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Using the Slice tool

From: Fireworks CS5 Essential Training

Video: Using the Slice tool

If you are creating an Interactive Prototype, it needs to do more than link from page to page to page, then chances are you are going to need to work with Slices. Slices give us a few features that Hotspots don't. First of all, you can, as with Hotspots, generate URLs. But Slices also give us the ability to create things like Rollover Effects. And for prototyping this is a really helpful feature, because it makes the Prototype look that much more realistic. Not only can we create Rollover Effects, but one the other main goal of Slices is for image optimization. So we can slice up individual parts of our design, and basically optimize each piece to get the best possible balance between bandwidth and image quality.

Using the Slice tool

If you are creating an Interactive Prototype, it needs to do more than link from page to page to page, then chances are you are going to need to work with Slices. Slices give us a few features that Hotspots don't. First of all, you can, as with Hotspots, generate URLs. But Slices also give us the ability to create things like Rollover Effects. And for prototyping this is a really helpful feature, because it makes the Prototype look that much more realistic. Not only can we create Rollover Effects, but one the other main goal of Slices is for image optimization. So we can slice up individual parts of our design, and basically optimize each piece to get the best possible balance between bandwidth and image quality.

In this lesson, we are going to look at the basics of creating Web Slices. So you can see in this design quite a few little green overlays. These green overlays are Slices. So we've got quite a few of them created already, but you're going to work with a couple other elements on this page to create Slices yourself. Up at the very top we have a logo, and it has not yet been sliced. So let me show you the easiest way to do this. I am going to right-click on the logo. And when I do that, I get a pop-up menu, or context menu. And about two thirds of the way down I'll have an option for inserting a rectangular Slice.

I can select that and automatically Fireworks puts a Slice overlay on top of the image, based on the actual pixel dimensions of the image. Now this is a really handy feature in Fireworks, because not only does it take into account the actual image, but if I had a Drop Shadow or Glow around this particular object, it would take that into account as well, and produce a Slice that included the shadow or glow. Now if you take a look inside the Slice, you'll see a couple different things. At the very top you'll see some text, ForegroundImage.JPEG, and down below that you'll see a little circle.

Now we will talk about the little circle in just a minute. But the top part here basically gives you information about the Slice itself. And this information can be changed through the Layers panel, the Properties panel or the Optimize panel. Now we can do some of the basic changes right inside the Properties panel. I'm going to go down to my Properties panel, and you'll see there's a name for our Slice, and it's called _r1_c5, which I don't know about you, doesn't mean a heck of a lot to me. And this is Fireworks Auto Naming feature. As soon as you generate a Slice, Fireworks automatically gives it a name.

It has to give it any name, because this is what will be used as the file name for the final image, if it gets export about. So I am going to change this name to something that makes a little more sense. I am going to type in logo. And now you'll see that the change is not just here in the Properties panel, but it also changes up in the actual Slice itself. And the other thing I'll do, even though it's a Prototype, we are not too worried about optimization at this point, I'll just switch this over to a GIF file from one of the Presets, because it's a solid color image. Now the circle in the middle is the Behavior Handle, and it allows you to add in JavaScript-based behaviors.

We are going to try this out in just a minute, when we create some Rollover effects. I am going to scroll down, and we have one more image here that needs to be sliced. So I am just going, again, to move my cursor on top of the image, right-click and choose Insert Rectangular Slice. And in this case it's pretty good as a JPEG file, because it's a photographic image. It's just a placeholder image for a video that's going to be dropped into the Web page. I will rename it though. It just makes it easier to find these graphics later on if I need them.

So I am going to change this from what Fireworks call the Slice to video_placeholder, makes a heck of a lot more sense to me. All right. And I am going to scroll back up again, and we'll take a look here, our Navigation. Navigation buttons are typically one of the places where you'll find Rollover Effects. On a Web page you'll move over a button, and it will change in some way. Now in Fireworks this is done through a combination of Slices and States. And in our case, I've already got the second State built for you. I am just going to show you what that looks like.

I'm going to hide my Slices. I am going to go over to my Layers panel. At the bottom of the Layers panel, the bottom left corner, you can navigate to the different States that are part of a specific page. So if I click on State 1, you can see I now have two choices, State 1 and State 2. So I'll choose State 2. And you'll notice that the Navigation menu changes slightly. It becomes gray rather than blue. Switch back to State 1. It's back to being that deep blue again. So I have a slight change in the way the Navigation Links look. Now how do we turn this into Rollover Effects? Well, that's where the Slices come into play.

