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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.
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