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Could you please post a screenshot of the issue?
I cant reply screenshot it as it won't show anything. If i create a blank a3 page in photoshop and drag say an a3 file exported from autocad the autocad file shows up massive (like 5x the size of the a3) this also happens when i drag previous a3 files made on photoshop 2015 onto the a3 made in 2017. any ideas?
You need to look at the resolution of your files.
A3 means very little. It is a physical size that is only relevant when printed out. Photoshop works with pixels.
For example if your A3 Photoshop document has a resolution of 100 pixels per inch (ppi) and your A3 document from AutoCAD has 300ppi then the AutoCAD document will have more pixels and will therefore look "bigger" in Photoshop at 100% zoom.
The problem is likely with the export of your .pdf from auto cad. You can confirm this by opening the .pdf in Acrobat, and turning on rulers to check the size is A3?
There are multiple ways and many settings to create a .pdf from AutoCad, can we see screenshots of your AutoCad sizes and PDF settings?
The audocad file was just an example, it occurs with old a3 photoshop files i made last year. For example i just opened an old a3 file i made and using the ruler on the top and side of photoshop i can see the pages are the same size yet when i drag the a3 into my blank a3 it comes up massive
The size you see at 100% is completely your choice. It comes from the resolution you type (or leave unchanged) when you open and rasterise. Double resolution, double size.
Can you please provide a drop box link of both files. We need to know what you are working with.
I think this is likely a resolution issue.
Lets forget about other applications for the moment as it clouds the issue.
I am guessing that the new A3 document you are creating has a low resolution by default.
You'll need to take control of that setting.
Why? - the "old" A3 Photoshop file you are bringing in and the new A3 in Photoshop need to be the exact same resolution in Pixels per inch or Pixels per cm.
First open one of those old A3 Photoshop files you made - into Photoshop.
Just open, don't try to drag it into a"new" document (new file).
Go to image / size and check resolution there. Look at Pixels per inch or Pixels per cm. make a note.
Close the image file.
Now make a new file "file/ new" and when doing that make sure the resolution is set the same as your old file - in Pixels per inch or Pixels per cm.
Now try dragging that old A3 Photoshop file into the new document you made.
let us know how it goes please
oh, and when using the photoshop ruler to compare file sizes in this situation - make sure it's set to measure in pixels,
because a physical image "size" like A3 is only set by a resolution formula relating to file pixels i.e. "X many pixels = X inches"
I hope this helps
if so, please do mark my reply as "helpful" and if you're OK now, please mark it as "correct" below, so others who have similar issues can see the solution
neil barstow, colourmanagement
This is actually very simple. The key is one sentence in Dave's post #3:
"Photoshop works with pixels"
Again, check your resolution settings, as this determines how big the pixels will print. Pixels per inch! Think about what that expression means, literally. If ppi figures are the same, it will come into Photoshop at the same document size.
But to Photoshop, physical size is next to irrelevant. It is only added as an instruction to the printer. An afterthought, as it were.