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How to match content and canvas sizes

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#1 stjudeb


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Posted 03 January 2016 - 10:40 AM

I have many photos of my nephew that I want to crop to just his head and print as a book. I am a novice using Photoshop Elements 13.


I want his head size to match and the canvas to match. How do I do this resizing?


Thanks for any help.



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#2 Chris Cosgrove

Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 07:42 PM

Your problem is one of resolution, dots or pixcels per inch/centimetre.


Your starting point is the book you wish to put these images in, the main determinants will be the page size and the quality of the paper you are going to print on.


Taking the paper first. On newsprint images are normally printed at about 75-100 dpi (dots per inch), in a glossy magazine like Vogue or Scientific American high quality images are printed at about 300 dpi.


From this it is easy to calculate the resolution of the images. For newsprint, a four inch square image would be about 325x325 pixcels, a glossy image would be about 1200x1200. And from this it is a matter of adjusting the resolution of your images of your nephew to fit.


First you will need to crop the image to just his head, or as much as you might want, head and shoulders perhaps, but you will find these differ widely in their size in terms of pixcels


I am not familiar with the software you are using but, assuming it is a reasonably high powered package, it will tell you the size of the cropped image in normally pixcels x pixcels. You will then need to adjust this size to one suitable for your book. You do this by using the 'Image' tools and 'Image size'. You will get a drop down  box into which you only need to enter the width or the height you desire so long as you have the button 'Maintain aspect ratio' ticked. Click 'OK' and your image will change to the size you want.


To take a concrete example. Your nephew is in the mid background of a reasonably high resolution photograph. Once you have cropped the image you find it is 200x200 pixcels and you wish to print a four inch square image on glossy paper. Set the width to 1200 pixcels, make sure the 'Maintain aspect ratio' is ticked, press OK and you will have an image that prints at four inches square at 300 dpi. Going the other way -


From the same quality photo, a reasonably close up head and shoulders shot, once you have cropped it you discover it is 2500x2500 pixcels. Again set the width to 1200, maintain aspect ratio and you will have another image 1200x1200 pixcels which will print at the same size as the previous example.


Just a word of warning. Increasing the size of an image, especially by larger margins, is generally less satisfactory then reducing the size. When increasing the size, the software has to guess what colour the pixcels it is inserting should be; when reducing the size it merely has to determine which ones to leave out.


Chris Cosgrove

#3 stjudeb

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 11:48 AM

Thanks, Chris for your help.

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