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Adjusting the dimensions of a graphic

From: Illustrator CS5 for Web and Interactive Design

Video: Adjusting the dimensions of a graphic

I'd like to show you what I think is probably one of my most favorite features, one of the most favorite things about using Illustrator specifically for creating web graphics. Now we know that Illustrator's strength is that you can create these vector-based graphics that can be resized for any purpose or just about any need. At the same time, we know that when we are designing web graphics we try to actually build our graphics to the sizes that are needed and we use the pixel dimensions to do that. However there are times when we create some graphics, maybe for one site, and then you find out that you have another web site that you need to actually build that graphic for.

Adjusting the dimensions of a graphic

I'd like to show you what I think is probably one of my most favorite features, one of the most favorite things about using Illustrator specifically for creating web graphics. Now we know that Illustrator's strength is that you can create these vector-based graphics that can be resized for any purpose or just about any need. At the same time, we know that when we are designing web graphics we try to actually build our graphics to the sizes that are needed and we use the pixel dimensions to do that. However there are times when we create some graphics, maybe for one site, and then you find out that you have another web site that you need to actually build that graphic for.

And the pixel dimensions are slightly different. So as we will see in this video we can actually use the Save for Web dialog box, to resize artwork for just about anything that we might need. Now notice I have a file open, it's called monthly_specials.ai, and you can see that I have some artwork that I have created. This is actually created at a pixel dimension of 300 x 250. If I select the rectangle here - which is the background color - I can see in my Transform panel it's set to 300 x 250. However, it's kind of floating on a larger artboard that I have inside of my document.

I am doing this purposely because I want to show you a feature that you have inside of Save for Web. So I am going to go to the File menu here and choose Save for Web & Devices. And then on the far right over here where it says Image Size, we will talk about an important setting that appears right over here. It's called Clip to Artboard. Now normally inside of Illustrator, the Clip to Artboard feature is on by default. I am going to click on this setting and click Apply and you can see that Save for Web now is clipping my artwork to the size of my artboard, which is set to 800 x 600. So you can see now that my artwork is kind of floating in the middle and I have all this transparent area around the edge, mainly because right now I am set to a GIF here, with Transparency turned on, which by default chooses that color and makes it transparent.

However, I don't necessarily need to set my artboard to the exact output size that I need. Because if my artwork is going to be the size that I need, in this case 300 x 250, and I have nothing else inside of this artboard or this document for that matter. I can uncheck the Clip to Artboard feature and choose Apply and Illustrator will automatically sense the size of the artwork, or you can say the bounding area of my artwork, and set my files size to be that exact amount, which is 300 x 250, as you can see right over here.

So just know that when you are using Save for Web, you have the ability to use this Clip to Artboard setting to get the results that are looking for. Now of course, if I choose to save my artwork right now, it will get saved at these exact pixel dimensions. But let's say I decide that this needs to go on another web page and the specifications there are that the width of this graphic has to be 350 pixels. Well, you can see over here there is an option called Constrain Proportions. When you check that, a little lock appears. That means the Width and the Height are currently locked in proportion.

You can uncheck that. You will see the lock goes away. I really don't want to right now uncheck that. I want to keep that on. Because I do want my artwork to scale in proportion. I don't want it to stretch it anyway. But I can simply come here to Width and change it to 350, click Apply, and Illustrator automatically resizes the graphic to that specific dimension. Now many times, as you probably know when it comes to web design, what's probably most important is the width. We don't really care necessarily about the Height because the page will simply expand or flow as we need it.

But we want to make sure that the width is going to be correct or to the right size. So here I can really dial in just about any pixel dimension that I need. And because all of my source artwork is vector, Illustrator just simply re-rasterizes it here inside of the Save for Web dialog box to the size that I need it at. If I need to go smaller, I can simply come again here to the Width, type in maybe 200 pixels. Remember you have to click on the Apply button, and now it resizes to the size. So really it's a great way instead of you having to manage multiple sizes and multiple versions on my artboard.

I create one size and then just export it at the size that I need. Now we'll say one thing there are times. If you're making a large difference in the size, you may think about different design elements that appear inside of your artwork. For example, at really, really small sizes maybe I wouldn't have the prices, or I would have the layout a little bit different here, or maybe at really large sizes I would have room for maybe additional information. So of course we are not talking about creating a small little postage stamp, and then making that in a much larger size. In those cases the content may change.

