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Printing from Photoshop

TH7The second half of this tutorial series goes over the proper methods for designing high resolution print media, and exporting it for a quality print.

Resolution Setting

The first step to obtaining a high quality print is to ensure that you set the correct resolution set (i.e. 300 pixels/inch) in your Photoshop document from the get go. If you did not start off with a high resolution setting (the default Photoshop resolution is 72 pixels/inch), you must go back and create a new document set at a resolution of 300 pixels/inch, and work from there. You cannot simply convert your document to a higher resolution in Photoshop (there is a trade-off as explained in the prior tutorial). Read What is Resolution in Photoshop if you are unclear on the concept of resolution as it relates to Photoshop and print quality.

How to Find High Resolution Stock Images

Here is a little trick for finding high resolution images on Google. Start of by performing an Image search as shown below.


Next look for the “Search Tools” button just under the main search bar.


Clicking it should collapse a second tool bar directly below. Click “Size” and then select “Larger Than..” and choose an appropriate size to suite your needs. This will filter the images to show only images larger than the size you selected.


Exporting for Print

There are several ways to ready your completed Photoshop document for printing. The best method I find is to export your document to PDF, open up the pdf in a reader such as Adobe Acrobat and print it from there. The reason being, when you export your design to a pdf file, the dimensions of your documents will be locked. The printer/plotter will recognize this and will not try to scale your image. If you try to save your document as an image and then print it, it might end up getting scaled and the physical dimensions may change, depending on how the printer/plotter is set up.

To save a Photoshop document as a pdf, go to File > Save As and from the drop down in the pop-up window select “Photoshop PDF”


Leave the default settings on the next window that pops up and select Save PDF.



Open up the PDF in a reader such as Adobe Reader. If you mouse over near the bottom left corner of your document (in Adobe Reader) you will see that a popup will appear in that corner displaying your fixed dimensions, which should match what you initially set in Photoshop!


All that’s left to do now is to File > Print and select your appropriate printer and configure the printer properties as required.

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