The New Document dialog box has been completely redesigned in Photoshop CC 2017. It allows us create new documents from presets, or from our own custom settings, and it also lets us save our custom settings as new presets so we can reuse them. Another new feature in the New Document dialog box is the ability to create documents from templates, but we’ll look at that in a separate post.

Creating A New File In Photoshop

To create a new document in Photoshop, we use the New Document dialog box. There are several ways to get to this dialog box.

1. When you launch Photoshop you can click on the New… button on Photoshop’s Start screen



2. Click File > New on the Menu Bar along the top of the screen.


3. Use the keyboard shortcut, Cmd + N (Mac) / Ctrl+N (Win).

Any of these options open up the New Document dialog box.


The New Document Dialog Box

Along the top of the New Document dialog box, you’ll see a row of categories – Recent, Saved, Photo, Print, Art & Illustration, Web, Mobile, and Film & Video. By default, the Recent category is selected and you will see a set of document sizes that you’ve used recently. If this is the first time you’ve opened Photoshop, or if you have reset Photoshop to factory settings, there will be nothing in this category.

Any recently-used document sizes appear in the Recent category.

Creating New Documents From Presets

A handy time saver when creating new files is to use a preset. A preset is simply a set of pre-determined width and height dimensions, a choice of portrait or landscape orientation,resolution and colour mode. There are other options but these are the options you are most likely to be interested in.

  1. To choose a preset, first pick the type of document you want to make, for example, is it for web, print, a photo? Click on that category name along the top. For this example, I’ve chosen Print.


2. A set of four presets appear in the dialog box. To see more presets click on the View All Presets + link.

3. You’ll see an extra bunch of thumbnails representing various Print presets. Use the scroll bar along the right to scroll through them.

4. Click on the A5 preset. Notice how the Preset Details change on the right hand side to match the A4 details.

5. If you’re happy with this preset, click Create. The New Document dialog box closes and your new document opens in Photoshop.


How To Create A New File In Photoshop With Your Own Custom Settings

Let’s say that you want to make a document at a size that is not already available as a preset. It’s easy to add your own custom settings.

1. Choose File > New in the Menu Bar along the top of the screen.

The same New Document dialog opens as before.

2. On the right hand side, in the Preset Details section,  type in the values 10 inches for width, 3 inches for height and change the colour mode to CMYK.

Now, let’s say that this is a document size that was may want to use again, then it’s a good idea to save it as a preset.


3. Click the Save Preset icon (circled in red).

4. Give it a name by typing in the Preset name field at the top. (It will say something like Untitled initially). Give it a descriptive name to make it easier for yourself to remember what the preset is. I called mine Jen – Banner – 10 x 3.

Then click Save Preset again.

Your new saved preset now appears in the Saved category. This means you can come back to it at any time and it will speed up your workflow by not having to type in the values each time you want a document of that size.

5. Click on the Create button and your new file opens.

And that’s how you make new files in Photoshop.

If you’ve found this post useful, I’d be so grateful if you would please share it.  Thank you!

Jennifer Farley

Jennifer Farley is an illustrator, designer, author and design teacher based in Ireland. She has been teaching design for over 14 years and helps people learn Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom,Illustrator and graphic design skills to improve their job prospects and their business.

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