Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Enabling the new 9-slice scaling, part of Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced.
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In this exercise, I'm going to show you how to take advantage of 9-Slice Scaling which is such as great new feature inside of Illustrator CS5 that it argues in favor of using symbols to create single instances and nothing more. Even if you don't need to replicate an object many times, you might find this to be terribly, terribly useful. I'm still working away inside Photoshop shapes.ai. And this time what I want to do is I want to convert both the arrow and its tip bar into a symbol.
I could do that either by working from these instances up here at the top of the second artboard, so I can grab them and drag them and drop them into the Symbols panel and then name them Two instances, or something along those lines just to remind me that they are based on instances and then I'll click the upper-left Registration point and click OK. So you can, if you want to, create symbols that are based on other symbols. So you basically have nested symbols, in other words. Notice if I double-click on this symbol, and by the way, when you're trying to move instances around and double-click on them and so forth, you don't want to click on the bounding box and you don't want to click just sort of in the general area there, because that will deselect it.
You want to click on what was formerly a path outline. So I'm going to double-click and now we'll enter the Symbol Isolation mode. Then if I were to double-click on this arrow, why, then I'd isolate it independently, because after all I'm going into yet another symbol. Now I'm editing this symbol right there; the original Golden arrow symbol. So that's one way to work. I'm going to escape all the way out there by pressing the Escape key. The other thing you can to do is just start with your original objects which I had duplicated on this second artboard and go ahead and define a symbol from them.
That's what I'm going to do in order to set up my 9-Slice scaling. I'm going to grab this guy, drag him and drop him into the Symbols panel, and I'll call this Arrow and tip. And by the way, you can't use an ampersand if you want the tip to show up right here inside the Symbols panel. I'm going to click the upper left-hand corner for the Registration point and I'm going to click OK. Now I've created yet another version of the symbol. I'm going to grab the top one and get rid of it, then I'm going to take this guy, and drag him up. Now, you may have noticed that one of the things I neglected to select was that 9-Slice Scaling check box.
If this exercise is all about that, why didn't I select it? Well first, I need to show you how things work without 9-Slice scaling. If I go ahead and scale this graphic and I'm going to move things over a little bit and hide my Symbols panel for a moment, if I go ahead and scale this graphic using the Scale tool, for example, and I began dragging with the Scale tool, so I don't set an origin point; I just start dragging. Notice that because there is an origin point that's already established as part of this symbol in the upper left-hand corner that's that registration point. I just select it a moment ago, why then the Scale tool goes ahead and respects that point as you scale.
So you're going to scale with respect to whatever reference point to establish when you created the symbol on the first place. That goes for rotating and other transformations as well, but here is the bad news. If I make this arrow longer, it just gets stretched and if I make it taller, why, it just gets stretch like that. What if when I really want is for the arrow to get longer in this region that is the feathers will stay the same length and the head of the arrow, the tip, will stay the same size, but the arrow itself will grow longer. If I make the graphic taller, only the tip bar grows and nothing else.
Wouldn't that be awesome? Well, that's exactly the kind of thing you can do with 9-Slice Scaling. So, I'm going to press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac, a couple of times to get back to my originally sized graphic. What you do is you go back over to the Symbols panel and even after having created this symbol, you can modify this setting. With that symbol selected, Arrow and tip there in the Symbols panel, drop down to the little dialog box icon, click on it, and then turn on Enable Guides for 9-Slice Scaling. Click OK in order to accept that modification and now try scaling this guy.
Let's hide that Symbols panel again and I'm going to press Shift+Tab in order to hide my right side panel so I've a little more room to work. I'm going to scale this guy longer and I'm going to scale it taller. Well, I certainly get a different effect this time, but this is not an effect that I want. What's going on? Well, Illustrator is automatically set up the guidelines where it thinks you want them to be essentially. If that's not what we want and clearly it isn't, then we need to modify those guides as part of the original symbol definition and I'll show you how to do that in the next exercise.
- Tracing a pixel-based image
- Sketching and drawing for Illustrator
- Creating and editing gradients
- Creating multi-colored blends
- Creating seamlessly repeating tile patterns
- Creating interlocking artwork with Live Paint
- Designing advanced type effects
- Recoloring artwork with color harmonies
- Making the most of symbols
- Integrating Illustrator with Photoshop
- Using transparency, blend modes, and opacity masks