But for small changes, for example, you have some artwork that was designed to 200 pixels. Now you needed at 220. You don't have to worry about scaling or resizing things in the artboard inside of Illustrator. Simply come here to Save for Web and exported at precisely the size that you need.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS5 for Web and Interactive Design
Illustrator CS5 for Web and Interactive Design

74 video lessons · 23776 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
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  1. 6m 56s
    1. Welcome
      1m 33s
    2. Choosing Illustrator for web and interactive design
      2m 54s
    3. Illustrator and the web design workflow
      2m 7s
    4. Using the exercise files
      22s
  2. 40m 9s
    1. Pixel dimension vs. resolution
      4m 14s
    2. Pixel Preview mode and anti-aliasing
      5m 39s
    3. Taking charge of anti-aliasing
      5m 27s
    4. Choosing the right color management settings
      7m 25s
    5. Setting up important preferences
      6m 22s
    6. Setting up a workspace optimized for web design
      11m 2s
  3. 54m 5s
    1. Using the Web document profile
      3m 39s
    2. Creating custom document profiles
      9m 38s
    3. Using Illustrator's free web templates
      2m 33s
    4. Creating a sitemap or wireframe
      2m 50s
    5. Setting up an entire web site
      9m 33s
    6. Setting up a grid
      10m 37s
    7. Setting up an online ad campaign
      8m 13s
    8. Setting up icons for iOS
      2m 24s
    9. Setting up mobile content with Adobe Device Central
      4m 38s
  4. 32m 22s
    1. Understanding web-safe colors
      11m 50s
    2. Limiting the Color Guide to web-safe colors
      4m 53s
    3. Using Recolor Art to convert art to web-safe colors
      4m 54s
    4. Getting color inspiration from Adobe Kuler
      6m 48s
    5. Using Recolor Artwork to modify colors across a site
      3m 57s
  5. 56m 54s
    1. Using the Save for Web & Devices feature
      6m 44s
    2. Understanding the GIF file format and its settings
      10m 20s
    3. Understanding the JPEG file format and its settings
      7m 39s
    4. Understanding the PNG file format and its settings
      3m 21s
    5. Understanding the WBMP file format and its settings
      1m 18s
    6. Understanding the SWF file format and its settings
      4m 13s
    7. Understanding the SVG file format and its settings
      3m 41s
    8. Adjusting the dimensions of a graphic
      4m 46s
    9. Optimizing files to a specific file size
      4m 5s
    10. Modifying Save for Web & Devices output settings
      6m 51s
    11. Previewing content in Adobe Device Central
      3m 56s
  6. 56m 6s
    1. Setting point type in Illustrator
      4m 11s
    2. Setting area type in Illustrator
      5m 20s
    3. Formatting text quickly with paragraph styles
      14m 39s
    4. Overriding formatting with character styles
      3m 2s
    5. Controlling text anti-aliasing
      4m 50s
    6. Simulating the CSS box model
      11m 14s
    7. Adding cool reflections to text and graphics
      8m 26s
    8. Applying settings quickly with Graphic Styles
      4m 24s
  7. 35m 56s
    1. Understanding the concept of slicing
      3m 22s
    2. Creating slices manually
      4m 26s
    3. Creating slices from guides
      2m 45s
    4. Creating slices from objects
      7m 33s
    5. Understanding the different slice types
      4m 20s
    6. Applying settings to slices
      9m 20s
    7. Creating hotspots with image maps
      4m 10s
  8. 23m 35s
    1. Exporting static SWF files from Illustrator
      3m 35s
    2. Animated SWF: Converting Illustrator layers to SWF frames
      4m 3s
    3. Animated SWF: Using blends to define motion
      8m 35s
    4. Animated SWF: Adding static artwork to an animation
      3m 24s
    5. Animated SWF: Controlling time within an animation
      3m 58s
  9. 17m 13s
    1. Preserving slices and structure with PSD export
      6m 10s
    2. Working with Photoshop Smart Objects
      4m 35s
    3. Sharing color swatches between Illustrator and Photoshop
      2m 52s
    4. Generating an animated GIF file with Photoshop
      3m 36s
  10. 7m 28s
    1. Exporting HTML from Illustrator for use in Dreamweaver
      3m 31s
    2. Exporting CSS and DIVs from an Illustrator layout
      3m 57s
  11. 12m 37s
    1. Moving art between Illustrator and Fireworks
      6m 25s
    2. Using dynamic shapes from Fireworks
      3m 48s
    3. Sharing color swatches between Illustrator and Fireworks
      2m 24s
  12. 16m 7s
    1. Building files for use in Flash Catalyst
      4m 28s
    2. Creating a new Flash Catalyst project from an Illustrator file
      3m 40s
    3. Copying and pasting artwork between Illustrator and Flash Catalyst
      2m 4s
    4. Roundtrip editing between Illustrator and Flash Catalyst
      3m 36s
    5. Creating Flex skins for use in Flash Builder
      2m 19s
  13. 19m 48s
    1. Understanding symbols: The lifeblood of Flash
      4m 58s
    2. Symbols: Understanding 9-slice scaling
      4m 18s
    3. Setting text that will be used in Flash Professional
      3m 5s
    4. Moving artwork between Illustrator and Flash Professional
      7m 27s
  14. 1m 6s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 6s

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