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Quick Tip: Displaying Photo Resolution in the Lightroom 4 Book Module

When you click in a photo in the Book Module, a Zoom slider appears, which shows you how far, in percent, you are zoomed in on the photo, and allows you to zoom in more or less.  This slider is for enlarging the photo in the cell on your Book page, not for zooming in to evaluate detail in the photo. (The latter is done with the Preview panel.)

If you zoom in too far, you’ll get an exclamation point in the top right corner:

Book Module Photo Zoom

If you click on one of these exclamation points, you’ll get this warning, indicating that you have enlarged the photo too much and may not have enough pixels per inch (ppi) to get a good quality print:

Lightroom Book Exclamation Point Resolution Warning

Note that this warning and ppi information will only display if in the Book Settings panel you have chosen to make a Blurb book, not for PDFs or JPEGs. In addition, of course, it only displays once you get down to under 200 ppi.

So how do you get Lightroom to display ppi for PDF’s, JPEGs, and for your Blurb book photos over 200 ppi?  Here’s the secret:

  • Click in the photo, so that the zoom slider appears.
  • Hold down the Alt/Opt key — this changes zoom % to ppi!

Lightroom Book Module: Displaying Photo PPI


2017-06-28T20:50:01+00:00June 8th, 2012|5 Comments


  1. Don June 8, 2012 at 12:25 pm - Reply

    That’s a nice tip.

    I wish the develop module had multiple zooms, besides 1-1, 2-1, etc. With 36 megapixel cameras, we need more choices of zoom.

  2. Nick November 28, 2012 at 4:11 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this information.

    Can you please explain what to do with images prior to putting them in a collection to be used in a e.g. PDF book using LR4. For example, I start with NEF RAW files, develop them and them can save them as TIFFs, or JPGS, etc. At that point they are not cropped. If I want to use these images in a LR4 book, what do I do to them…crop them at 300ppi and then use these images for the book? Preparing photos for use in a LR4 book seems to be an important piece of the puzzle.

    Thank you,


    • Laura Shoe November 29, 2012 at 10:08 am - Reply

      Hi Nick, the only cropping you need to do ahead of time in the Develop module is to crop out anything you simply don’t like visually. Then, just include these NEF files in the collection (or PSD/Tiff files if you have edited them in Photoshop), and go to the Book module. Once you choose a page layout, drag the photos into the photo cells. If you want the photos to fill the cell, right-click and choose fill cell. Finally, drag inside the photo to decide which portion will be cropped off. No need to convert to TIFF or JPG or size to any particular resolution … the Book module, when you export your book, will do the resizing to 300 ppi. In the meantime it will warn you if your photo falls under 200 ppi, which will not upsize to 300 ppi well.

      • Yoshi February 1, 2013 at 3:34 am - Reply

        Hi Laura, While I was searching for some tips and info regarding photo formats and resolutions for the Book module in LR, I came across your comment which I found really helpful and it is the answer what i was looking for.

        I have one more question on this issue. My first time using the book module to publish a book, therefore, all is simply a learning process. I use TIF format, average size is about 5700×3000 pixls each image which is quite huge. I decided to use this format and size as I am working on a large landscape format in the book module. Would it be better to convert all the images to JPG so that once I export to PDF, the over all size of PDF will be much less? Therefore, easier to deliver the file to a printer? Will the size of a image be reduced once it is cropped in the photo cells?? Hope my question is clear.

        Thank you


        • Laura Shoe February 1, 2013 at 11:24 am - Reply

          Hi Yoshi, I am glad the post was helpful. On your question, when you export your book to PDF (or upload, which also creates a PDF), Lightroom will automatically convert the photos to JPEGs for embedding in the PDF. Therefore, you should not convert ahead of time — just use your originals in your book (the raw files, or TIFF or PSD if you have gone to Photoshop or another external editor). As you probably know, saving a JPEG from a JPEG degrades the photo more.

          If you are exporting a PDF, you control the JPEG quality and ppi settings in the Book Settings panel. If it’s going to Blurb, these are set automatically as Blurb recommends.

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