How to Create a New Document in Adobe Illustrator

Creating a new file in Illustrator is easy. Follow the steps below.

  1. On more recent versions of Illustrator, you can simply click the New button in the start window, or if you already have a file open in Illustrator, you can use the older method of going to File > New
    File Menu
  2. The dialog box has a lot of features. Along the top is a row of tabs to set the intent of the document - whether it's for Print, Mobile, Web, or Film & Video. When you select the intent, certain defaults are selected, such as color model - CMYK for print, RGB for mobile, web, or video.
    New Document Dialog Box
  3. Once you've chosen the intent, a gallery of standard sizes will be displayed, or you can use the Width and Height fields to create any size. Here, Print has been selected, using Letter size. There is also a Unit of Measurement menu to the right if you prefer not to use points.
    New Document Dialog Box
  4. Over at the right are options for the Bleed. In printing, bleeds are used when color needs to go right up to the very edge of the page. Additional space is built in around the outside edge of the artboard, and is used as a guide in determining how far objects must be extended past the edge in order to print properly. After the page is printed, it is cropped down to the correct finish size.
    New Document Dialog Box
  5. Although the options in the New Document setup haven't really changed, the look of the dialog box has been revamped. If you are more familiar with the old design of the dialog box and would prefer to use that, click More Settings.
    More Settings
  6. Once the desired options have been set, click Create, or if using the More Settings options, Create Document.
Author: Kate Cahill

Kate Cahill is a graphic designer, writer, and creative director who has developed content for print and web. As creative director, she has produced award-winning work for agencies focused on the pharmaceutical and health and beauty aid industries. She has also served as production manager, with responsibility for the successful fulfillment of long-run print contracts. Kate has been delivering training for Webucator clients since 2010. Her enthusiasm for cutting-edge technology, combined with hands-on practical experience, brings an added benefit to her classes. Kate teaches real-world techniques and integration of Adobe software, as well as Microsoft PowerPoint, to produce a fully developed and cohesive brand identity.

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