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Most often when you are working in the Full Edit mode of the Editor, you are going to be manipulating or working with your photographs and so you will have opened existing files. But once in a while, you are going to want to start a new file from scratch. For example, you might need to create something out of graphics or texts like a logo, or a button for a webpage, or maybe you want to create a large background on a blank file and then drag multiple photos on top of the background to make a collage. In those kinds of cases, you are going to want to open a file from scratch this way. In the Full Edit mode of the Editor, I'm going up to the File menu at the top of the screen and I'm going to choose New, and then Blank File. That opens the New dialog box.
Let's go through the fields in this box. The first field asks you to the name the file. You don't have to name the file here, you could wait until you save it, but you are welcome to do so by clicking in this field, selecting Untitled by clicking and dragging over it and typing your own name, mynewfile, then you will want to set the dimensions of the file. You can do that manually by going down to the Width and Height fields, checking that the unit of measurement for those fields is as you wish it to be. So, if you are creating something for print, those will usually be set to inches, but if you are making something for the web or for screen, you might want to change that unit of measurement to pixels and you would do that by clicking on this menu and just choosing pixels here.
I'll leave it set to inches for now. Then you can type the dimensions into the Width and the Height fields and you are ready to move onto the other fields. But you don't have to go to all that trouble because Elements ships with the number of presets. Let's take a look at some of those. I'm going after the Preset menu and I'm going to click there. And here, I can choose the kind of document that I'm making. So, if I'm making a document that's going to be a background for photos, I might choose photo. And then in the Size menu, I can click and I find all kinds of preset choices.
So let's say, I wanted to make a 5x7 landscape, I could just click there and the width and height as well as resolution, which I'll talk about in a minute, would be filled in for me. But if I were making something for the web say, I could go back to the Preset menu and from there, go down to web and in the Size menu, choose the size of the document that I wanted in pixels. So let's say, I was making something that I wanted to fill the screen of 1024x768, I could click there and the Width and the Height fields are filled in automatically as well as the Resolution field. I'm going to go back to this Preset menu and I'm going to choose Default Photoshop Elements Size, which is 6x4 at 300 pixels/inch in the Resolution field.
So, let me talk for a moment about resolution. In Elements, resolution means the number of pixels that would be assigned to every printed inch of a file. Every file as you see it on your screen is composed of pixels, which are tiny squares of color information. When you go to print a document, you have to translate that number of pixels into inches, so that the printer knows how big to make the document. Most often you will probably be printing to an inkjet printer on your desktop and so this default of 300 pixels/inch is a safe number to put in the Resolution field.
The next field to look at is the Color Mode field. If I click there, I see that I have three choices and I recommend that in almost all cases, you leave Color Mode set to RGB Color. Even if you are creating a document that ultimately is going to be black and white, RGB Color will give you more tonal information to work with, and so it's a better choice. Also, please notice that there is no choice for CMYK here which is Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, that's the color mode that's often used in commercial printing and that's simply is not an option in Photoshop Elements.
The last field here is Background Contents and that simply means what color the new blank file is going to be. It can be white, it can be whatever color is showing over here in the Toolbox in the Background Color Box. Currently that happens to be white, but it can be any color, or it can be transparent. Transparent is not usually going to be A viable choice for you, if you are preparing a document for print, however, you may want to use transparent if you are making something for the web or the screen, that's going to have a transparent or see-through background. So I'll leave the set to white for now and I'll click OK.
And there is my brand new blank file ready for me to create something wonderful in.
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