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(graphic arts)


Dots per inch.

A measure of resolution for printers, scanners and displays.

Laser printers typically reach 300 DPI, though 600 DPI is becoming more common. Commercial typesetters are usually around 1200 DPI.


(1) See deep packet inspection.

(2) (Dots Per Inch) The measurement of the resolution of a printer. As the dpi rate doubles, the number of dots within a square inch is quadrupled. Thus, while 100 dpi produces 10,000 dots per square inch, 200 dpi produces 40,000 (see table below). This applies to screens as well, which are measured in pixels per inch (ppi).

Screens Are Getting Denser
Increasingly, screen resolutions are equaling the print density of printers, which is why it is easy to read text on smartphones. For example, a smartphone screen at 300 pixels per inch (ppi) means 300 red, 300 green and 300 blue subpixels per inch (900 dpi). The total dots per square inch (900 squared) is 810,000, which is denser than a 600 dpi printer (see table below). See ppi, resolution and E Ink.

     Dots PerDPI        Square Inch

      100           10,000

      200           40,000

      300           90,000

      600          360,000

      900          810,000

     1200        1,440,000
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