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I've seen this convention a lot but I don't really understand the use for it - or for a solid background layer at all, to be honest. I'd be very grateful if someone could explain why each new project starts out with a solid background layer, which most people then convert to transparency?

Thank you very much in advance.

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Each new project doesn't have to "start out with a solid background."

When you choose File > New you have a choice of what the background can be....

new file

If you change your Background Contents in the new file dialog, it will stay set that way until you change it again.

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