A few scanning tips


B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio

Image Resolution for the
Video Monitor Screen

For images viewed on computer screens, scan resolution merely determines image size. The bottom line is that dpi or ppi means pixels per inch, which means that if you scan 6 inches at 100 dpi (or 1 inch at 600 dpi), you will create 600 pixels, which will display on any screen as 600 pixels in size.

We think of greater resolution as showing more detail, and while that's generally true (within reasonable limits), it's because it makes the image larger. But we are always greatly limited by our output device, and often cannot take advantage of maximum resolution. The images are huge, and our screens are simply not large enough.

If you don't know your screen size, then the Windows - Start - Settings - Control Panel - Display icon - Settings tab will show or change it. Or on the Macintosh, at the Apple Monitor Control Panel.

Popular video screen size settings historically have been:

640x480 or 800x600 pixels for 14 inch monitors
800x600 or 1024x768 pixels for 15 inch monitors
1024x768 or 1152x864 pixels for 17 inch monitors
1152x864 or 1280x1024 pixels for 19 inch monitors

Which screen resolutions do most people use?
See a popularity survey of video screen resolution settings

Two necessary updates:

1. Now the current browsers also zoom the images when we zoom the text size, to keep the page layout more consistent. They also resample the images to be larger (to match the larger text size).

2. Also we sometimes change our Windows text size ourself, perhaps to 120% text size to better see text on larger screens.

So regardless of who changed text size how... larger text size probably reports a smaller screen, and vice versa. If your text size is 20% larger, the screen size is probably reported 20% smaller (not as much fits on it, as before).