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Measuring image size on laptop screen

I'm trying to design a web page on my laptop which has a 14" screen. When modifying images in different applications, such as Photoshop and Dreamweaver, the dimentions and ruler sizes of images don't seem to match-- in other words, the application will say that the image is 5" by 7", but if I put my tape measure on the screen, it measures smaller (in Photoshop). However, when I enable the onscreen ruler measurments in Dreamweaver, the inch marks are actually larger than an inch if I hold my tape measure up to the screen. How can I know how big or small to make my web page, and the images in it- if everything is relative? (I tried to adjust the total screen size in Control Panel --I'm using Windows 98, 2nd edition on a Pentium 3 laptop Micro Express 4800b-- but the only adjustment available made everything appear huge). Thanks for the job you guys are doing! my email address os pfam@wenet.net  --Peter
1 Solution
For web design you should really use pixels--display in pixels, so design in pixels. You must then consider target monitor resolutions and design graphics accordingly. I think that 1024x768 or 800x600 is a good start since targeting these does not necessarily mean a bad display with other resolutions.

Your never going to get the results you want if your are trying to make images appear a certain size. Consider that images on a 800x600 13" monitor will be smaller than an 800x600 15". Furthermore, monitors come in 72dpi(dots or pixels per inch), 96dpi, etc. Instead, think that a 200 pixel wide image will cover 1/4 width of 800x600.

In Photoshop, go to Image / Image Size. There you can see the relationship between the pixels and inches.

are you sure that you haven't got the zoom in on the image?  If you are not viewing it as 100% you may have things off by a little.

Using actual lengths is unreliable since the software programs have no idea of how big a pixel image is on the screen ... there's no standard. You could have a screen 3ft wide and another 1ft wide and they could still only be 800 × 600. However, actually lengths are used more commonly for printing where you can actually tell the print your dimensions. As stated above it best to work in pixels for web development since you can determin how many pixels wide a screen is.
peteshaktiAuthor Commented:
The answer from Rhinosaur was good but the added comment from Logicload was excellent and even more helpful. Thanks for the info- keep up the good work!
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