This is a very old, very small, very annoying issue with resolution of JPEG and PNG files that every designer and printer is familiar with, and we’ve finally beat it. Especially when it comes to JPG, if it wasn’t made with Photoshop, even though it was the right pixel size, it just wouldn’t open up at the DPI that it was created for (ie 300), and Photoshop defaults to whatever it wants (usually 72 or 96). Well, we’re happy to say in 3.19.0+ we broke through and were able to add a new feature under the hood that automatically fixes this and makes rewrites the file data so that it will open up at the intended DPI in almost any software – Photoshop, Print Software – etc. Ring the bells. We did it.
The Decades-Old JPG DPI Issue
You may know the situation well: the image is the right size in pixels, but it’s reading at the wrong DPI and so the “inches” measurement of the image is not correct. That is, until someone opens it up, and changes the DPI in Photoshop or print software manually to 300 or whatever it needs to be – most systems default DPI is typically 72 or 96 dpi, sometimes 100. But, most images are rendered for print at 300dpi (Pro Magazine-level print standard), so opening at 72 etc is annoying and can cause wasted time in the production workflow.
One Does Not Simply, Set the JPG DPI
The reason that 300dpi doesn’t open up in Photoshop or print software, though, is because the JPG file format doesn’t natively support resolution settings, so there’s traditionally almost no online resources for setting unsupported meta data. In HTML5 it doesn’t have any parameters to specify resolution, it’s purely pixel data. In the eyes of the raw JPG format, resolution is irrelevant, there is image data at a size of pixels, and the resolution can be whatever the screen (or software) wants it to be, which is subjective and relative to the system / software, so it doesn’t specify it natively. Additionally, the file code is not easily read or edited, so it’s not something that anything besides graphic design software can or would try to set. The problem is that Photoshop etc doesn’t have a setting to allow you to set the default image resolution, it detects it from your system (ie “72”) and just goes with that. That by itself, is also very annoying (re: Photoshop fix this please).
Interestingly enough, as we dissect the byte code for a JPEG we see that there are meta data points for resolution that do allow us to inject settings here that Photoshop will read, and they’re actually in Dots Per Meter, as if ANYONE would even use that when DPI is the standard! Imagine how old that must be. We digress.
The New Age Fix. Good News: We’ve Made It Automatic.
We’ve developed a way to set this DPI setting within JPG output in our MyStyle Renderer software. With 3.19.0+ every JPG comes with resolution meta data.
Whatever it says on page is the DPI, will be the DPI when re-opened in other software:
Drumroll… JPG Opens with Correct DPI!
JPG output files will open up at whatever DPI it says in the Renderer when viewed in Photoshop or Print Software, including both if that was the template’s original setting, and if you change the resolution manually after rendering it and then download the JPG.
150 dpi? Sure. 300? Of course. 632 dpi? Why not!
Bad News: There Is None.
This should alleviate one of the most annoying parts of printing with JPGs, and we’re so happy to advanced this aspect of the workflow for everyone who’s taking designs from web to print like our team does every day.
Goodbye, Extra Manual or Batch Processes!
Please note that if you have batch processes already made that set the DPI for your print files as a workaround for this, you can (or may need to) adjust or get rid of that now to streamline things a bit more knowing that the DPI is already set correctly.
Less is more.