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In Fireworks CS5 Essential Training, author Jim Babbage gives a detailed overview of Fireworks CS5, Adobe's software for creating and optimizing web graphics and interactive prototypes. This course includes a detailed tour of the interface, the enhanced PNG format, and the image editing toolset in Fireworks. Critical concepts, such as prototyping for HTML applications and working with symbols, the heart of an efficient workflow in Fireworks, are covered in detail. Exercise files are included with this course.
When you scale a vector object in one direction only, unwanted distortions can occur. Nine-slice scaling helps to eliminate this type of problem, and we can use it in a couple different ways. Whenever you create a symbol, you are given the option to enable 9-slice scaling. And now there's also the 9-slice scaling tool, which we've seen in the bitmap section of the course, which can be used on pretty much any object, even if it's not a symbol. We are going to take a look at how 9-slice scaling works on vectors. But first, let's take a look at this vector shape we have a screen, and try to scale it without applying 9-slice scaling. If you take a look in the mockup_ tourSnow_working.png file, now I've got my Web design here open from my snowboarding Web page, and you'll notice over on the left-hand side, we have some Monthly Specials.
And they have got a little tan- colored background behind them. I have two more activity based monthly specials that are showing up down here at the bottom, but they don't have the background. So I want to scale this kind of background, and you'll see there is a little symbolic Golden Gate Bridge here. I want to scale this to be long enough to contain all of my different monthly specials. So I am going to go ahead and select the shape, and I am going to grab my Scale tool, and I am going to drag straight down. When I let go of the mouse, while I do end up covering all of my specials, you might notice that the bridge itself got a little bit distorted, and we really don't want that.
And you'll notice actually, for that matter, we end up with our Monthly Specials text sort of sitting outside of the background as well. So, not really an ideal option here. We've got too much distortion going. So I am going to go back by pressing Ctrl +Z, back to my original, and I am going to choose my 9-slice scaling tool. And again, you'll see our guides, our little blue 9-slice scaling guides, and the idea is, when you're using 9-slice scaling guides, is to keep the areas you don't want distorted in the outer areas, or the outer corners of the grid.
So my main concern here is that my bridge doesn't get distorted. And I want to keep some this top background color where it is so that I don't end up having a problem with my text basically overlapping the top part of the background. So I can pretty much leave my 9-slice scaling guides they way they are in this case. We're only going in one direction, and I'll just go down to my bottom scaling handle and drag, and you'll see this time, perfect extension. The bridge isn't distorted. Our Monthly Specials text isn't suddenly popping up above or bleeding out of our Monthly Specials container.
It looks a whole lot nicer. So 9-slice scaling can come in really handy with vectors. Now, this was a pretty straightforward example. We have a rectangle and so on. But what if you're dealing with objects or shapes that aren't quite even, as we have like with this rectangular box? Let's take a look at our snowboard.png file here, and this is one of many different icons that were created for the snowboarding Web page. And what I'd like to do I'd like to make this snowboard act as a divider between content on my page. Now again, if I just go ahead and choose my regular Scaling tool and drag the snowboard out, it gets a little bizarre.
So not really what we want here. But again, 9-slice scaling can come in really handy for this. I am going to go ahead and choose my 9-slice scaling tool. And the trick is to make sure you find an area that can be stretched without causing any major distortion or weirdness or whatever you want to call it. So I am kind of looking for the straightest part of my snowboard, and I am just going to drag my guides into that pink area, and I think I'll zoom in a little bit too. If you're working with a scaling tool or some other tool and you want to zoom in don't forget you can press Ctrl+Plus or Ctrl+Minus to zoom in and out very easily.
So there is my space in there. That's the area it's going to get scaled as I increase the size of my snowboard. And I'll just do this a little bit on the screen so you can what we've got. Just drag it out, and you can see that scaled pretty well. We are still having our nice curve at the edges of the snowboard. The spot that we choose for the scaling was a relatively straight portion of the snowboard. And we ended up getting a pretty decent scaling going on. So this is the process I want to apply for my dividers. Let's see it in action. I am going to press Escape. I'm going to select my snowboard with the Pointer tool.
I am going to press Ctrl+C, go to my other document. Make sure I am in the general right area. I have lots of different layers inside of this design. So I want to make sure I am in the main general area and where I want to be is in the main article. So I am just going to select the main article, and I am going to press Ctrl+V. There is my little snowboard, not very big. So I am going to reposition him, like so. And I am going to grab my 9-slice scaling guides, and again, I am going to zoom in a bit on this, because I want to be relatively accurate here. And again, that was Ctrl+Plus to zoom in, and now I'll just drag my guides.
And I don't want have a lot of space in here for scaling, because you notice that the snowboard starts to curve out fairly quickly. So I want to pick a spot that's relatively straight. I hold down my Spacebar and just scroll over a bit, or pan over a bit, maybe zoom out one step, so I can see the entire width here. There we go. Oh, I lost my scaling guides. So I'll have to apply those again, and that can happen sometimes. You'll notice though as I reselect my 9-slice scaling tool, the guides all automatically get reset back to the original settings, and they will do that anytime you use the 9-slice scaling guides.
You can't sort of lock them into a certain spot. And I'll just drag across, use my smart guides to line things up. There we go, and I'll zoom back out. So the 9-slice scaling tool can come in handy not just for working with some bitmap images, but also for a quite a few vector images as well.
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