3 Replies Latest reply on May 19, 2013 8:26 AM by Marie Maier

    PAR - Pixel Aspect Ratio - How Does it Affect Me?

    the_wine_snob Level 9

      Many users are baffled by Aspect Ratios, and then Pixel Aspect Ratios (PAR). As Video can use square, or non-square pixels, it is easy to get confused. Then, one might begin talking of Aspect Ratios, but not know how those can relate to Pixel Aspect Ratios. Adobe has put together a help page, and has provided a chart of allowable PAR's, found HERE.


      Note: Adobe adopted the BBC standard for PAR's with non-square pixels. Before, those were rounded off to 0.9 and 1.2, but as of CS4, PrPro now extends the PAR calculations by one more place. PrE still uses the older, one-place figures. The differences are slight, and would likely never be noticed, as one is talking about just one more place in the figures, but it's worth noting, especially if one is moving Assets between the two programs.


      Hope that this helps with the confusion,



        • 1. Re: PAR - Pixel Aspect Ratio - How Does it Affect Me?
          the_wine_snob Level 9

          Sometimes, the video editing program will miss the "flags," that indicate the PAR in an AV file. There can be many reasons for this, but when it happens, usually using Interpret Footage on the AV Clip in the Project Panel, will force the program to assign the proper PAR to the Clip.


          Good luck,



          • 2. Re: PAR - Pixel Aspect Ratio - How Does it Affect Me?
            the_wine_snob Level 9

            For an in-depth discussion on PAR, see Todd Kopriva's ARTICLE here.


            Note: PrPro and After Effects treat the numerical aspects of PAR slightly differently, than does PrElements, however the principles are the same - just how many decimal places one is using, and how the rounding takes place. If you have PrE, instead of number like "PAR = 1.212," just think of "1.2."


            Hope that this helps,



            • 3. Re: PAR - Pixel Aspect Ratio - How Does it Affect Me?
              Marie Maier

              Bill, you are an angel and I thank you for taking the time to give me some insight. I found the "pixel aspect"  and it was checked "square". I tried each of the adjustments and NONE of them could make that "egg" circle as it should be. I am sure I'm not doing something right, but only the 2nd selection move the needed width inward, but no where's near enough.


              I tried changing monitor resolution to 1280x720 but that can't be done.


              Since the 'non-square' ability was introduced into the later PS versions, why does that have to intrude on everybody? I don't, and never will work on Video, TV, DVD, etc. interests and I just love Photos and designing ads, brochures, collages, etc. What I don't get, is WHY, if the square pixel is pertinent to visuals like me ( for decades) why is the whole dang program screwed up  instead of specifically made up for the special usages needed?


              If that was the consideration Adobe made via to make EVERYBODY have to adjust to a more flexible program, they shoulda, coulda, and if caring enough woulda made this need very distinct, clear and a heck of a lot easier to understand. I suppose I should apologize if I'm just too dang old to have to adjust to changes I don't want or need--but pardon me please, if I don't. I am very angered by my ability to continue doing what I knew well before instead of being stymied in not able to continue as swiftly. 


              I'm sure you are very aware of what's listed there in View, and it's obvious I don't know what to do to adjust what I need, how or where to do it in this program.I will read, read somemore and if the brain cells can't accept, I'll do a print-work-a-round as best I can. Thank you, so much Bill Hunt--you brougnt back some of the "old Adobe Forum" of the past that was such a learning treasure. MM