Dots Per Inch

What Does Dots Per Inch Mean?

Dots per inch (DPI) is a way of measuring the density of a print or video image. The number of differently colored dots that can fit into a one-inch space provides information about the resolution of an image. Assessment of the number of dots per inch represented in a print or video image can help indicate the image quality.


If an image is not of adequately high quality, it may not be able to be resized or printed without a loss of resolution.

Techopedia Explains Dots Per Inch

Experts in print and digital media point out that with the emergence of digital image technology and the eclipse of print media, the term pixels per inch is often more commonly used. Pixels per inch and dots per inch both share the same fundamental concept, where users are assessing the number of color units in a given inch.

Some who deal with dot-per-inch or pixel-per-inch measurements also make the distinction that these measurements must be applied to all stages of image production, from capturing the image with a camera, to the production of a print or digital image.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…