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In the Look at the PhpStorm IDE Interface tutorial, we've seen what projects are and why PhpStorm uses them. In this tutorial, we'll see how we can create a new project or open an existing project and what the different options are.

The Welcome screen

After launching PhpStorm for the very first time (or when there is no open project), we will see the Welcome screen. We can bring it up by closing the active project using the File | Close Project menu.
The Welcome screen lets us:

  • Create or open a project
  • Check out a project from version control (VCS)
  • Configure the IDE settings
  • View documentation

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In this tutorial, we will be using the Welcome screen to create and open projects. All actions can be invoked from an open project in the IDE as well. Explore the File and VCS menu and familiarize yourself with the available options.

Create New Project

We can create a new project from scratch, by clicking the Create New Project button. We will see the following window open.

From this window, we can provide the project name, the path where it will be stored and select the project type we want to create.

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Depending on the plugins that are installed and enabled in our PhpStorm installation, this list may be different.

Open Project

Clicking the Open... button will show a dialog where we can select an existing PhpStorm project that we want to open. When selecting a directory (or file) from our filesystem, PhpStorm will create a new project based on that directory or file.

Create New Project from Existing Files

The Create New Project from Existing Files button opens a wizard where we can set up new projects around existing files that reside locally or on remote hosts.

The wizard expects an initial choice on where the project sources are stored and how the web server is configured. Depending on this choice, the wizard will show different follow-up steps that configure FTP/SFTP/FTPS access, the local directory where the files will be copied, how the webserver is configured and how the document root of the web server relates to the project.

Let's pick one of the options: Web server is on remote host, files are accessible via FTP/SFTP/FTPS. This option will first let us configure where files have to be stored locally.

Next, we will have to specify if we want to configure a remote server or if we want to use a server that was configured in previous projects.

PhpStorm asks for a descriptive name of the remote server, as well as connection details. The server can be FTP, SFTP, FTPS or a file share in the local network.

Of course, the remote file system may be different from our local filesystem. The wizard provides us with a means of mapping where project files are stored on the remote server so only the required files are downloaded and synchronized.

After this, we can specify how the web URL maps to our project.

Clicking OK will download the remote files and configure PhpStorm so we can start working with the project.

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For more information on how remote servers and deployments related to a PhpStorm project, check the Deployments in PhpStorm tutorial.

Check out from Version Control

When a project is located in a Version Control System or VCS like Git, Mercurial, Subversion, Perforce, ClearCase, Team Foundation Server or any of the other VCS types supported by PhpStorm, we can clone the VCS contents to disk by clicking the Check out from Version Control button. We will then have to select the VCS type.

Depending on the selection, we can provide the repository connection details (for example the Git Repository URL) and the local directory where we want to clone or checkout sources.

After this, sources will be downloaded from the VCS and opened as a PhpStorm project.

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PhpStorm comes with GitHub-specific integrations. See this blog post for some examples.

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