Creating New Preset Settings for New Documents in Photoshop Elements

Iwas asked recently to make an action that will create a new document for Scrapbook size (12” x 12”).  In the North American version of Elements 8, that size is already there as a preset (click File>New>Blank , and choose it from the drop menu) so there’s no need for an action (although I can make one if you really want it….)

If you live in a place that isn’t the US, you can add this size by copying and pasting the code below into the file mentioned.

Open the file Default New Doc Sizes.txt located here in PSE 7 & 8:
Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop Elements #\Locales\[your locale]\Support Files\
Scroll to the bottom of it (or within another section of the file - it will appear in the menu wherever you put it in this file):

; Standard scrapbook sizes
"12 in x 12 in" 12.0 12.0 inches 300 dpi unchanged 0 1.0
"8 in x 8 in" 8.0 8.0 inches 300 dpi unchanged 0 1.0
"6 in x 6 in" 6.0 6.0 inches 300 dpi unchanged 0 1.0

If you want to add additional sizes, copy the format above and add the size you want. For a 5 in x 5 in 300 dpi document, for example, you would just add the line

"5 in x 5 in" 5.0 5.0 inches 300 dpi unchanged 0 1.0

If you will never, ever use a 6 x 6 or 8 x 8 document, simply place a ';' at the beginning of those lines to force PSE to ignore them.

I like to make custom thumbnails, and even though PSE doesn’t care what size the .png is (see this article for reference), I like to keep them a common size – 64 x 64 px is the old standard.

So to my file, I added

"64 x 64"                     64     64    pixels    screen dpi RGB 8 1.0

and my preset is there.

One final note – be sure to save the file in Unicode format, or Elements won’t be able to read it.  Also, be sure to save a backup of the original just restore if anything goes wrong!


Posted by Linda Sattgast on
Very nice information for people who need to add a scrapbook size! Thank you.
Posted by Gosia on
Thank you so much!
Posted by Andy on
Hi tried this but failed for these reasons.

1. Message tells me I do not have permission to save on this location
2. Opens in notepad as a an unformatted block of text which is confusing where to enter your text string.

Any further ideas?

Posted by Allan Miller on
This was EXTREMELY helpful, thanks! One note - there is no example of a greyscale setting in the file. If you need one, you put the word "grayscale" where "RGB" is in the examples. And, you have to spell it "grayscale", not "greyscale", or else Photoshop Elements just silently ignores the setting! (Puzzled me for a few minutes...)
Posted by Mike Jennings on
I've learned a few other things about this.

By appending a tab and then "transparent" or "white" you can specify the background.
By appending a tab after the background and then a value like 1.0, you can specify the pixel aspect ratio (PAR is the ratio of width to height of the pixels in the intended output format. This is important for video designers, whose output devices have pixels that are not square. They, for example, might need to add 0.9 here.)
By appending a space after the PAR and appending a percentage value, then a space, then an "h" or "v", you can add a GUIDE! h for horizontal guides, v for vertical. In fact, you can specify up to eight guides separated by spaces.

For example, I want to design a preset for making CSS sprites, which is a row of icons carefully placed in a grid. So if I wanted an 8x1 row of 16-pixel icons with a transparent background, I would add under the "web" section:

"16px Sprites 8x1" 128 16 pixels screen dpi RGB 8 1.0 transparent "none" 12.5 v 25.0 v 37.5 v 50.0 v 62.5 v 75.0 v 87.5 v
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