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Setting The Correct Screen Resolution In Photoshop

Updated: Mar 25

In this post I'm gonna walk you through the necessary steps to properly set the correct screen resolution in Photoshop. It's important to do this because you need to be able to accurately view your image files at there true size while editing them in Photoshop. One feature that often gets overlooked in Photoshop is the View-Print Size feature. When you select this Photoshop resizes the image on screen to the actual size of the image. Now if your screen resolution isn't correctly set for your monitor you'll get an inaccurate image size on your screen. So lets get started.....

The first step is to measure the width of your monitor. Be careful not to include any of the trim or bezel in your measurement. You only want to measure the actual viewable area of the screen. So for my Asus ProArt monitor it measures 23.5 inches across. This is the viewable width of the screen. You'll want to write your measurement down. The next step is to find your monitors native resolution. For a Windows base system you can right click on your screen and select "display settings". Scroll down until you see "display resolution" and write down the native width of your monitor. My Asus ProArt has a pixel width of 3840. Now its time for some math...

We're gonna take the native screen resolution and divide it by the screen width measurement we did in the first step. The math equation for this is screen resolution divided by screen width measurement.

For my monitor the equation looks like this; 3840/23.5 = 163.404255. We can drop the last three digits and I'll use the value 163.404 in Photoshop to set the proper screen resolution in the Units/Rulers section.

Setting the correct screen resolution in Photoshop
Edit - Preferences - Units & Rulers

You'll want to open Photoshop and click on "Edit" on the menu at the top and scroll down to "Preferences"...from there another menu opens. In the secondary menu click on "Units & Rulers. A window will open where you can adjust the settings for units and rulers.

Setting the correct screen resolution for Photoshop
Setting "Screen Resolution" for Units & Rulers

In the window that pops up on your screen you'll want to locate "Screen Resolution" which is on the right side below "Print Resolution". Photoshop has probably already auto populated it with 72 PPI, which is incorrect. I can't say why Photoshop does this, just know that it's wrong. Enter your value that we calculated using the screen resolution divided by screen width...mine was 163.404 and click "Ok". You have now properly set the correct screen resolution for Photoshop. Now were gonna confirm that it's correct...

Setting proper screen resolution in Photoshop
View - Print Size

Now you can open an image file in Photoshop and navigate to "View". Scroll down and click on "Print Size". Photoshop will resize the image on your screen to the actual print size of the image. To confirm this you'll want to make sure you have your ruler visible on your screen. To do this navigate to "View" at the top on your screen and scroll down to and click on "Ruler" to display the ruler on your workspace. Take a ruler or a tape measure and hold it up to your screen. One inch on your ruler or tape measure should match one inch on Photoshops ruler. If this is the case you have properly set the screen resolution in Photoshop. If your ruler or tape measurement doesn't match Photoshops ruler then double check your screen measurement and native screen resolution and rerun the math equation which is "Native screen resolution" divided by "Screen width measurement.

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