Creating a canvas

Learn about setting canvas size and orientation, including rotating orientation

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When you open Sketchbook for the first time, a canvas is already created for you. But, what if the canvas created is not the size you want? There are an assortment of tools for customizing your canvas. If you want some basic information on canvases, resolution‍ and size, check out What is a canvas.


How to rotate a canvas

When creating a canvas, there should be an option for rotating your canvas. Use it to set the orientation to either portrait or landscape.

In some versions, above the canvas orientation icon, you’ll see the size of your canvas in Mpx (Megapixels). 


How to set the canvas size

Are you looking for a way to change the size of your canvas? Do you have a project that requires a high-resolution image? If so, selecting a larger canvas will help. When creating a new canvas, go into the canvas options to do this. You will have two options, one contains a list of predefined canvas sizes and the other is for entering your own dimensions. If you need help finding these options, read this article.‍ 


Creating a canvas in Sketchbook Pro for desktop

Unlike the mobile versions, in Sketchbook Pro you don't need to set the orientation of your canvas during creation. This can be done at any time, using the Transform puck‍.

To create a new sketch, from the lagoon, select Files menu icon and flick toward New sketch icon. You could also use the following hotkeys: Cmd+N for Mac or Ctrl+N for Windows. If you want to change the default canvas size, use Preferences.


Setting your saved default file format

Do you need your files saved as PSD, but they keep getting saved as a TIFF by default? Sure you can use Save As every time you save to select what you want. But, why not change your default saving option?

  1. Do one of the following:

    • For Windows users, select Edit > Preferences, then tap the General tab.
    • For Mac users, select Sketchbook > Preferences, then tap the General tab.
  2. Tap the format you want to enable it.

  3. Tap OK.

Note that there are some features that will not be preserved‍ when Sketchbook files are saved to PSD.


Changing the default canvas size for new files

By default, the size of a new image is the size of the display.

  1. Do one of the following:

    • For Windows users, select Edit > Preferences, then tap the Canvas tab.
    • For Mac users, select Sketchbook > Preferences, then tap the Canvas tab.
  2. Then, select either of the following:

    • To specify a custom size, select Use width and height of window. Enter the width and height in the fields provided (choose from pixels, inches, cm, or mm).The maximum size is  8192 x 8192.
    • To use the default display size again, select Use width and height of window.


Creating a canvas in Sketchbook for mobile devices

When you have finished a sketch and want to start another one, use ** New Sketch icon for the Sketchbook mobile version New Sketch** to create one.

In the toolbar, tap File icon in the Sketchbook mobile version and select Gallery icon in the Sketchbook mobile version New Sketch. The maximum number of layers is displayed next to the canvas size. You can also scan a real-world sketch to bring it into Sketchbook and go from there. Check out How to scan sketches. ‍


Creating a custom canvas size

  1. In the toolbar, tap File icon in the Sketchbook mobile version and select Gallery icon in the Sketchbook mobile versionNew Sketch. The panel changes, displaying more options.

New Canvas presets 

  1. Enter a height and width. If you don’t want to keep the current height-width proportions, tap the link icon to the right. 

  2. If the previewed canvas is portrait, and you want it to be landscape, you can simply tap the rotate icon to the right of the canvas preview.

  3. Note the file size will display in the upper right. Avoid making excessively large files as the bigger your data file gets, the more your device's storage and performance will be impacted.

    • On Android, tap on the information icon next to the file size to see what your total available number of layers will be for this canvas size

  4. Tap Create

If you would like to scan in an image, load it, and continue sketching, check out How to scan sketches.‍ 


Selecting a custom pre-defined canvas size

  1. Tap File icon in the Sketchbook mobile version, then ** New Sketch icon for the Sketchbook mobile version**.
  2. Select Presets. New Canvas presets and manual input New Canvas custom size
  3. Look through and select the option that best suits your needs.