Photoshop 101 – Working with Slices

September 9, 2009 • By

Working with slices in Photoshop can sometimes be a pain. In this tutorial I’ll show you how to use the slice tool and show you some easy methods of slicing up your designs.

Download the example photoshop file we will be working with: Slices.psd.zip

Using the slice tool

First lets talk about the slice tool. The keyboard shortcut for this tool is ‘K’. Select the slice tool and draw a selection around the type in the middle of the header. When you draw a selection with the slice tool photoshop automatically creates slices around the slice that you draw.

You can select individual slices by using the slice select tool. Click and hold on the slice tool in the tools palette and a pop up menu should appear.

Right clicking on slices with the slice select tool gives you several options:

Slice options include renaming, linking and adding alt text. This is used when converting slices to a table based layout. Wich I dont recomend for a nything but e-newsletters.

Aother handy feature is the divide slice option. No more worrying about getting everything evenly spaced of lined up!

Now that we have learned about some of the options and how to use the slice tool I’m going to show you a super quick and easy way to create slices.

Creating Slices from Guides

Guides in Photoshop can be easily created by clicking in the ruler space to the top and left of the document and dragging a guide onto the document. If you don’t see the rulers go to view>rulers or Apple+R.

Drag your guides to the appropriate places. In this design we are going to slice the design into 6 pieces – so we drag guides to separate the text on the bottom and to separate the red area from the black area.

Next click on the slices tool in the tools pallet.

With the slide tool selected click on slices from guides.

Photoshop crates 6 slices based on the location of your guides. When saving the guides photoshop will number them accordingly with the number and file name.

Go to file>Save for web and save the document as a .gif file. (Not a jpeg like pictured… oops!)

Photoshop saves the images with their corresponding number into a folder in the directly you specified.

Saving Single or Multiple Slices

To save a single slice, or a few selected slices click the select slice tool and click on a slice. The border around the slice should turn from blue to gold. To select multiple slices hold down shift while clicking the other slices.

To save multiple slices go to file>save for web. Select .gif. In the bottom Saved Optimized as box is a dropdown menu that says Slices. Select the selected slices option. This saves out the slices that you selected. If you choose all user slices Photoshop will save only the slices that you drew with the slice tool.

What do you think?

Leave a comment and let us know if you have any questions or if you have any subjects you would like to see covered in this Photoshop 101 series!

Tutorial written by Niki Brown – author of The Design O’Blog and Daily Design Bits. Follow Niki (@nikibrown) on twitter!