Slicing made Easy!!

Creating slices in GIMP, Photoshop or any software especially for web is a very tiring process.  I’m sure most of you experiences this feeling.  The never ending process of creating layouts of your design, flattening the image, setting your guidelines, executing the slicing script, encoding your html, previewing in a browser ( and dang, it doesn’t look good), going back to your design, unflattening or undoing your steps, making necessary changes, flattening the image (again!!), setting guidelines and so on and so on.

It’s just very tiring at times when there are only minor changes you want to make. But alas, there is a solution to all of these.  It simplifies the slicing process.

This technique uses the unrated and unnoticed command in GIMP.  The Copy Visible (Edit > Copy Visible or Ctrl+Shift+C).  For Photoshop users, it’s known as Copy Merge.


So, how does this simplify the slicing process?

  1. First, you just create a selection with your favorite selection tools over the image you want to slice.  You can use guidelines if you want especially if it involves frequent changes. (Note: Don’t unselect your selection. You’ll know later why.)
  2. Then, use the Copy Visible (Ctrl+Shift+C) command.
  3. Paste in another file. You can use the Paste as New Image command (Ctrl+Shift+V or Edit > Paste As.. > New Image).
  4. Save it as GIF or JPEG. (Note: It’s much better if you use the same filename you used on your html or css file so you won’t have to always edit the file. You can just refresh the preview in the browser)
  5. Refresh your browser.
  6. If it doesn’t look good, go back to your design and create the necessary changes.
  7. Now, if you didn’t clear you selection before, you just need to execute the Copy Visible command.  If you’ve cleared your selection, you’ll have to create it again.  Setting guidelines will prove useful here. And repeat from step 3.

If you’ll notice, we’ve just saved ourselves from the trouble of re-flattening, re-cropping or re-slicing.  We’ve also minimized creating unused slices when using Guillotine, Perl-o-tine or any other slicing scripts. Also, we just save ourselves from waiting for the slicing script to finish especially if you have set many guidelines.

The only drawback of this is that it doesn’t create html tags.  But alas, we only need to create it once and we just hit Refresh everytime we create any changes.

Now that’s slicing made easy!

Happy GIMPing!!


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