How to change the Canvas size

Canvas size adjustments, tips on adjusting dimensions and format when exporting files, and avoiding blurry images for better results.

Tawny avatar
Written by Tawny
Updated over a week ago

When crafting an illustration in BioRender, the size of your canvas plays an important role in both design and exporting. The canvas size impacts the resolution of the illustration when exporting, influencing the quality of the final product. By carefully selecting the appropriate canvas size, you can create illustrations that are of high quality and tailored to your specific needs.

Adjusting your Canvas during Illustration

When working on your canvas in BioRender, there are three things that affect it:

  • Ratio, which refers to the relationship between the width (W) and height (H) of the canvas.

  • Unit of measurement, which can be either in inches or centimeters.

  • Zoom, which allows you to adjust the canvas size between 20% to 500%.


You can adjust your canvas size during an illustration like so:

You can also lock the aspect ratio so that you can adjust your canvas without affecting its ratio by editing only W or H:

Inches vs Centimeters

When making an illustration, you can pick either inches or centimeters as your unit of measurement. It's really up to your personal preference and your choice of unit of measurement for an illustration will not affect the overall outcome of the illustration.

If you switch between cm and inches, the units will convert while keeping the same canvas size. For example:

If you attempt to adjust the canvas outside the min-max values, the canvas will reset to its previous ratio and size.

  • Height and Width must be between 1 and 16.75 in. Resetting to current dimension values

  • Height and Width must be between 2.54 and 42.55 cm. Resetting to current dimension values

Adding a Template

When adding a template to your illustration you have two options:

  • Replace an illustration

  • Add to an illustration

If you select "add" when adding a template to your illustration, your canvas size will stay the same. However, if you choose "replace," the canvas size will change automatically to match that of the template.


Zooming is for editing and viewing only, and won't change your canvas size. Use it to see small details or view your poster from a distance. Hit "reset X" to fit your canvas back onto your drawing board.

If you are using a touchpad: You can also zoom by pinching or spreading your two fingers simultaneously.

Please note that using ctrl+(+) and ctrl+(-) or commands will zoom your browser window and not your drawing board and will impact the user interface of BioRender.

Exporting an Image

When you export an illustration, the ratio is fixed, but you can still adjust the size of the export by changing either the width or height. The other dimension will adjust automatically to maintain the ratio.

Export also has an additional size option compared to illustration; pixels.

Values outside the minimum and maximum limits will prevent exporting. This applies to inches, centimeters, and pixels.

For the best quality when exporting in JPG or PDF format, it's recommended to increase the dimensions to their maximum limit. Smaller exports in these formats may turn out blurry and low-quality.

As an example:

Exporting at 1.43 inches W and 1 inch H with 150 DPI

Exporting at 10 inches W and 7 inch H at 150 DPI

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