Sarah (maidofawesome) wrote in graphics_school,

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Lesson 1: Opening PS7 and starting a New Document.

Welcome! Here is the first lesson.

Wow, I feel so old and teacherly and kind of evil saying that. Picture me with evil eyebrows. Got it? Great.

So, ok, you've just got Photoshop, and it's all shiny and installed on your computer. Let's open it!


The first time I tried to open Photoshop I got this message: Could not initialize Photoshop because the scratch disks are full.

If you get this problem, close Photoshop down and check your hard drive has a fair bit of free space. To free up some space, do one or all of the following:

- empty the Recycle Bin
- disc cleanup (recommended)
- defragment your hard drive

If you're not sure how to do any of these, go to your Help section and search for them. It will show you where on your computer to find these.

If these don't help, you should delete some files, or save them to disc (or a separate hard drive).

Any other problems opening Photoshop? Please comment and let me know and we'll try and solve them together.

Your Photoshop Screen

Now you've got your Photoshop open, your screen should look like this:

Pay particular attention to the boxes around the outside. It's possible you won't have some or all of them. So if your screen looks like this: need to add the windows back. To do this, go to the top of the screen and click on Window:

Now, make sure all the ones in this diagram are ticked in yours (just click on them, to tick them):

Now your screen should look like the first image of Photoshop.

Opening A New Document

File --> New.

This little screen will now appear:

Ok. Now all these little sections are important, so don't hit OK yet.


For an icon, it has to be 100x100. So make sure these boxes:

Say 100 in each of them, ensuring that it will be 100 wide by 100 tall. Now, this measurement needs to be in pixels.


I ignored this box for ages, but it does count. Just make sure it always says 72, especially when working on an icon.

Occasionally, Photoshop will try to catch you out and reset it to some weird size. If it does this, you will find that when you go to add text to an icon, the sizing is all screwed up - it will either be huge, even when you're working in 2pt, or teenytiny, even when you're working in 600pt. If you keep it at 72, this won't happen.

The Other Boxes!

Mode: RGB Color. Just stick to it. Occasionally this resets itself to Grayscale, which is annoying. Stick with RGB. Truuuust me.

Contents: It actually doesn't matter. I tend to stick to Transparent or White. You'll be working over this layer when you get down to icon making so, like I said, it's not particularly important.

Now your screen should look like this:

If it doesn't, comment. Let me know. Here to help.

Lessons Index | Lesson 2: Cropping and Resizing. -->
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