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This chapter is from the book

Creating a New Image

Remember the many alternatives for opening files mentioned in Chapter 1? You have almost as many alternatives for creating a new file. Either way, you end up using the New Image dialog box to set up the basic dimensions, image resolution, and color mode. Creating a new file is like starting with a blank canvas. You can create your own work of art using Photoshop Elements' many painting and drawing tools, or you can assemble a collage of multiple images. But for now, we'll stick with the basics.

To create a new image:

  1. To create a new image, click New File on the Welcome screen (Figure 2.6), or do one of the following:

    Figure 2.6Figure 2.6 Click the New File button on the Welcome screen to create a new image.

  2. From the File menu, select New, or press Ctrl+N/Command+N.

  3. On the shortcuts bar, click the New file icon (Figure 2.7).

    Figure 2.7Figure 2.7 The New File icon on the shortcuts bar offers another quick way to get started with a new file.

  4. The New file dialog box appears, presenting you with options for changing size, resolution, and file type.

  5. In the New file dialog box, enter a file name; then enter dimensions for the width and height (Figure 2.8).

    Figure 2.8Figure 2.8 The New Image dialog box lets you name your new image and set its dimensions, resolution, and color mode.

  6. The default size is 7x5 inches, which works perfectly fine as a starting point. You can always change it later.

  7. Set the resolution and color mode. By default, Photoshop Elements automatically chooses a preset resolution and color mode for you. When you're first creating a new file, it's fine to use these default settings, as you can always change them later. If you want more information on color modes, see Chapter 3, "Changing and Adjusting Colors."

  8. Select one of the Contents radio buttons to choose the appearance for the bottom (or background) layer of the image.

White is the default background option and creates a pure white background layer for the image. This option is just fine for most purposes.

Background Color fills the background with the current background color, making this setting useful if you're creating a Web graphic and want it to match the background color of your Web page.

Transparent makes the first layer transparent and results in an image with no background at all—a good choice if you're creating an image for the Web and want it to appear transparent on the page. For more information on Layers, see chapter 5, "Working with Layers."


Don't be intimidated by the sheer number of size, resolution and transparency settings available when you first create a new image. We'll cover all these in more detail as we progress through the book. If you're brand-new at Photoshop Elements, creating a new image is really just as simple as pressing Ctrl+N/ Command+N, accepting the default settings, and charging bravely ahead.

Using Adobe's Online Services

You can use Adobe's Online Services feature to check for additional Photoshop Elements plug-ins and recipes. As long as you're connected to the Internet while you're working in Photoshop Elements, choose File > Online Services to view a list of new plug-ins and recipes, which you can then select and download to your computer. It's a good idea to check this feature from time to time, as Adobe frequently updates this service with new files.

You can also use this feature to upload your photos to an online photo service entirely within Photoshop Elements—you don't even have to launch your Web browser. For more information on uploading your photos to an online photo service, see "Using Online Photo Services" in Chapter 11, "Saving and Printing Images."

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