What is Dots Per Inch (DPI)?

By Din Studio on December 27, 2022

Are you a designer who works on image printing? Then Dots Per Inch (DPI) is where you should start with.

DPI stands for “Dots Per Inch”, referring to the number of dots per inch on digital images. It is usually used to measure the image resolution, which makes for good and sharp images both on screen and in print.

Read for more explanation about DPI below.

 Dots Per Inch


How to Measure the Dots Per Inch

There are several ways to measure the Dots Per Inch of an image, depending on the device types you use.

  • If you use a computer or cellular device, go to the image editor application to determine the DPI.
  • If you use a printer, check the printer specification to know the highest resolution the printer could print.


What the DPI Numbers Mean

Determining the Print-Out Quality

The higher the DPI, the sharper your print-out would be. Otherwise, lower DPI gives a more blurry result.

Determining the Print-Out Size

Higher DPI numbers means shorter spaces between one dot to another. In other words, the image is solid because large numbers of dots are printed per square inch. Thus, an image with higher DPI has smaller printed size.

On the contrary, lower DPI numbers show larger spaces between the dots. There aren’t many dots in the image which means only fewer dots per square inch. Consequently, you need more room to print the image.


What to Consider for Using Dots Per Inch

There are several things to consider when we use Dots Per Inch to measure the image resolution.

  • Higher number of DPI does not always guarantee good image quality, it depends on the original image quality.
  • Higher number of DPI is not always required for every image, it depends on the purposes. For instance, if the image is only for computer or cellular device display, lower DPI is sufficient.


How to Change the DPI

To change an image’s Dots Per Inch, you have to open the image with image editor applications first, such as Adobe Photoshop or GIMP. Then, follow these steps:

  1. Select menu “Image” and select “Image Size”
  2. On the open window, you will see an option to change the image size and DPI.
  3. Change to the desired number of DPI. Remember to activate the “Resample Image” option to prevent image distortion.
  4. Click “OK” to save your change.

It would be different steps to do if you use other applications apart from Photoshop or GIMP. But in general, the process would be similar, start from opening the desired image then change the Dots Per Inch number on the image options.


Dots Per Inch (DPI) plays an important role in measuring the digital image quality, however it doesn’t always be the main factor.

Since other factors such as the original image quality and the image use also determine the final result of the image quality.