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How to Change DPI in Inkscape
  • By Nadine Spires
  • 30 Jan 2023
  • 10 Mins
  • Beginner
  • Inkscape Tutorials

How to Change DPI in Inkscape

Discover how to change DPI in Inkscape and get the correct printing resolution for your image

In the printing world, DPI stands for Dots Per Inch. When a digital image is printed, the printer lays down a specific amount of dots per inch of paper. A higher DPI allows for higher printing resolution, but changing that quality can affect your printing quality. Today we are going to show you how to change the DPI in Inkscape and what you need to know.

We will be using Inkscape V1.2 during this tutorial along with this amazing set of Crafty Stickers from the Plus Hub. If you’re not a member yet, we’ve got a 30-day FREE Gold Plus Membership trial for you to try out!

Will Changing to a Higher DPI Improve the Quality of My Print?

Changing to a higher DPI will not improve the quality of your printed image. It simply creates a larger file size that can slow down your program, system and website. It also causes pixilation of images.

You can decrease the DPI for lower-resolution printing if you intend to print on a smaller scale or post to a website. In Inkscape, the DPI is set by default to 96. Now, we will show you the recommended way to change DPI as well as the best practice for printing.

Make sure that you have downloaded and unzipped your files to your PC or Mac.

Option 1 - Change the DPI in Inkscape

Open Inkscape and then go to File > Import. Locate where your file is stored and click to open.

Open file in Inkscape - Change DPI

When the png bitmap image import window appears, leave the settings as they are and click on Ok.

Bitmap import settings - Inkscape

Next, we need to open the Export menu settings to adjust the DPI. Click on the File menu and select Export. The settings window will open on the right side of the screen.

Inkscape - Open Export settings window

Remember we mentioned at the beginning of the tutorial that Inkscape, by default, sets the DPI to 96? There is a way to force the program to change the DPI for printing. So leave this option as is, and instead work with the pHYs DPI, which can be found under the Advanced settings.

In order to see these settings, you need to uncheck the box for Hide Export Settings. Next, click on Export at the bottom right corner of the screen.

Inkscape tutorial - Uncheck Hide Export Settings

The Portable Graphics Network (or PNG) box will pop up where you will only need to change the pHYs DPI, and then click on Ok. This will force Inkscape to use the DPI you choose instead of the default.

Change pHYs DPI - Inkscape tutorial

If the window doesn’t pop up, make sure that the PNG file format has been selected on the bottom right corner of the screen. This advanced setting will only work with PNG files. Choose the location where you want to save your file by clicking on the tab to the left of the PNG format.

Select PNG format in Inkscape

We changed the DPI to 300 (not recommended) but only to use as an example. When you open the file in another program such as Affinity Designer, you can check the DPI under the page information.

Check document settings for DPI

With this method, you may have printing issues. This can be when using your own home printer or sending it to a printing company. Your design may look fine on the screen, but printing is another story. So, let’s look at another way of increasing the DPI that might work out better for you.

Option 2 - Calculate Correct Print and DPI Size

Dividing the pixel width and height by the DPI will help you figure out what size you can print your design while retaining quality.

To find the pixel dimensions, go to where your file is stored on your system. Right-click and then click on Properties. In the Properties box, click on the Details tab and under Image, look for the width and height.

Locate image dimensions in Properties box

Divide each number by the DPI that you want to use. The result will be the size of your print in inches. Even though the width and height are exactly the same, we demonstrated the example below for you.

2804 (height) ÷ 300 = 9.35 inches

2804 (width) ÷ 300 = 9.35 inches

Now that you know what the print size is for the DPI quality, go back to the export setting in Inkscape.

First, select the design using the Move Tool top left corner of the screen. Then, under the Export settings, click on Selection. This time, type in the DPI (300 DPI in our example) that you calculated.

When you click on Export, the Portable Graphics Network window will appear. Make sure that pHYs is set to 0.00. Click Ok to export the image with your selected dimensions and DPI.

Leave pHYs DPI set on default - Inkscape

By following this option, you will most likely get better printing results. Changing the DPI in Inkscape is quite simple and easy to do, but should be done with caution when printing.

We hope that this tutorial has been useful and helped you to understand how to change DPI in Inkscape. Don't forget to grab more stickers from the FREE stickers section on Design Bundles!

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