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Photoshop canvas is too small at 72 PPI on a Retina screen


Question

OK. Let me see if I can explain a problem I have in Photoshop. I'm working on designing a web site in Photoshop. My screen is a Retina display.

Why is my canvas so small at 100% when at 72 PPI? Zoom in at 200% and the image looks pixelated, go to 300% and it is just impossible to work with it.

Is anyone in this forum having the same problem? If you have found a solution would you please share with the rest of us?

2016/08/10
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8/10/2016 7:01:00 AM

First of all the PPI of your document makes no difference, the resolution only makes a difference to the print size of your image so forget about that (72PPI is the de-facto standard for screens so stick with that, but it doesn't really matter).

The retina screen has double the number of pixels so you have two options:

  1. Forget you are working on a Retina screen and work at your normal size. You will need to zoom to 200% to see your image at its normal size, which will look pixelated to you but you are basically seeing as someone without a retina screen sees it. If you work like this then you won't be able to output any "Retina" images, which may or may not be what you want.

  2. Work at 2x (or 3x) scale. For example, you need a 800x800 pixel image so you create your Photoshop document at 1600x1600 pixels. You can then work at 100% zoom and everything will look as it should, all of your measurements will be double what they should be though. To export your "regular" non-retina image you simply export at 50% size, and you can export a Retina image at 100%.

2016/08/10
2
8/10/2016 6:08:00 AM