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Understanding slicing

From: Illustrator for Web Design

Video: Understanding slicing

In this movie we're going to be talking about slicing inside of Illustrator. Now, slicing in the traditional sense means breaking up a mockup into multiple pieces via HTML and CSS, or HTML and tables that can then be reassembled. In older times when we were working with designs inside of Photoshop or Illustrator, we would take multiple images in our document and we would slice them up into smaller pieces so that they would load faster when put back together inside of a browser.

Understanding slicing

In this movie we're going to be talking about slicing inside of Illustrator. Now, slicing in the traditional sense means breaking up a mockup into multiple pieces via HTML and CSS, or HTML and tables that can then be reassembled. In older times when we were working with designs inside of Photoshop or Illustrator, we would take multiple images in our document and we would slice them up into smaller pieces so that they would load faster when put back together inside of a browser.

The traditional way has sort of gone by the wayside because of the advent of things like CSS. So I use slicing now more as an informational tool rather than anything else. I use the Slice tool to define areas of content within my document so that the developer knows exactly where I need things broken down, and also it helps them define specific regions like CSS divs and things like that. Now on the file that I have open here onscreen I have several different examples of web banners that I'm working on here inside of Illustrator, and I want to define each one of these as its own separate slice so it can then be exported out individually.

The easy way to do this, especially if you're working with a square or rectangle piece of art, is to just select it, go to the Object menu, and go down and choose Slice, and choose Make, and it will automatically create a slice for you. I can also go here, select that one: Object > Slice > Make; select this: Object > Slice > Make; and then finally this one: Object > Slice > Make.

And so now I've created individual slices of each one of these if these had artwork inside of them or whatever that would be contained within that slice, and so anytime I go into the File > Save for Web dialog box now, I have these individual regions which I can then select and optimize individually with their own specific settings. So if I needed one to be a PNG or one to be a GIF or one to be a JPEG, I could do that individually for each piece of artwork. So not only does slicing allow me to define different content regions, it also allows me to define different optimization regions as well.

So by doing this, I can create individually optimized files that are then better suited for the overall design. From here you would just click Save and then save them out individually, or you can hit Cancel and cancel out. If you happened to have more than one slice out on your document, you can actually use the Slice tool or the Slice Selection tool to manipulate those. So the Slice Selection tool is located in the toolbox, right there, and so I could select this one, hold down Shift, and select the others. I could also select just a few slices.

I'll click away to deselect. Let's say I wanted the big graphic here and the banner ad. And I can go to the File menu and I can actually choose Save Selected Slices, and it's going to save out only those two slices, Images Only, in a format that I specify and once I click Save, I can go through that process and I can save those out individually. So using these slices is a great way to get individual control over an artboard that might have multiple pieces on top of it, and so I really enjoy slicing for that reason.

The traditional means of slicing, like I said, have kind of gone by the wayside, but it still has its place if you know how to use it properly.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator for Web Design
Illustrator for Web Design

67 video lessons · 24430 viewers

Justin Seeley
Author

 
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  1. 1m 13s
    1. Welcome
      50s
    2. Using the exercise files
      23s
  2. 43m 51s
    1. Designing for screens
      1m 57s
    2. Decoding screen size and resolution
      2m 40s
    3. Exploring the Illustrator to HTML workflow
      3m 42s
    4. Setting up Illustrator for web work
      6m 55s
    5. Creating a new document for web
      6m 25s
    6. Creating a new document for mobile
      3m 31s
    7. Using artboards for responsive layouts
      7m 42s
    8. Creating email newsletter documents
      4m 31s
    9. Working with Pixel Preview and anti-aliasing
      6m 28s
  3. 25m 28s
    1. Adjusting color settings
      6m 47s
    2. Understanding web color
      3m 47s
    3. Creating a color palette
      5m 4s
    4. Creating custom swatches
      4m 50s
    5. Working with fills and strokes
      5m 0s
  4. 13m 15s
    1. Exploring the Layers panel
      5m 21s
    2. Renaming and grouping layers
      7m 54s
  5. 24m 5s
    1. Drawing simple shapes
      4m 16s
    2. Working with Pathfinder
      5m 4s
    3. Using the Shape Builder tool
      4m 33s
    4. Creating symbols
      6m 24s
    5. Editing and replacing symbols
      3m 48s
  6. 20m 22s
    1. Planning your project
      2m 56s
    2. Using guides and rulers
      5m 56s
    3. Developing a layout with shapes
      6m 21s
    4. Using a grid system
      5m 9s
  7. 25m 53s
    1. Exploring the rules of typography
      4m 1s
    2. Using text as text vs. using text as an image
      3m 37s
    3. Understanding web-safe fonts
      1m 46s
    4. Creating and using paragraph styles
      5m 16s
    5. Creating and using character styles
      3m 2s
    6. Simulating the CSS box model
      8m 11s
  8. 21m 17s
    1. Understanding object appearance
      4m 43s
    2. Applying and editing live effects
      3m 34s
    3. Creating and using drop shadows
      3m 13s
    4. Creating more flexible rounded rectangles
      3m 17s
    5. Saving appearance as graphic styles
      6m 30s
  9. 35m 57s
    1. Starting with a wireframe
      5m 23s
    2. Adding master elements
      6m 45s
    3. Creating navigation buttons
      13m 34s
    4. Working with photographs
      5m 50s
    5. Simulating pages with artboards
      4m 25s
  10. 54m 45s
    1. Creating video placeholders
      10m 33s
    2. Creating buttons
      13m 1s
    3. Creating form fields
      8m 15s
    4. Creating radio boxes and checkboxes
      5m 11s
    5. Creating progress bars
      10m 12s
    6. Creating tabbed interfaces
      7m 33s
  11. 35m 28s
    1. Understanding slicing
      3m 26s
    2. Slicing up a mockup
      3m 6s
    3. Understanding web file formats
      5m 33s
    4. Exploring the Save for Web dialog
      3m 50s
    5. Optimizing photographs
      4m 29s
    6. Optimizing transparent graphics
      4m 43s
    7. Saving Retina display graphics
      3m 46s
    8. Exporting SVG graphics
      6m 35s
  12. 9m 29s
    1. Understanding image sprites
      3m 4s
    2. Creating a sprite grid
      4m 36s
    3. Optimizing sprites for the web
      1m 49s
  13. 15m 29s
    1. Placing Illustrator Smart Objects
      3m 22s
    2. Sharing color swatches between apps
      2m 9s
    3. Exporting Illustrator artwork as a PSD
      3m 49s
    4. Importing artwork into Fireworks
      2m 41s
    5. Exporting HTML from Illustrator
      3m 28s
  14. 1m 19s
    1. Taking the next step
      1m 1s
    2. Goodbye
      18s

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