Choose Print or Onscreen Resolution for Photoshop Elements 10 Images

By Barbara Obermeier, Ted Padova

The importance of resolution in your Elements work is paramount to printing files. 72-ppi images can be forgiving, and you can get many of your large files scrunched down to 72 ppi for websites and slide shows. With output to printing devices, it’s another matter. There are many different printing output devices, and their resolution requirements vary.

For your own desktop printer, plan to print a variety of test images at different resolutions and on different papers. You can quickly determine the best file attributes by running tests. When you send files to service centers, ask the technicians what file attributes work best with their equipment.

Resolutions and Printing
Output Device Optimum Acceptable Resolution
Desktop laser printers 300 ppi 200 ppi
Desktop color inkjet printers 300 ppi 180 ppi
Large-format inkjet printers 150 ppi 120 ppi
Professional photo lab printers 300 ppi 200 ppi
Desktop laser printers (black and white) 170 ppi 100 ppi
Magazine quality — offset press 300 ppi 225 ppi
Screen images (web, slide shows, video) 72 ppi 72 ppi
Tablet devices and smart phones 150+ ppi 150 ppi

For a starting point, look over the recommended resolutions for various output devices listed here.