and ‘Show Inspector’ (cmd+i).
- Choose destination unit
Press any other button to see what your image dimensions will be (e.g. centimetres in print quality).
You want to check if a photo on your hard drive will be of enough quality to use as a full bleed cover image on an A4 brochure.
First, check the image pixel dimensions as per point 2. above. Then, select ‘PIXELS’ button and enter the horizontal and vertical value into the calculator. Press ‘CM@300DPI’ button. If the result is close to 21 CM x 30 CM (A4 is exactly 21 x 29,7 CM) or more you should be safe using the image on the cover.
You took a picture with your 4.2 megapixel camera. What size in inches (print quality, of course) is it equal to?
On the calculator, press the ‘MEGAPIXELS’ button. In the left hand side window select the text and enter ‘4.2’. Next, press the ‘IN@300DPI’ button. You should get the result of ca. 8 x 6 inches. That should be plenty to put on a postcard!
Note: Keep in mind the above tool is for information purposes only. Not all images are automatically eligible for print, based only on their dimensions. Speak to us — we can help.
I would love to hear your opinions about our Calculator and how it can be improved. If you have any urgent matter related to design and print or simply prefer human contact, please let me know on 020 8963 0123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.