I have for a long time been annoyed by the difference in appreciated size of a document viewed on screen in Pages and the actual printout, but haven't done anything about it until yesterday, when it struck me that I could just hold up a paper on my computer screen and compare.

Lo and behold, the zoom factor that made the document on screen's width correspond to the physical paper was approximately 178 % (to achieve that zoom level you have to use Adapt to width (my translation) and then drag the window until you "reach" 178 %).

This value was very surprising and I am interested in why such an uneven (yeah, yeah, 178 is even, but values such as 100, 200, 75 or ⅔ are even in this context) value corresponds to the actual physical size?

AFAIK Apple/MacOS used to calculate with 72 dpi (and Windows 96 dpi) as the monitor resolution (and 144 dpi when they introduced "retina" monitors).

I am using a Macbook Air 13" with 1440 × 900 apparent resolution (2880 × 1800 physical resolution).

  • Use Command 0 to get Actual Size. The Zoom value depends on your display's pixel density. See my answer here. apple.stackexchange.com/questions/396853/…
    – benwiggy
    Commented Mar 9, 2023 at 13:44
  • No, my question is why 178 % is 1:1. How can that be hard to understand? I even marked that with bold in my question.
    – d-b
    Commented Mar 9, 2023 at 21:39
  • 1
    Because your display has a pixel density of 256 ppi, which when scaled by 2 for Retina is 128 ppi, which is 178% of 72 pixels to the inch.
    – benwiggy
    Commented Mar 9, 2023 at 21:51
  • @benwiggy Thank you for your answer. Too bad it is marked as a duplicate.
    – d-b
    Commented Mar 10, 2023 at 17:27
  • I've added a sentence to the linked original answer to explicitly state that the Actual Size zoom value is dependent on the pixel density of your display.
    – benwiggy
    Commented Mar 10, 2023 at 18:16


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