How do I place a picture in Photoshop without creating a canvas.

If I open a new document in Photoshop, I am prompted to open a new canvas, but when I place the image unto the new canvas and try to save it as a .jpeg file for instance, whatever whitespace there is around the picture is also saved in the new .jpeg file.

How can I create a canvas size to fit the photo I wish to place when I create a new document?

  • 4
    File -> Open -> Select Image -> Profit?
    – Ryan
    Jun 20, 2014 at 14:43
  • Really? Didn't know. Need to try!
    – Vnovak
    Jun 20, 2014 at 16:20

4 Answers 4


If you use create a new canvas with material on your clipboard, it will automatically adjust the dimensions of the new canvas to only what you have selected.

You can use the magic wand, or any other shaped selector to outline only what you want, then Ctrl + C, Ctrl + N, Enter, Ctrl + V.

Ctrl + A will also select only what actually exists on your current layer, so if you have your illustration on one layer above a white background layer, you will only select the actual illustration.


There are several ways to do this. The simplest are:

From Adobe Bridge, double-click to open the image in Photoshop.

From Finder/Explorer, right-click and choose Open with > Photoshop.

From Adobe Bridge, right click and choose Place... > In Photoshop. If Photoshop isn't running, it will open and your image will be placed as a Smart Object.

From Photoshop (with no document open) choose File > Open and navigate to your image or (Windows only) double-click on the empty work area to bring up the File Open dialog.

You can also simply drag and drop the image into an empty Photoshop window or (Mac only) drop it on the Photoshop icon in the dock.

  • Possibly the best Answer ever made on here. Could add on Windows Only you can double-click on the gray background of PS to open files.
    – Ryan
    Jun 21, 2014 at 9:34
  • 1
    Ha! I knew there was a simple one I was forgetting! :) Jun 21, 2014 at 20:55

Ryans answer seems too obvious that it almost seems silly! but if that's not that case, you could always hold ctrl and click on the layer of your image to "outline" it, then choose image > crop.

This will then cut your artboard down to the size of your picture.


I would do What Alan Gilbert said as well. Right click on the image and open with Photoshop.

Just to add though, make sure to option+click on the lock icon on your layer to be able to edit it. I'm not sure what the shortcut for windows version is.

in the end just save everything as .psd (photoshop file format), and it's all done.


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