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The first step in any design project is creating a new file and if this is your first project for the web, the setup is probably going to be a little bit different than you're used to. Let's explore how I go about setting up a new document for a web-based project. I'll start by going up to the File menu and choosing New. You can also hit Command+N or Ctrl+N on your keyboard. Once I am inside the New Document dialog box, I have the ability to name this project, so in this case I'll just call it Website Mockup. And directly underneath that I can choose from a series of presets.
Since I'm designing for a web site, I'm going to choose Web, because this sets a couple of essential document presets that I need going forward, like the Resolution--72 pixels per inch, which is standard for screen design-- and the Color mode is also set to RGB Color, which is also essential for screen-based designs. The size of the document is ultimately going to be dictated by the project that you're working on. But in most cases we'll assume before designing a web site that the end user has a higher-resolution monitor than just simply 1024 x 768.
In my personal workflow I design web sites that range anywhere between 900 pixels and 1000 pixels wide; therefore, I design my documents at about 1200 pixels wide so the design has breathing room around the outside of it and also so I can simulate what it's going to look like in a larger browser window. So for this document here, I am simply going to type in 1200 pixels for the Width. And let's assume here that I'm designing a blog, for instance. I'm going to increase the Height significantly for this, because I want to leave room for things like blog posts widgets, footers, all that kind of stuff.
So I'm going to increase this to about 2000 pixels tall. If I find this works for me on a regular basis for blog design, I can come over to the right and I can choose Save Preset. By choosing Save Preset, I can go in and I can say Blog Design for the Name. I can choose to include the Resolution, the mode, the Bit Depth, Content, Profile and Pixel Aspect Ratio, which is exactly what I want, and I'll hit OK. Once I hit OK, that is now saved as one of my presets, so anytime I go back in to create a new document, I can simply drop this down, go to the top, and Blog Design is listed right there.
Once I select that, all of my options are exactly as I need them to be, and I can hit OK. Once you hit OK, you're ready to start mocking up your masterpiece.
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