3 Easy Methods to Check DPI of PDF in an Accurate Way

Summary :

Learn how to use Adobe Acrobat Pro and 2 free tools to check the accurate DPI value for your PDF files. Step-wise guides are offered.

Table of Contents

How to Check DPI of PDF

How to Check DPI of PDF

Checking the DPI of a PDF is crucial for ensuring that images and graphics maintain high quality when printed, especially if the recipient needs to extract content from PDF images.

This page introduces several viable methods to accurately check the DPI value of any PDF file. The most straightforward method is using Adobe Acrobat Pro, but for those without the paid subscription of which, there are two free methods also provided.

Note that these methods work best with image-based PDFs.

Using Adobe Acrobat Preflight

The Preflight tool in Adobe Acrobat is effective for checking the DPI of a PDF because it analyzes the individual elements within the file, rather than just looking at the PDF as a whole.

PDF files can contain a mix of vector graphics and raster images, each with its own DPI settings.

Note that you’ll need a paid subscription to Adobe Acrobat Pro to use this feature.

Step 1. Open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat Pro. Go to the “Tools” menu and select “Print Production”.

Go to Print Production

Go to Print Production

Step 2. Click the “Preflight” button on the upper-right sidebar.

Step 3. In the Preflight window, you can run various checks to identify the minimum raster resolution of the images in the PDF.

Check DPI in Preflight

Check DPI in Preflight

Alternatively, go to the “Output Preview” tool.

The Output Preview Tool

The Output Preview Tool

Select the “Object Inspector” option, and click on individual images to see their resolution.

Object Inspector in Adobe

Object Inspector in Adobe

Check DPI of PDF for Free

Converting the PDF to an image format using a PDF converter tool and then checking the DPI of the resulting images in image properties is a good way when you don’t have a subscription to Adobe Acrobat, and it’s quite easy as well.

For this, all you need is PDFgear, a free PDF converter that works on Windows and Mac. With PDFgear, you get to easily transform PDFs to images or editable formats like Excel.

Since PDFgear PDF converter delivers lossless conversions, you’ll get the accurate resolution and DPI values of the original PDF file from the converted images.

Free PDF DPI Checker Software

PDFgear helps convert PDF to JPG and PNG images loselessly and check their DPI without cost.

Step 1. Download and install PDFgear, and launch it on your device.

Step 2. Go to the Convert from PDF toolbox and click the PDF to JPEG converter tool.

Click PDF to JPEG

Click PDF to JPEG

Step 3. Click Add File to import one or more PDFs you intend to check. Then click Convert to start the conversion.

Add PDF to Convert

Add PDF to Convert

Step 4. You’ll be led to the output file folder when the conversion is done. Right-click on the converted JPEG file, and select Properties from the dropdown.

Step 5. Go to the Details tab in the Properties window, and you’ll see the DPI and resolution values of the original PDF in pixels and dpi.

Check DPI of PDF Image

Check DPI of PDF Image

Check DPI for PDF Elements Online

PDF files can contain a mix of vector graphics and raster images, and the DPI may vary for different elements within the same PDF.

There’s an online PDF analyzer tool that allows you to flexibly check the resolutions and DPI of each element in the PDF document, and it’s free to use.

However, please note that there could be information leaks when using online tools, so use these tools wisely.

Step 1. Go to edpsciences online PDF analyzer.

Upload PDF to PDF Analyzer

Upload PDF to PDF Analyzer

Step 2. Click the Choose File button to upload the PDF you intend to check, and click Submit.

Step 3. Go to the Resolution section in the output information, and you’ll see the detailed DPI information.

Check PDF DPI Online

Check PDF DPI Online


What is DPI in a PDF?

DPI stands for “dots per inch,” a measurement of printing resolution that indicates how many individual dots a printer can produce within a one-inch line. In the context of PDFs, DPI refers to the density of the pixels in the images within the document when it’s printed.

Can I change the DPI of a PDF?

You cannot directly change the DPI of an entire PDF because it’s a format that can contain various elements (text, vector graphics, and images) with different resolutions.

However, you can change the DPI of raster images within the PDF using image editing software before inserting them into the document, or you can adjust the DPI settings during the PDF export process if creating the PDF from another application.

What is a good DPI for printing a PDF?

A good DPI for printing a PDF depends on the quality you need. For standard document printing, 300 DPI is typically sufficient for clear, readable text and images. For high-quality photographs and fine art prints, a higher DPI, such as 600 or more, may be desirable.

Does changing the DPI of a PDF change its file size?

Changing the DPI of images within a PDF can affect the file size. Increasing the DPI will generally increase the file size, as more pixel data is required to maintain image clarity at a higher print resolution.

Conversely, decreasing the DPI can reduce the file size but may also reduce the quality of the images when printed.

How does DPI affect the quality of a PDF on screen vs. when printed?

The on-screen display of a PDF is typically measured in pixels per inch (PPI), which can differ from the print DPI. The quality of a PDF on screen is largely dependent on the screen’s resolution and size.

However, when a PDF is printed, the DPI will affect the print quality; higher DPI values result in finer detail and sharper images.

Can I increase the DPI of a PDF for a higher-quality print?

If the images within a PDF are of low DPI, you cannot increase their DPI without potentially suffering quality loss due to pixelation. The best practice is to use high-resolution images when creating the PDF.

However, if you have access to the original high-resolution images, you can replace the low-DPI images in the PDF with higher-DPI versions for better-quality prints.

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