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[By Design] 72DPI blurry images when embedded in Outlook

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I came today on a very strange bug. Photos saved to the same dimensions in Affinity Photo  and Photoshop behave differently when embedded in Outlook 2016 / Windows 10. A photoshop picture at 72DPI will be resized in Outlook to 96DPI to match my screen resolution. The same Affinity picture at 72DPI will appear as is : bigger and blurry.
Furthermore, if I save my picture at 96DPI with Affinity it will appear at the same size in Outlook but slightly blurry.

I include the following files :

  • overwatch_lunar_2019.png - original file at 72 dpi.
  • overwatch_lunar_2019_resized_with_affinity.png - Affinity file 72DPI appears bigger
  • overwatch_lunar_2019_resized_with_photoshop.png - Photoshop file 72DPI appears ok
  • overwatch_lunar_2019_resized_with_affinity_fixed.png - Affinity file 96DPI same size as Photoshop but slightly blurry.

Also :

  • result_in_outlook_affinity_on_the_right.png
  • result_in_outlook_affinity_96dpi_on_the_right.png

Hope that you can have a look because for me it means a "no go" for Affinity if the interpretation of DPI leads to blurry results. And that would be too bad because the software is just great, well designed and ergonomic.
Thank you in advance for your answers.








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Hi @ruaideh,

DPI values are only taken into consideration when you print. Digitally, DPI values are ignored, because an image is made of pixels and not points. 

How did you resize the image? What Resample method did you use? Photoshop does have an Auto resample method that chooses the best method for the job. In Affinity, you have to manually change the Resample method to suit your needs:

Lanczos gives you a sharper image, while Bilenear will have a smoother result. 



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Hi GabrielM. This is what I thought first that digitally there is no difference for DPI because pictures at 100% size fit to the screen PPI. But somehow for Outlook 2016 it does when pictures are embedded in an email (you can easily reproduce it yourself with my samples and see the "result_in_outlook_affinity_on_the_right.png" picture : clearly the right picture is bigger by default - 1/3 bigger to be exact : 96/72. Can you have a try ?

I agree with you about the slight difference between resized pictures : I used bilinear for Affinity and automatic for Photoshop. Thank you for pointing it out, I tried with Lanczos in Affinity and indeed it looks better.

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Interesting. I suppose then this is due to my version of Outlook - which looks a bit different than yours - and not Affinity itself.
Many thanks for taking the time to test! For me the question is solved.

Have a nice day.

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More information about Outlook and resizing images. Quote from : https://superuser.com/questions/211020/prevent-outlook-2010-insert-picture-resizing-image

When you use the Insert / Picture feature to insert an inline image, Outlook (and other MS apps such as Word and Excel) will look at the DPI setting in the image file. If your picture has a DPI setting of anything other than 96, Outlook will resize (i.e., scale and resample) your image (permanently) to 96 DPI upon insertion and there isn't much you can do about it after the fact.

The way to avoid this problem altogether is to open the image in a good image editor, set the DPI value to 96 DPI, and then save the image. If you do not resample the image when you do this, a good image editor will in no way affect the actual image content (i.e., it will remain pixel for pixel identical). After you do this, when you insert the image into an Outlook e-mail, Outlook will show it (and send it) in its original size, unless you manually resize / scale it. This is how you avoid the gratuitous "Outlook scaling, blurring, and destroying your pristine image," issue.


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