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Understanding the different slice types

From: Illustrator CS5 for Web and Interactive Design

Video: Understanding the different slice types

As you create slices inside of Illustrator, you may have noticed this grid of like little red highlights that identify the slices themselves, and in fact, if you take a close look at them, you'll see that there are sometimes different icons there, different numbers, and sometimes they are even slightly different shades of color. Well, let's take a moment understand the different types of slices that Illustrator creates. In fact, as we'll find out, there are several different types, and they have different purposes and meanings. Now remember, overall, a slice itself is simply a region or an area on your page that gets exported differently than other slices.

Understanding the different slice types

As you create slices inside of Illustrator, you may have noticed this grid of like little red highlights that identify the slices themselves, and in fact, if you take a close look at them, you'll see that there are sometimes different icons there, different numbers, and sometimes they are even slightly different shades of color. Well, let's take a moment understand the different types of slices that Illustrator creates. In fact, as we'll find out, there are several different types, and they have different purposes and meanings. Now remember, overall, a slice itself is simply a region or an area on your page that gets exported differently than other slices.

So it's just a way for you to identify certain a part of a page that you can have a certain export settings applied to it. Now many times slices of themselves are all exported as pixel-based images. In fact, that's the default setting inside of Illustrator. However, there are really three different kinds of slices that can exist inside of Illustrator. As you can see over here, there is something called the no image slice, an image slice, and an HTML text slice. They are identified by these icons that appear after the slice number.

Let's talk about what the difference is between these different types of slices. Now as we said, the most common one is something called the image slice. That means that the file that is exported for that particular slice is actually going to be a pixel-based image. However, you have the option to tell a slice to export as a no image slice. That means that the image itself will not be exported as a slice. However, that cell in the table will exist, and you have the ability to actually type in HTML code to run within that slice.

So as an example, if you happen to know a link to maybe a movie clip, you can type in that link into this no image slice, and that means when this page actually plays in a web browser, instead of there being an image there, the video will play in that one spot. If we come over here to HTML text slice, that is a slice that actually doesn't get exported as an image, but any type that you actually have, any text that you set inside of Illustrator, that text gets converted to editable HTML text within the web browser.

So that means that that region itself, or that cell on the table, or that div in the CSS layout contains selectable text. So those are the three kinds of slice that exist inside of Illustrator. But as you can see over here, some of the slice numbers appear in a dark color, but some of them are kind of faded, or grayed out. Well, here's an important thing to know about Illustrator. When you create a slice using the Slice tool or using the Create Slices from Guide Setting, or creating an object- based slice, since you defined that slice, we refer to that as a user-based slice or a user slice.

All user slices display in a nice bright color. However, sometimes, as we discussed, Illustrator needs to create other slices in order to fill out the table in some kind of a rectangular shape. In other words, Illustrator needs to create the cells to fill out the entire artboard. Those slices that Illustrator creates are called auto slices, and they are identified by a grayed out color, meaning those aren't slices that you created - those are slices that Illustrator created. Now why is that important? Because when I go ahead and I export artwork out of the Save for Web & Devices feature, I have the ability to choose to export all user slices, or I can choose export all slices.

If I only choose to export the user slices, then any auto slice that exists in that document are completely ignored. If you go back to the example of having maybe several pieces of art, like ad banners or just random web art inside of an overall document, I may have certain user slices that I define, but Illustrator is going to create a whole bunch of auto slices to take up all extra space on that artboard. I don't need that extra space exported at all. All I want to export is just the area that I am defining. So because those are user slices, in those cases, I can simply choose, in the Save for Web & Devices dialog box, to only export user slices.

So now you have a clear understanding of the different types of slices that exist inside of Illustrator, and you have a much better idea on what all these little red markings mean when you start defining slices inside of your document.

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This video is part of

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

74 video lessons · 23916 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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