Create, open, and import images

Create an image

  1. Choose File > New.
  2. In the New dialog box, type a name for the image.
  3. (Optional) Choose a document size from the Document Type menu.


    To create a document with the pixel dimensions set for a specific device, click the Device Central button.

  4. Set the width and height by choosing a preset from the Size menu or entering values in the Width and Height text boxes.

    To match the width, height, resolution, color mode, and bit depth of the new image to that of any open image, choose a filename from the bottom section of the Document Type menu.

  5. Set the Resolution, Color Mode, and bit depth.

    If you’ve copied a selection to the clipboard, the image dimensions and resolution are automatically based on that image data.

  6. Select a Background Contents option:


    Fills the background layer with white, the default background color.

    Background Color

    Fills the background layer with the current background color.


    Makes the first layer transparent, with no color values. The resulting document has a single, transparent layer as its contents.

    Other Opens the Color Picker dialog box to select a background color. For more information, see Adobe Color Picker overview.

  7. (Optional) If necessary, click the Advanced button to display more options.
  8. (Optional) Under Advanced, choose a color profile, or choose Don’t Color Manage This Document. For Pixel Aspect Ratio, choose Square unless you’re using the image for video. In that case, choose another option to use non-square pixels.
  9. When you finish, you can save the settings as a preset by clicking Save Preset, or you can click OK to open the new file.

Duplicate an image

You can duplicate an entire image (including all layers, layer masks, and channels) into available memory without saving to disk.

  1. Open the image you want to duplicate.
  2. Choose Image > Duplicate.
  3. Enter a name for the duplicated image.
  4. If you want to duplicate the image and merge the layers, select Duplicate Merged Layers Only. To preserve the layers, make sure this option is deselected.
  5. Click OK.

Open files

You can open files using the Open command and Open Recent command. You can also open files into Photoshop from Adobe Bridge or Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

When opening certain files, such as camera raw and PDF, you specify settings and options in a dialog box before the files completely open in Photoshop.

In addition to still images, Photoshop users can open and edit 3D files, video and image sequence files. For more information, see Import video files and image sequences.


Photoshop uses plug-in modules to open and import many file formats. If a file format does not appear in the Open dialog box or in the File > Import submenu, you may need to install the format’s plug-in module.

Sometimes Photoshop may not be able to determine the correct format for a file. This can happen, for example, because the file has been transferred between two operating systems. Sometimes a transfer between Mac OS and Windows can cause the file format to be mislabeled. In such cases, you must specify the correct format in which to open the file.


You can retain (where possible) layers, masks, transparency, compound shapes, slices, image maps, and editable type when bringing your Illustrator art into Photoshop. In Illustrator, export the art in the Photoshop (PSD) file format. If your Illustrator art contains elements that Photoshop doesn’t support, the appearance of the artwork is preserved, but the layers are merged and the artwork is rasterized.

Open a file using the Open command

  1. Choose File > Open.
  2. Select the name of the file you want to open. If the file does not appear, select the option for showing all files from the Files Of Type (Windows) or Enable (Mac OS) pop-up menu.
  3. Click Open. In some cases, a dialog box appears, letting you set format-specific options.

    If a color profile warning message appears, specify whether to use embedded profile as the working space, convert the document color to working space, or reverse the embedded profile. 

Open a recently used file

  1. Choose File > Open Recent, and select a file from the submenu.

    To specify the number of files listed in the Open Recent menu, change the Recent File List Contains option in the File Handling preferences. Choose Edit > Preferences > File Handling (Windows), or Photoshop > Preferences > File Handling (Mac OS).

Specify the file format in which to open a file

If a file was saved with an extension that doesn’t match its true format (for example, a PSD file saved with a .gif extension), or has no extension, Photoshop may not be able to open the file. Selecting the correct format will allow Photoshop to recognize and open the file.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • (Windows) Choose File > Open As, and select the file you want to open. Then choose the desired format from the Open As pop‑up menu, and click Open.

