Select File ▶New from the menu bar. The New dialog box displays. Enter the following settings into the New dialog box:
Width: 150 pixels
Height: 50 pixels
Resolution: 72 pixels/inch
Color Mode: RGB Color 8 bit
Background Contents: White
Your screen should look like:
Once you’ve defined these settings, press OK. A white image window displays within Photoshop’s workspace.
Before going any further, let’s make a couple of preference changes to Photoshop. Remember, Photoshop’s used by a multitude of users, including graphic designers, web designers, and photographers. Not everyone wants Photoshop to work the same way.
Photoshop’s Preferences dialog box allows you to tweak the program to fit your personal likes and dislikes. Let’s take a look at one preference especially useful to web designers: the unit of measure.
Web designers work in pixels (rather than inches or picas or millimeters). By default, Photoshop sets its units of measurement to inches. Let’s change that. Perform the following steps:
- Press Ctrl+K (or select Edit ▶Preferences ▶Units & Rulers from the menu bar). The Preferences dialog box displays.
- Change the Rulers and Type drop-down fields to pixels, as shown in figure below.
If you don’t see rulers along the top and side of the image window, select View ▶Rulers from the menu bar. Make sure you check the Rulers option.
Layers are a powerful feature in Photoshop. To understand how layers work, think of each layer as a piece of transparent paper. They’re like those old acetate slides teachers used to use with overhead projectors…before the days of Microsoft PowerPoint.
Each layer in a Photoshop image contains a part of the image. For example, one layer might contain the text of an image. Another layer might contain the background color. A third layer might contain the cool, 3D bevel style that makes the layer lift from the page. A fourth layer might contain a drop shadow of the entire image.
When all those layers are combined, you get a composite, or a master image, created from all these multiple layers.
The best way to understand layers is to see them in action. If the Layers palette is not already displayed, select Window ▶Layers. See the following sections to learn about layers.
A highlighted layer points out the layer that’s currently active. You can only work on one layer at a time. To access a different layer, click on that layer. Move back and forth from the Background layer to your new layer (called Layer 1).
You’ll want to create a new layer for each part of your image. This allows you to go back and edit layers individually. Don’t make the common mistake of creating a masterpiece, only to find it’s all one layer (thus making it difficult to change single portions of your image).
It’s a good idea to give layers a descriptive name. For example, you might call a layer that contains a picture of a computer “Computer.”
In this tutorial: