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Can I use a smaller version of a hi-res image that was scanned for a larger format?
Forest Wathen, Manager, Prepress Department, EU Services, answered this question. Forest may be reached at or 301-795-6312.

I am interested in your thoughts on reusing scanned images in various sizes. Are there issues regarding scanning a high-resolution image at a large size and reducing it to a small size? I understand that to take a small-scanned image and then increase the size to large will affect the quality and resolution of the image. But, I don't know how it works in the opposite direction.


Scanning an image at a larger size and then reducing it will not adversely affect the quality of the image. However, it will create a much larger file to handle. Placing this image in a page layout program and reducing it within the application will not only make your file unnecessarily large but will significantly increase the file’s processing time. Some vendors will charge an additional amount for RIP-ing graphic intensive files, primarily due to sizing images.

It is always best to use image editing software to size and rotate the image before placing it into the document. Also remember that a higher scanned resolution does not necessarily improve the final output quality. As a rule of thumb, your image should have twice as many ppi (pixels per inch) as there are lpi (lines per inch) in the final output.

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