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When you’re ready to start creating your own artwork and graphics, the first thing you’ll need to know how to do is, how to create a new document in Photoshop. Follow along in this step by step tutorial and I’ll explain how to create a file for use on the web or for use in print.

How To Create A New File In Photoshop

To create a new document in Photoshop, we use the New Document dialog box. There are several ways to get to this dialog box.

1. When you launch Photoshop you can click on the New… button on Photoshop’s Start screen

1 Photoshop CC 2017 Start Screen


2. Click File > New on the Menu Bar along the top of the screen.


3. Use the keyboard shortcut, Cmd + N (Mac) / Ctrl + N (Win). This is a handy keyboard shortcut that we use over and over when working in Photoshop, so it’s worth making an effort to remember it.

Any of these options open up the New Document dialog box. See below.

2 Photoshop New Document Dialog Box

What’s In The New Document Dialog Box in Photoshop CC?

Along the top of the New Document dialog box, you’ll see a row of categories – Recent, Saved, Photo, Print, Art & Illustration, Web, Mobile, and Film & Video. By default, the Recent category is selected and you will see a set of document sizes that you’ve used recently. If this is the first time you’ve opened Photoshop, or if you have reset Photoshop to factory settings, there will be nothing in this category.

How To Create A New Document From Presets

A handy time saver when creating new files is to use a preset. A preset is simply a set of pre-determined width and height dimensions, a choice of portrait or landscape orientation, resolution and colour mode. There are other options but these tend to be the options we are most likely to be interested in.

1. To choose a preset, first, pick the type of document you want to make, for example, is it for the web, print, a photo? Click on that category name along the top. For this example, I’ve chosen Print.

2. A set of four presets appear in the dialog box. Click on the View All Presets + link to see more presets.

Now we can see an extra bunch of thumbnails representing various Print presets. Use the scroll bar along the right to scroll through them.

3 Photoshop New Documents Presets

3. Click on the A5 preset. Notice how the Preset Details such as width and height change on the right-hand side.

4. If you’re happy with this preset, click Create. The New Document dialog box closes and your brand new document opens in Photoshop.

4 New A5 document in Photoshop

How To Create A New File In Photoshop With Your Own Custom Settings

Let’s say that you want to make a document at a size that is not already available as a preset. Now we’ll look at how to add your own custom settings.

1. Choose File > New in the Menu Bar along the top of the screen. The same New Document dialog opens as before.

2. On the right-hand side, in the Preset Details section, type in the values 10 inches for width, 3 inches for height and change the colour mode to CMYK. We change the units of measurement by clicking on the drop down box to the right of the Width field.

Now, let’s say that we know this is a document size that we may want to use again, it’s a good idea to save it as a preset.

5 Save New Preset

3. Click the Save Preset icon (circled in red).

4. Give it a name by typing in the Preset name field at the top. (It will say something like Untitled initially). Give it a descriptive name to make it easier for yourself to remember what the preset is. I called mine Jen – Banner – 10 x 3.
Then click Save Preset again.

The new saved preset now appears in the Saved category. This means you can come back to it at any time and it will speed up your workflow by not having to type in the values each time you want a document of that size.

5. Click on the Create button and your new file opens in Photoshop.

And that’s how you make new files in Photoshop.

Practice: Try creating some new files

1. Make a new Photoshop document suitable for web use (hint color mode will be RGB and Resolution will be 72 Pixels/Inch). Set the size to 1000 pixels wide by 1000 pixels high.

2. Make a new Photoshop document suitable for print use. (Hint: Color mode will be CMYK and Resolution will be 300 Pixels/Inch). Set the size to 8 inches wide by 10 inches high.

I hope you found this post useful, I’d be so grateful if you would please share it.  Thank you!

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How To Create A New Document In Photoshop CC

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Jennifer Farley is an illustrator, designer, author and design teacher based in Ireland. She has been teaching design for over 14 years and helps people learn Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator and graphic design skills to improve their job prospects and their business.