Experimenting with slices in Photoshop

In this procedure, you'll learn not only some of the ways you can create slices, but also the difference between use slices and auto slices. User slices and auto slices also have different capabilities, which is the reason that it is important to understand the distinctions between them.

• User slices are areas that you actively designate as slices.

• Auto slices are the rectangular divisions of the remainder of the image—all the areas that are outside of a user slice. Photoshop and ImageReady create these slices for you.

1 Start Adobe Photoshop.

If a notice appears asking whether you want to customize your color settings, click No.

2 Choose File > New, and then click OK to accept the default settings.

3 Choose View > Show > Slices so that a checkmark appears on the Slices command.

4 In the toolbox, select the slice tool ( ) , and then drag a small rectangle anywhere inside the image window. You have just created a user slice.

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Notice that the rectangle is selected (borders are highlighted and handles are visible). Also, notice that there are other slices, which are identified by a differently colored label. These other slices are the auto slices. Each slice is numbered.

5 Create another user slice by dragging the slice tool in another area of the image window.

Slices are numbered sequentially, moving from top to bottom and left to right across the image. When you define a new user slice, all the slices in the image are renumbered.

6 In the toolbox, select the slice select tool (* ) hidden under the slice tool, and try the following:

• Select one of the user slices you drew. Drag it to another position. Then drag one of the anchor points to resize the slice.

• Select one of the auto slices. Then try dragging or resizing it.

Although you can select both user slices and auto slices, you can drag and resize only user slices. Auto slices do not have selection handles.

7 Select one of the larger slices (either a user slice or an auto slice), and then go to the tool options bar and try the following actions:

Click the Hide Auto Slices button. Then click it again (as the Show Auto Slices button).

• Click the Slice Options button and examine the options available in the Slice Options dialog box. Click Cancel to close the dialog box. You'll do more work with this shortly.

• Click the Divide Slice button, and then make sure that the Preview button is selected in the dialog box and that you can see the entire selected slice in the image window. Then, in the dialog box, select the Divide Horizontally Into check box and enter a number greater than one for the number of evenly spaced slices you want to create. Notice the results. Repeat for the Divide Vertically Into option. When you finish experimenting, close the dialog box.

Note: In ImageReady, choose Slices > Divide Slice to do this procedure. 8 Choose File > Close, and do not save your changes.

Types of slices

Slices you create using the slice tool are called user slices; slices you create from a layer are called layer-based slices. When you create a new user slice or layer-based slice, additional auto slices are generated to account for the remaining areas of the image. In other words, auto slices fill the space in the image that is not defined by user slices or layer-based slices. Auto slices are regenerated every time you add or edit user slices or layer-based slices.

User slices, layer-based slices, and auto slices look different—user slices and layer-based slices are defined by a solid line, while auto slices are defined by a dotted line. In addition, each type of slice displays a distinct icon. You can choose to show or hide auto slices, which makes your work with user and layer-based slices easier to view.

A subslice is a type of auto slice that is generated when you create overlapping slices. Subslices indicate how the image will be divided when you save the optimized file. Although subslices are numbered and display a slice symbol, you cannot select or edit them separately from the underlying slice. Subslices are regenerated every time you rearrange the stacking order of slices.

-From Adobe Photoshop 7.0 online Help

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