I am going to turn them back on again, and I am going to select my first Slice for Tours here. Now again, this one didn't get named yet, so I am going to change my name here to btn_tours. And I am putting btn at the beginning to basically describe this as a button. And I'll do that with all of my Navigation Slices so that's easy for me to find them inside my Web folder later on. I'll type in btn_, and then some kind of description of what the button is supposed to be doing. So btn_tours is the name of it, and I'll leave it as a GIF file because it is basically just a solid color anyway.

And I am going to click on that little Behavior Handle in the middle of the button. And when I get here is a series of prebuilt JavaScript behavior, so that I can add in. In our case, here the one that I want to work with is the simple Rollover Behavior. There are a few other ones in here, but this'll do our job. It will give us some mouse over and mouse off type of effect. And I'll go through the other buttons here and make sure that we have a similar setup. So my Mission button also needs to be changed. And I'll, again, add that simple Rollover Behavior.

It's a really quick thing to do. You don't have to do anything other than choose the option. And again, with my Contact, I'll do btn_contact. And again, just set that Rollover Behavior. Resources, same thing, btn_resources, and set the Rollover Effect, and lastly Explorers, so btn_explorers and set the Rollover effect there well.

So this is helping me create a very realistic mockup. If I was to produce this as an interactive HTML page for a client, they will be able to mouse over those individual buttons and see the change. And in fact, we are going to preview that right now. I am going to turn my Slices off again. And I am going to switch over to my Preview View here. A page will load up, and as I mouse over my individual buttons, you'll see that they change based on that specific Rollover Effect. So basically what's happening here is the area under the Slice is being swapped out, for the same area under the Slice in State 2.

That's why we get the different effect on each individual button. All right. I am going to switch back to the Original View here, and turn my Slices back on for a second. One other thing I pointed about Slices is is you can also create them manually, rather than Auto Slices. And there are a couple examples of me having done that on this page. I am going to zoom out a little bit. You will notice along the left- hand side of this design I've got one long rectangle here. I created that Slice using the Slice tool, and the idea behind the Slice is it's going to work as a repeating background image for the Web page.

So rather than right-click on the background and create a Slice for the entire background, which we don't want to do for a couple reasons. One of them is it's a big graphic. The other reason is you don't want to overlap your Slices. Rather than do those things I can just use the Slice tool, here in the Web tools, and treat my rectangular Slice tool. And I can literally click and drag a Slice whatever dimensions that I want. One of things I like about the Slice tool is it takes into account the actual dimensions of your image. So you can't draw a Slice that's bigger than the actual design.

So once I let go out the mouse, there is my new Slice. So this gives me the ability to create a custom sized Slice rather than worrying about sort of an object based Slice, in case I don't need to slice up the entire object. I'll just press Delete to get rid of that extra piece there. One other thing to point out with Slices - I'll zoom in again - is that a Slice is not connected to the object, even if you're creating them based on the object. I'll show you what I mean. If I select my logo Slice again here, I can reposition that Slice anywhere in the design, and the logo does not move.

So Slices are independent from the objects themselves. The only time that's different is if you're working with button symbols. Button symbols generate their own Slices as part of the button. And as you move the Slice or move the Button, you are going to remove all the elements related to the button. So that will include the Slice, and it will also include all the different States you may have created for your button. Adding Slices is a pretty straightforward process, as you can see. And for prototyping, it gives us the ability to add some interactivity. More thought and planning needs to be given when you're slicing up a Web page design for actual production, but that's for another lesson.

