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Join Justin Seeley as he reveals how designers can create vibrant web graphics, wireframes, and complete web site mockups in Adobe Photoshop. The course covers creating a custom web workspace for maximum efficiency; drawing, coloring, and optimizing web graphics; creating vector shapes and text that scale seamlessly; mastering transparency; building navigation bars and buttons; and speeding up these tasks with the Photoshop automation tools.
Once you've finished designing your artwork inside of Photoshop, it's time to begin to optimize it for the web. If you're working from a mockup or a collection of artwork like I am here, it might be a good idea to define your areas of export with the Slice tool in order to get the most control over your individual images. To access the Slice tool, you're going to come over into your toolbar and click and hold on the same box where the Crop tool is. Once you find that, just go down and select Slice. With the Slice tool selected, you may see this small little number 1 pop up in the top left-hand corner.
If you don't see that small number 1, go up to the View menu, choose Show, and select Slices. With that turned on, you'll be able to actually see the individual slices as you create them. It may also be a good idea to line up all of your artwork so that you don't create any unnecessary slices as you go along. For instance, in my document, this small 125 x 125 ad here doesn't quite line up with the banner above it. So I'm going to line those up. I'll come over into my Layers panel and I'll grab the 468 x 60 banner, hold down Shift and select the 125 x 125 banner.
I'll switch to my Move tool and then I'm just going to come up to the Options bar and I'm going to click the Align left edges button. That just shifts it over a little bit. And there we go. Now I'll switch back to my Slice tool, and I'm ready to start making some slices. I'll start up here on the top. I'll select this big banner. So I'll just click to start to make a selection and drag it out. You'll notice that the Slice tool actually snaps to the dimensions. So in this case it's 728 x 90, which is exactly what the ad size is. So it creates a slice around that object for me. Now, come down, click, and drag out a box.
This one should be 250 x 250, and it is. And I'll click to draw out a box. There we go. And last but not least, click, and draw out a box. Now let's say that snapping was turned off or you made a mistake and accidentally drew a slice that was too big, like this. You can always go to these little control handles and simply resize your slices. If you switch to another tool at any time, you can always get back to the Slice tool by coming and clicking and holding here, and you can also switch to something called the Slice Select tool.
The Slice Select tool allows you to come in and simply click on and access each individual slice and rearrange it, manipulate it, in any way that you see fit. If you need to make changes to these slices, you can right-click on them and you can choose Edit Slice Options. And so you can do things like name it, give it a URL, a target window, message text, alternate tags. You can also change the X and Y coordinates and the width and height of the slice as well. In this case, I'm just going to name the slices according to their banner size.
So for this first one, I'm going to name it 728 x 90_ad. Hit OK. I'll right-click here, Edit Slice Options. This one will be 250 x 250_ad. Hit OK. Right-click, Edit Slice Options, 125 x 125_ad. Hit OK. Click on this next one, right-click, Edit Slice Options, and this one will be 468 x 60_ad. Now I'll hit OK.
Now when I'm ready to take these on the web, I can go under the File menu and I can choose Save for Web. Once I get into the Save for Web dialog box, I'm now able to click on and select individual slices and then select different optimization settings for each one. So I can have a series of PNGs, I can have a PNG and a JPEG, or even a JPEG, a GIF, and a PNG. It doesn't matter how you optimize these because you get individual control over each single slice that you've created.
So even from this one document, I'm going to get four separate files, which is pretty cool. I'll hit Escape to get back out. Now we'll be covering the Save for Web dialog box in its entirety in its own movie, but I just wanted to give you an idea of where that is, so that once you get your slices done, you could jump right in there and start playing around. So hopefully by now you have a better understanding of what the Slice tool is and how you can use it to separate your artwork into individual pieces that you can then optimize to place out on the web.
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