XD Desktop preview size is different

It seems like there is a difference between the width in the desktop preview size, than its actual pixel width.

i recorded a loom to explain it:

the artboard screen width size is 1920px
the screenshot of the desktop preview size is 3492px

at first i thought it is x2 but that also isn’t (it should be 1746px if so)

can you explain to me the size differences?

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I could imagine (that’s just a wild guess, though) that this has something to do with pixel density and retina display resolutions, where 1 physical pixel can be 0.5 px in the design, meaning your display might show 1 px of your design in 2px and then scale down to fit the display resolution (and the screenshot, subsequently, has a higher resolution by capturing all “physical pixels”) :thinking:

that what i thought at the beginning - but it isn’t x2 of the size. and i am not sure how XD is calculating the size to show the user but it isn’t the same as the one in the browser.

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Yes, I believe the “process” looks something like this (failing to provide exact “2x” in step 3):

  1. Take the “resolution” (width/height) of the artboard
  2. For Retina displays (pixel density > 1x?) => Scale it up to match that pixel density (since XD is vector based and UIs, as well, can be scaled up, that shouldn’t be a problem, after all)
  3. Check if the resulting physical resolution (here: 3840*2160px) fits the screen. If it doesn’t, scale it down until it fits the screen, keeping the “2x” as “base resolution” that gets scaled down

Looking at your video, I could imagine that the screen’s width doesn’t even allow for the full 3840px (if the result is already 3492px), but even if it did, the height would be limited by: menu bar at the top, window controls, and the dock at the bottom => if the screen would allow for exactly 2x, that still wouldn’t allow the preview to be that big (unless it’s full screen), an therefore, it might scale down…

(Scaling down to fit the window, after all, also happens when you just resize the preview window)

All in all, I would assume that it tries to provide 2x, but has to scale down a little bit so that the window can fit your screen.

maybe xd should think of alerting the user that in those cases the preview isn’t the actual size, so it will be less misleading?

I’d suggest requesting this on XD’s uservoice forum as our community does not feed into the XD non-extensibility feature roadmap. See https://adobexd.uservoice.com/forums/353007-adobe-xd-feature-requests