    • (Mac OS) Choose File > Open, and choose All Documents from the Show pop‑up menu. Then select the file you want to open, choose the desired file format from the Format pop‑up menu, and click Open.


    If the file does not open, then the chosen format may not match the file’s true format, or the file may be damaged.

Open PDF files

Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) is a versatile file format that can represent both vector and bitmap data. It has electronic document search and navigation features. PDF is the primary format for Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Acrobat.

Some PDF files contain a single image, and others contain multiple pages and images. When you open a PDF file in Photoshop, you can choose which pages or images to open and specify rasterization options.

You can also import PDF data using the Place command, the Paste command, and the drag-and-drop feature. The page or image is placed on a separate layer as a Smart Object.


The following procedure is only for opening generic PDF files in Photoshop. You don’t need to specify options in the Import PDF dialog box when opening Photoshop PDF files.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • (Photoshop) Choose File > Open.

    • (Bridge) Select the PDF file and choose File > Open With > Adobe Photoshop. Skip to step 3.

  2. In the Open dialog box, select the name of the file, and click Open.
  3. Under Select in the Import PDF dialog box, select Pages or Images, depending on what elements of the PDF document you want to import.
  4. Click the thumbnails to select the pages or images you want to open. Shift-click to select more than one page or image. The number of selected items appears under the preview window. If you’re importing images, skip to step 8.

    Use the Thumbnail Size menu to adjust the thumbnail view in the preview window. The Fit Page option fits one thumbnail in the preview window. A scroll bar appears if there are multiple items.

  5. To give the new document a name, type it in the Name text box. If you’re importing more than one page or image, multiple documents open with the base name followed by a number.
  6. Under Page Options, choose from the Crop To menu to specify what part of the PDF document to include:

    Bounding Box

    Crops to the smallest rectangular region that includes all the text and graphics of the page. This option eliminates extraneous white space and any document elements outside the Trim Box.


    Bounding Box will not crop white space that is part of a background created by the source application.

    Media Box

    Crops to the original size of the page.

    Crop Box

    Crops to the clipping region (crop margins) of the PDF file.

    Bleed Box

    Crops to the region specified in the PDF file for accommodating limitations inherent in production processes such as cutting, folding, and trimming.

    Trim Box

    Crops to the region specified for the intended finished size of the page.

    Art Box

    Crops to the region specified in the PDF file for placing the PDF data into another application.

  7. Under Image Size, enter values (if necessary) for Width and Height:
    • To preserve the aspect ratio of the pages as they’re scaled to fit within the rectangle defined by the Width and Height values, select Constrain Proportions.

    • To scale the pages exactly to the Width and Height values, deselect Constrain Proportions. Some distortion might occur when the pages are scaled.

    When more than one page is selected, the Width and Height text boxes display the maximum width and height values of the selected pages. All pages are rendered at their original size if Constrain Proportions is selected and you don’t change the Width and Height values. Changing the values will scale all pages proportionately as they're rasterized.

  8. Specify the following options under Image Size:


    Sets the resolution for the new document. See also About pixel dimensions and printed image resolution.


    Sets the color mode for the new document. See also Color modes.

    Bit Depth

    Sets the bit depth for the new document. See also Bit depth.

    The Width and Height values plus the Resolution determine the final pixel dimension of resulting document.

  9. To suppress color profile warnings, select Suppress Warning.
  10. Click OK.

Open an EPS file

Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) can represent both vector and bitmap data and is supported by virtually all graphic, illustration, and page-layout programs. The Adobe application that primarily produces PostScript artwork is Adobe Illustrator. When you open an EPS file containing vector art, it is rasterized—the mathematically defined lines and curves of the vector artwork are converted into the pixels or bits of a bitmap image.

You can also bring PostScript artwork into Photoshop using the Place command, the Paste command, and the drag-and-drop feature.

  1. Choose File > Open.
  2. Select the file you want to open, and click Open.
  3. Indicate the desired dimensions, resolution, and mode. To maintain the same height-to-width ratio, select Constrain Proportions.
  4. To minimize jagged lines at the edges of artwork, select Anti-aliased.
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