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This video is part of

Image for Fireworks CS5 Essential Training
Fireworks CS5 Essential Training

92 video lessons · 29560 viewers

Jim Babbage
Author

 
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  1. 3m 42s
    1. Welcome
      1m 22s
    2. What is Fireworks?
      1m 59s
    3. Using the exercise files
      21s
  2. 1h 27m
    1. Creating and opening documents
      7m 36s
    2. Understanding the interface
      9m 43s
    3. Working with tabbed documents
      6m 18s
    4. Setting up rulers, guides, and grids
      10m 7s
    5. Using tooltips and Smart Guides
      5m 40s
    6. Working with panels
      9m 29s
    7. Working with pages
      8m 59s
    8. Working with layers
      13m 13s
    9. Working with states
      4m 35s
    10. Using the Properties panel
      4m 38s
    11. Using the Preferences panel
      7m 34s
  3. 52m 39s
    1. Understanding the Fireworks PNG format
      2m 11s
    2. Saving and exporting files
      5m 11s
    3. Importing files
      5m 34s
    4. Opening Photoshop files
      6m 7s
    5. Opening Illustrator files
      3m 58s
    6. Exporting a single file
      9m 57s
    7. Using the Image Preview window
      1m 52s
    8. Using the Export Area tool
      3m 10s
    9. Creating PDF files
      4m 16s
    10. Saving Photoshop files
      5m 48s
    11. Using Fireworks files for Illustrator
      4m 35s
  4. 1h 2m
    1. Understanding bitmaps
      1m 32s
    2. Resizing images
      3m 48s
    3. Using the selection tools
      8m 0s
    4. Using the drawing tools
      8m 19s
    5. Retouching with the corrective tools: Rubber Stamp
      12m 16s
    6. Using the bitmap effects tools: Blur, Sharpen, and Replace Color
      7m 33s
    7. Using more bitmap effects tools: Dodge and Burn
      7m 1s
    8. Improving images using the Levels filter
      8m 15s
    9. Creating a bitmap mask with a selection
      6m 2s
  5. 1h 10m
    1. Looking at the vector toolset
      6m 53s
    2. Using the Pen tool
      7m 32s
    3. Editing vector shapes with the Freeform and Reshape Area tools
      4m 35s
    4. Filling shapes with patterns and live filters
      3m 17s
    5. Using Auto Shapes
      7m 24s
    6. Using shapes as image elements
      4m 16s
    7. Scaling shapes
      5m 28s
    8. Masking objects with vector shapes
      7m 13s
    9. Applying strokes
      5m 52s
    10. Using Vector Path and Path Scrubber
      6m 9s
    11. Using the Compound Shape tool
      7m 40s
    12. Using Snap to Pixel
      2m 15s
    13. Using Gradient Dither
      1m 46s
  6. 51m 18s
    1. Understanding symbols
      5m 41s
    2. Creating graphic symbols
      13m 11s
    3. Creating button symbols
      10m 22s
    4. Creating animation symbols
      5m 4s
    5. Sharing symbols with the Common Library
      1m 37s
    6. Editing the instance of a symbol
      3m 46s
    7. Adding component symbols to a design
      8m 46s
    8. Exporting and importing symbols
      2m 51s
  7. 17m 34s
    1. Creating GIF animations
      9m 31s
    2. Animating with Twist and Fade
      3m 47s
    3. Creating a tweened animation
      4m 16s
  8. 26m 46s
    1. Using text in Fireworks
      7m 19s
    2. Understanding text properties
      3m 14s
    3. Adding text in a path
      4m 43s
    4. Adding text to a path
      4m 31s
    5. Using text as a mask
      3m 35s
    6. Maintaining crisp text in web images
      3m 24s
  9. 28m 35s
    1. Having fun with filters
      8m 44s
    2. Working with Styles
      4m 10s
    3. Using Blend Modes
      4m 40s
    4. Converting bitmap selections to paths
      3m 50s
    5. Working with Adobe Swatch Exchange files
      2m 33s
    6. Using the Kuler panel for color inspiration
      4m 38s
  10. 1h 14m
    1. Understanding the web toolset
      1m 51s
    2. Creating hotspots
      6m 22s
    3. Using the Slice tool
      8m 57s
    4. Using a master page
      5m 20s
    5. Sharing layers across pages
      4m 49s
    6. Sharing web layers across pages
      3m 30s
    7. Using HTML component symbols
      3m 15s
    8. Creating choices and showing design options to clients
      7m 7s
    9. Importing pages
      2m 47s
    10. Previewing the mockup
      4m 17s
    11. Using HTML prototyping
      5m 22s
    12. Improving the workflow
      20m 30s
  11. 33m 19s
    1. Optimizing images for export, part 1
      15m 36s
    2. Optimizing images for export, part 2
      13m 36s
    3. Generating a CSS-based layout
      4m 7s
  12. 22m 20s
    1. Integrating Fireworks, FXG, and Flash Catalyst
      3m 56s
    2. Integrating Fireworks and Flash
      3m 46s
    3. Using roundtrip editing between Dreamweaver and Fireworks
      5m 52s
    4. Copying and pasting objects to Dreamweaver
      2m 57s
    5. Integrating Fireworks and Device Central
      4m 13s
    6. Working with Bridge
      1m 36s
  13. 13s
    1. Goodbye
      13s

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