How to make a new document in Photoshop

This tutorial covers the different options available when creating a new Photoshop document.

1. On the toolbar across the top of the screen, either select File > New or use the shortcut Command+N

2. In the dialogue box that opens, decide:

  • Name
    • Choose a name that is easy to remember and accurately describes the project.
  • Width and Height
    • This will vary depending on whether the document will be printed, used on the web, etc. When in doubt, go bigger and downsize later. Resizing larger can be more difficult and the image quality is likely to get worse. Also note that the drop down menus allow for specifications in inches, millimeters, centimeters, pixels, etc.
  • Resolution
    • Resolution will determine the image's quality. A higher resolution will result in a higher quality image which will be look better when printed, ect. A lower resolution will result in a lower quality image, but one which will load faster on a web page for instance. When in doubt, set the resolution to 300, which is on the high end.72 is probably the lowest that should ever be used. Please see the article on Resolution for more detailed information.
  • Color Mode
    • If the document is in full color, use RGB Color. The other options can be used if the document will be in black and white or other special cases.
  • Background Contents
    • Select White for a white background, Transparent for a colorless background that will show up as checkers, or Background Color to select a specific color besides white.

3. Click OK to create the document.

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