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Using 9-slice scaling options with symbols

From: Illustrator CS5 New Features

Video: Using 9-slice scaling options with symbols

When using Illustrator, we normally do a lot of stretching. No, I don't mean doing exercise, although it probably isn't a bad thing to get out of your seat once in a while and walk around. What I am referring to though is scaling your artwork inside of your Illustrator. Now, we already know that you can use Shift key on your keyboard to constrain when you scale. For example, if I select this artwork right here, and I do not hold down the Shift, I can stretch it. But if I do hold the Shift key down, it constrains so the proportions are always correct. Let me press Undo to go back to where I was before. When we are working with Symbols, we'll also need to scale the instances of those symbols on our artboards, but it's important to note that Symbols have the ability to scale artwork intelligently.

Using 9-slice scaling options with symbols

When using Illustrator, we normally do a lot of stretching. No, I don't mean doing exercise, although it probably isn't a bad thing to get out of your seat once in a while and walk around. What I am referring to though is scaling your artwork inside of your Illustrator. Now, we already know that you can use Shift key on your keyboard to constrain when you scale. For example, if I select this artwork right here, and I do not hold down the Shift, I can stretch it. But if I do hold the Shift key down, it constrains so the proportions are always correct. Let me press Undo to go back to where I was before. When we are working with Symbols, we'll also need to scale the instances of those symbols on our artboards, but it's important to note that Symbols have the ability to scale artwork intelligently.

Let me explain what I mean. I am going to start with this little tag right here. I am going to zoom in on this part of the artwork here, and I'll select this Parsley tag. And I am going to turn this now into a Symbol. I'll tap the F8 key on my keyboard to bring up the Symbol Options dialog box. I'll give it a name. Let's call this one Parsley Tag, and I'll go ahead and click OK. Now if I wanted to this tag a little bit longer, watch what happens when I grab one of these edges here and I stretch the symbol. You can see that all the artwork has become distorted. You'll notice here that the end is actually stretched. It does not appear like these do over here.

The text itself has been stretched as well. I am going to press Undo. Now, I am going to go ahead now and select this symbol here my Symbols panel. And I'm going to click on the button here called Symbol Options. Note that there is now a check box in the Symbols Options dialog box called Enable Guides for 9-Slice Scaling. I am going to go ahead and enable that. While this setting was available in previous versions of Illustrator, this setting itself only worked after you brought that symbol into Flash Professional. However, now we'll see that 9-Slice Scaling, which is a form of intelligent scaling, now works directly inside of Illustrator as well.

So, with that option checked, I am going to click OK. Now I want to edit that symbol. So, I am not going to double-click on the symbol here in the Symbols panel. Because I have specified that option for 9-Slice Scaling, I now see a series of four guides that appear inside of my document window. The way that I position these guides will allow me to control exactly how this artwork is scaled when stretched. The reason why this is called 9- Slice Scaling is because the four guides actually create nine different regions on my screen. Let's identify what these areas mean. The middle area here is an area that will stretch, or scale both horizontally and vertically.

The regions that appear in the corners, for example, upper left, upper right, lower right, and lower left are protected areas, meaning that those areas do not scale at all. These two areas in the middle on the left and on the right side will only scale vertically. The two areas that appear in the middle, top, and bottom will only scale horizontally. By positioning these guides, I can control exactly how Illustrator scales or stretches this artwork when working with the instances on my artboard. For example, I am going to start by moving this guide just a little bit here to the right, and I'll drag guide here to the left of the text itself.

Next, I'll move this guide up just a little bit over here, and I'll drag this one down to here. By doing so, now when I scale my artwork,k I know exactly which part is going to stretch and which parts won't. I'll tap the Escape key on my keyboard to exit the Symbol editing mode. Now, take a look at what happens when I scale this symbol instance. I'll drag from the same place as before, and you could see that right now, the tag simply gets wider. The ends here look exactly the same as the others, and the text is not stretched at all.

For certain types of artwork, this is incredibly useful, especially for Web graphics where, for example, I may be creating buttons that may stretch. There is one thing you want to be careful about when using 9-Slice Scaling inside of Illustrator. That is, when you want to scale your artwork in proportion, you may not get the results you are looking for. For example, if I take this artwork right now and I make it narrower or wider, I get the results that I want. But if I try to now hold down the Shift key and make it larger this way, take a look what happens. Remember that the 9-Slice Scaling is specifying exactly which part of the artwork get scaled.

In this case, it results in artwork that looks like it's distorted the wrong way. That's why 9 Slice Scaling is provided as an option that you can turn on for symbols where needed, but when dealing with regular artwork that will be scaled normally, you would not be using 9-Slice Scaling. Of course, as an added benefit to using 9-Slice Scaling here inside of Illustrator, if you do take this artwork and bring it with the Flash Professional, all the 9-Slice Scalings are preserved, and they work just fine in Flash Professional and when played back inside of the Flash Player.

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This video is part of

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Illustrator CS5 New Features

30 video lessons · 19638 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
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  1. 9m 0s
    1. Welcome
      1m 21s
    2. Comparing Illustrator CS4 and Illustrator CS5
      7m 39s
  2. 27m 2s
    1. Defining perspective grids
      7m 48s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      8m 46s
    3. Mapping flat artwork to perspective grids
      10m 28s
  3. 15m 36s
    1. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 26s
    2. Using variable-width profiles
      4m 26s
    3. Creating perfect dashed lines
      3m 30s
    4. Easily adding arrowheads to strokes
      3m 14s
  4. 16m 8s
    1. Simulating real brush strokes with the Bristle brush
      11m 46s
    2. Using enhanced art and pattern brushes
      2m 55s
    3. Applying variable-width settings to brushstrokes
      1m 27s
  5. 12m 10s
    1. Drawing Behind and Draw Inside Drawing modes
      4m 17s
    2. Creating complex art easily with the Shape Builder tool
      6m 5s
    3. Easily joining multiple paths
      1m 48s
  6. 11m 25s
    1. Working with symbols more easily
      6m 56s
    2. Using 9-slice scaling options with symbols
      4m 29s
  7. 7m 55s
    1. Using the new Artboards panel
      4m 13s
    2. Setting individual artboard rulers
      2m 35s
    3. Printing artboards more easily
      1m 7s
  8. 11m 47s
    1. Creating pixel-perfect web graphics
      3m 43s
    2. Creating crisp readable text for the web
      1m 58s
    3. Quickly exporting individual slices
      1m 50s
    4. Integrating with Adobe Flash Catalyst
      4m 16s
  9. 10m 11s
    1. Select artwork through other objects
      2m 36s
    2. Using new paste commands
      1m 57s
    3. Applying resolution-independent raster effects
      2m 55s
    4. Specifying transparency within gradient mesh
      1m 8s
    5. Creating editable trim marks
      1m 35s
  10. 17s
    1. Goodbye
      17s

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