Do browsers show images differently?

I have a site on which I use a jpg that is cropped into a curve along the top. The image is a 72ppi jpg, saved using Photoshop’s Save for Web, with the highest quality jpg settings. (Yes, it creates a huge image, but the client is insisting on a smoother curve so I need a higher quality image.)

My client is insisting that the top curve is too pixelated and jagged, and is insisting that while it’s okay in some browsers, it isn’t in others.

My belief is that browsers have nothing to do with it. It’s a resolution issue and it’s the monitor that controls that - the browsers having nothing to do with it. Is that correct?

Also, there is no point in going above 72ppi, correct? Since that is the highest resolution a screen can display?

I really think we’re down to the point that I can’t do anything else about this image short of buying the client a new monitor or magically making pixels round instead of square. But I thought I would check with you all because I can’t know everything and maybe I’m missing something.


Hmm, a web browser has no concept of dpi thus it will appear different to say Photoshop (where you can see print and actual size, etc.) As far as the browser is likely to be concerned anything over 72 dpi is meaningless anyway (or for that matter so is 72 but that’s another story).

In reality the dpi ‘Text Size’ is a “Logical Inch” computed value. Don’t confuse “logical inches” with “real inches” - very different concepts.

For example we have five; 100px by 100px images, one at 2 dpi, 72 dpi, 96 dpi, 300 dpi and 1600 dpi. It will look the exact same size within a web browser but when printed it will differ.

Basically DPI does NOT apply to video screens; video systems know no concept of dpi at all or any concept of inches either.

Which I am sure you are aware of; so unless there is another very specific reason you should be showing your client the image in a browser, which you seem to be doing.

Therefore it sounds like they have some strange settings or zoom applied on some of their browsers. I’ll also assume they aren’t talking print either but just viewing normally. Whatever the answer is it’s their hardware or (display settings) rather than the browser and JPG viewing per se. The image hasn’t been approved at time of writing so I will assume it doesn’t have any flaws, etc.

Thanks for your response, Robert.

The clients is viewing the image in the browser, so no it’s not a print situation. I tried to get the client to check if there was a zoom setting - not sure if they actually did it.

“Whatever the answer is it’s their hardware or (display settings) rather than the browser and JPG viewing per se.”

That’s what I’ve been thinking - it’s good to hear someone else come to that conclusion too.

The image looks far worse in the thumbnail than it does with the full size version simply because of the pixels having a fixed size. The only way I can think of to make it any less jagged in the full size version would be to make the image much larger (perhaps so that people can only see a small portion of the image on their screen and have to scroll to see the rest).