Beginner 4: Opening a New File in Photoshop

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Beginner 4: Opening a New File in Photoshop

In photoshop, go to File -> New. This will bring up this window:

What does all this mean?

Name - you can give your file a name here if you want. If you don't, you'll give it a name when you save.

Preset - if you leave this at custom, it will let you make whatever size canvas you want. The canvas is the area that you will have to work on.

Width/Height - Here you can set the size of your canvas. For digital scrapbooking I generally work in inches, but you can change the unit of measurement by clicking on the small arrow next to "inches".

Resolution - This is where things start to get tricky. If you want to print your pages out in the future (or even if you don't) I would recommend setting the resolution to at least 200 pixels/inch. I set mine at 300 pixels/inch. This ensures that when you print it out at 12x12 inches, there will be 300 pixels for every inch, or 3600x3600. How many pixels per inch will make the picture look more or less pixilated. If you have too few pixels, you will be able to see each dot rather than the smooth picture you will see if you increase the pixels/inch.

Color Mode - Make sure this is not grayscale, then everything will be in black and white. I do all my work in RGB color.

Background Contents - Here you can set the color of the canvas. If you don't like the color you pick, you can always change it.

I'm sitting on a question you might answer down the road. Image size changes no matter if I set it at 600 pixel square and 300 resolution. I get a surprise when I go to upload to a site that requires a certain size, like 150kb. Why and how do I know so I don't have to keep changing the resolution from high to low?

I'm not sure I exactly understand your question, but I'll give it a try and you can let me know. When you set the resolution of an image, it won't specifically set the size of the photo (ie. setting the resolution to 300 dpi won't make the image 300 kb). A lower resolution (like 72 dpi, traditionally used for images on the screen) will make the file smaller. Usually what I do when I post to the internet is have a special folder where I copy my images and resize them to be web appropriate. You don't need a giant layout of 3600x3600 pixels on the web. If you want to have your images for both web and print, you'll have to do some kind of resizing usually because they are such different mediums. You can use Photoshop Actions to easily resize images.

What would you recommend if you want to print out larger than 12x12 (say 11x17)? I am thinking about creating a layout to be printed and framed as a Christmas present.

If you want to print you should always use 300 dpi (I think. That's what people tell me, but I don't actually have much experience printing things out). So if you want 11x17 inches at 300 dpi that would be 3300x5100 pixels.

Perfect. Thanks!

Wow I just downloaded the free trial version and I have to say wow it is not like paint at all. I will be needing these tutorials for sure!!!

Awesome! Thanks for sharing!