44. Create a New Image
Before You Begin
59 About Size and Resolution
48 Save an Image in Photoshop Format (PSD)
49 Save an Image in TIFF Format
60 Change Image Size or Resolution
63 Change Color Mode
105 Ensure That What You See Is What You Get
As with other programs, if you want to use Photoshop Elements to create new art such as a decorative Windows wallpaper or a Web page button, you must start with a new, empty image file. You might also create a new image file when you want to combine portions of several photographs into a photo collage, scrapbook page, or panorama. After creating a new image file, you should save it in Photoshop format as described in 48 Save an Image in Photoshop Format (PSD).
When you create a new image file, you set several initial parameters, such as the image's width and height. You are not stuck with your initial choices; you can change your selections later on as you work. For example, it's easy to resize a photograph to make it bigger or smaller as needed. In addition to width and height, you determine how finely detailed the image will be (its resolution). Finally, you'll select the background color and the image color mode. As you make your selections, the resulting file size (taking into account only a single, basic background layer) is displayed at the bottom of the dialog box. If necessary, reduce the image size, resolution, or color mode to make the file size more manageable for your system.
Color mode Determines the number of colors an image can contain; the color mode (also called color depth) also affects an image's file sizethe larger the color depth, the larger the file size.
Click New Button
In the Editor, change to Standard Edit mode and click the New button on the Shortcuts bar, or choose File, New, Blank File from the menu. The New dialog box appears.
Type a name for the new image in the Name box. For now, the name you type will serve as the file's temporary name until you actually save the file as described in 47 About Saving Images. Because this is only a temporary name, you can skip this step if you like, and enter the permanent name for the file when you save it later on.
You can start the Editor in Standard Edit mode from the Welcome Window by clicking the Edit and Enhance Photos. From the Organizer, you can start the Editor in Standard Edit mode by selecting an image, clicking the Edit button, and selecting Go to Standard Edit.
If you want to create a new image using data currently on the Clipboard (the part of memory that holds cut or copied data before it's pasted), see 87 Create a New Image from a Selection for help.
To create a new image that uses the same dimensions as a currently open image, select the image's name from the bottom of the Preset list. You might have to scroll to see the filenames of these open images.
Open the Preset drop-down list and select one of the many common image types, such as a 5-by-7-inch photo or an 800-by-600-pixel Web background. You can modify the Width, Height, and Resolution settings that appear by following steps 4 and 5; otherwise, skip to step 6.
Adjust Width and Height
If your chosen preset doesn't match the image size you want exactly, select new Width and/or Height values.
Depending on how detailed you want the image to appear, adjust the Resolution value to the number of pixels you want per inch/centimeter. If the image will only be viewed onscreen or on the Web, 72 pixels per inch is sufficient; for images you intend to print, consider at least 300 DPI.
Choose a Color Mode
Open the Color Mode drop-down list and select the color mode you want to work with: RGB Color (for color images), Grayscale (for images in black, white, and grays), or Bitmap (for images in black and white only).
A typical ink jet printer uses a resolution of 600 DPI (dots per inch), so for printing purposes on a home ink jet, select at least half that, or 300 DPI (pixels per inch). Photo printers average 1200 DPI; here, you're still fine with 300 DPI resolution, although you could try 600 DPI and compare the results.
If you're not sure whether you'll be printing an image or not, use at least 300 DPI. If you're going to be working with photographs in this new image, go with 600 DPI; you can always reduce the resolution (and the file size) later if you need to.
Choose a Background and Click OK
Open the Background Contents drop-down list and select the color you want to fill the bottom layer of your imagethe background layer. You can choose White, Background Color (which makes the background the same color as the current background color as shown on the Toolbox), or Transparent. (The Transparent option is not available in Bitmap color mode.) After selecting a background, click OK to create the blank canvas for the new image onscreen.
View the Result
An image window opens with the dimensions and colors you choose. Use the Editor's tools to fill the image with color or data copied from another image. Apply filters, effects, or layer styles. After you've worked a little in your image, you'll want to save it so you don't lose your work. The best format for works in progress is Photoshop (*.psd), as explained in 48 Save an Image in Photoshop Format (PSD). After you work on the image, save the result in JPEG or TIFF format as explained in 47 About Saving Images, leaving your PSD image with its layers (if any) intact so that you can return at a later time and make different adjustments if you want.
Here, I created a quick image for use as a Windows background. I filled it with a purple background color, painted it with green and yellow droplets, and applied the Glass, Wave, and Liquify filters. Then I added some flowers using the Custom Shape tool, and some text.