Software: PhotoImpact 12
Author: MaryLou White
Home Page: Wishing Well Tutorials

Title: A New Image
Skill Level: Beginner

Description: The object of this tutorial is to teach you how to create a new image with your choice of size, background color, image resolution, and how to store the size for later use. The other options on the New Image screen will be touched upon lightly.

PhotoImpact 12 has several preset work modes. For this tutorial, we will be using the Full Edit mode so all of the tools in PhotoImpact will be available to you.

As you work, use your mouse to drag this along with you to mark your place.


To start a new image in PhotoImpact, click File\New\New Image.

This will bring up the New Image dialogue box. We'll go over the options to familiarize you with the various options available:

  1. Data Type: Determines the number of colors that will be in your image. The choices are: black and white (2 colors), grey scale, 16 colors, 256 colors, and RGB True Color. True Color is used most of the time.

  2. Canvas: Allows you to select the type of background you wish to start with. White is the default and the one you'll use most often. Background Color is whatever you currently have set as the background color in PI, Custom Color allows you to select a specific color, and Transparent hides the background.

  3. Image Size: Determines the size of the new image. The Standard option allows you to select from a predefined list of common sizes. Selecting Active Image lets you create a new blank image the exact same size as the active image in the workspace. Same as Image in Clipboard creates a new image the exact size as whatever image you may have copied to the clipboard, and of course is only available if there is an image in the buffer. User Defined lets you type in a specific size. The image size may be specified in Pixels, Inches, or Centimeters.

  4. Resolution: Sets the resolution to your screen display, your printer's resolution or one you have defined. When designing for the web, select the Display option. When designing images to print, select Printer (300 is a good rule of thumb to follow).

  5. File Size: Indicates the current file size of your new image.

  6. Preview: Shows you how your image would look relative to the size selected when you specified your image size. Note the display changes depending on what you have selected in the Preview drop-down list.

  7. This symbol opens the user-defined presets.

  8. This symbol reverses the height and width value.


User Defined Presets allow you to define a specific size image and save it for later use. This saves a lot of time, especially for sizes you use often. For example, if you like your tiles a certain size or you like your beginning image a certain size, you can set it up as preset so you don't have to type in the size the next time you want to use it.

  1. Open the New Image dialogue box in PhotoImpact. Set the size to: height=350 Width=400.

  2. Click on the User Defined icon .

  3. Select Add User Defined Size.

    This will open the Add User-Defined Size dialogue box. Type in a descriptive name for this image preset. Note that the title that will show in your preset list is on the bottom-left of this box, and as you type it will change. Note also that the size is there by default—what you add is a description that is meaningful to you. Click Okay.

  4. Click the small icon again and you will see your new User Defined Preset has been added to the drop-down list.

    Each time you want to start a new image using that particular size, simply click the icon, select the image size, and it will appear in the workspace. You may define your sizes in Inches, Pixels, or Centimeters, but you cannot store any other attributes in your presets.

  5. You may also edit your presets by selecting Edit User-Defined Sizes. To move a preset up or down, click on it once, then click the up or down buttons. You may change the name, the sizes, and you may also delete a preset you no longer want.

Learning to use the User Defined Presets will save you many steps when you're busy creating images in PhotoIpmact.
If you're doing this tutorial for the Beginner's Workshop, create at least five presets, being sure to include at least one each of Inches, Centimeters, and Pixels; crop to show just the preset list; and save.

You're invited to join the PIRC Fourm! This is an active PhotoImpact Forum where you'll find a wonderful group of warm, friendly, talented, and knowledgeable people who are ready and willing to share their expertise with you. There are creative activities for all levels of PhotoImpact users. This forum is 100% free and everyone is welcome.

Copyright© MaryLou White.
This document may not be translated, duplicated, redistributed or otherwise appropriated without permission.