I need to obtain a print quality image from an existing image. The image dimensions are 1024 x 768 pixels, and the print size is 12 inches x 8 inches.

The current resolution is 64 x 64 pixels per inch (ppi).

The menu options Image | Print Size | X resolution and Image | Print Size | Y resolution allow me to change the ppi setting.

When I change the ppi to 300 x 300, the print size of the image shrinks to 3.4 x 2.5 inches. I want to keep this at 12 x 8 inches.

How can I keep the same print size (inches) but a higher ppi?

  • You can't get reasonable quality, much less print quality, taking a 64x64 image and increasing the size to 1024x768. Even an increase to 300x300 will have distortion.
    – Tyson
    Aug 20, 2014 at 13:03
  • At this point, I am ok with the distortion. The image is a charcoal sketch. I think I can probably fill in the gaps by applying black color.
    – abhi
    Aug 20, 2014 at 13:05
  • 4
    64x64 = 4096 pixels. 300x300 = 90,000 pixels. 1024x768 = 786,432 pixels. Stretching a 64x64 image to 300x300 means there is enough original information for 4.5% of the pixels the other 96.5% of the picture has to be "guessed". Increase the size to 1024x768 and that means the original image makes up 0.5% of the new picture and 99.5% of image would be "guessed". It just doesn't work.
    – Tyson
    Aug 20, 2014 at 13:18
  • 1
    It's like creating energy out of nothing. If you'd succeed, you will be the hero Aug 20, 2014 at 13:57
  • 1
    Normal interpolation to increase image resolution basically just ensures that you don't get "blocky" results. However, it's a bit like looking at a photograph under magnification, everything is just spread out and softened. You might want to investigate fractal enlargement. It can sometimes do a better job at preserving edges and sharpness.
    – fixer1234
    Jan 26, 2016 at 17:39

1 Answer 1


I am assuming you mean the current DPI is 64ppi x 64 ppi. You want GIMP to add pixels to the 1024x768 image without changing the size in inches. The only way I know to do this is in two steps, both of which use Image | Scale Image.

  1. In Image | Scale Image, set Interpolation to None and change the X and Y resolution. You will see that the Image Size in pixels doesn't change. Hit Scale, and the image will have the new resolution.

  2. Go back into Image | Scale Image. Set Interpolation to Cubic. This time, change the Image Size to be what you want in inches or cm. GIMP will compute the resulting pixel resolution and resample the image.

This way you don't have to manually convert between inches, dpi, and pixels. Hope this helps!

  • Thanks for replying. I will try that soon. In the meanwhile I used a tool called SmillaEnlarger to do this. This is available on sourceforge.net
    – abhi
    Aug 20, 2014 at 20:01
  • Here for those interested.
    – cxw
    Aug 20, 2014 at 20:05

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