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Working with Smart Objects and Sliced Images

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Creating Smart Objects and Sliced Images can save you time and headaches when updating or editing your web pages. Here Jeff Carlson and Glenn Fleishman show you how to take advantage of both features using Adobe GoLive 5.
This article is from chapter 9 of Real World Adobe GoLive 5, by Jeff Carlson and Glenn Fleishman.
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Working with Smart Objects

Using the Save for Web feature to process your images on their way into GoLive is powerful stuff, but the real utility of Smart Objects happens within the Layout Editor.


TIP: Dumbing Down Smart Objects

From an HTML point of view, the only thing that distinguishes a Smart Object from a regular image is the Smart Link that points to the original source file, implemented using the Livesrc attribute.

<img src="images/coffeegood.gif" livesrc="graphics/coffeegood.psd" width="201" height="70">

To strip out the Livesrc attribute in your page or site, use GoLive's Find by Element feature. Select Find from the Edit menu and click the Element tab. Enter "img" in the Name Is field, and choose Keep Element from the first popup menu in the Action area. Click the New Action button, select Delete from the Action popup menu, and type "livesrc" into the Attribute field. Finally, specify the files you wish to process, and hit the Start button.

This operation can't be undone; make sure you have backups handy.

TIP: Adding Smarts to Dumb Images

Did you place your images already, but now want to link them to their Photoshop or Illustrator originals? Simply go into the HTML Source Editor, locate the Img tag, and add the following to the tag's attributes.

livesrc="fluctuating/self/images/weird.liv"

When you switch back to the Layout Editor, your formerly dumb image has become a smart object.

TIP: Smart Illustrator Options

In addition to the standard Web formats, Smart Illustrator objects also give you the opportunity to convert Illustrator 9 files into SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), SVG Compressed, and Shockwave Flash formats. In each case, the appropriate plug-in is used to display and handle the file. Resizing Smart Objects. So you've optimized your image and placed it on a page, only to realize that its width should be 275 pixels instead of 300. Previously, you'd have to go back into Photoshop or Illustrator, resize the image, then resave it in its optimized form. Now, simply resize the image on your page by either dragging the image's control handles or entering new values in the Width and Height fields of the Live Image Inspector. GoLive temporarily displays a resize warning icon, then recreates the optimized image using data from the source application (see Figure 1).

Figure 1

Smart versus normal resizing.

TIP: Resizing Multiple Copies of Same Image

If you have two or more instances of the same Smart Object on your page, resizing one doesn't resize them all. Although the Web image file gets optimized for the new dimensions, only the active object has its Width and Height values changed; the others display the resize warning icon. You can manually select each one and click the Resize button on the Inspector, or better yet, use the Find feature's Element tab to quickly update the dimensions in one pass.

TIP: Resize Button Shifts to Original

Clicking the Resize button on the Live Image Inspector resets the dimensions of the image to those of the original source file, not the size of the first generated Web version.

In the case of Smart LiveMotion objects, changing their dimensions in the Layout Editor doesn't prompt GoLive to get new data from LiveMotion. There is no resizing calculation because vector art has to be rendered from scratch to display on screen. The Flash plug-in installed in a user's browser renders the LiveMotion content.

Instead of displaying a resize warning icon, Smart LiveMotion objects retain a dotted outline of the original file's dimension (see Figure 2). To get back to the original size, drag the resize handles to make the object borders match the outline.

Figure 2

Resized Smart LiveMotion object (Dotted line indicates size of original image).

TIP: Use Active Resizing

Hold down the Control key when dragging Smart LiveMotion object handles to see a live preview of how the image is being resized. Otherwise, it takes several attempts to nail the target when working with GoLive's standard dotted-line resizing indicators.

TIP: Disproportionate LiveMotion Resizing

When you resize a Smart LiveMotion object proportionally (hold down Shift when dragging the lower-right corner's handle), the image is similarly resized in a browser. However, if you resize in one direction, or disproportionally, the image doesn't appear stretched as you would expect (despite the fact that GoLive shows a stretched preview in the Layout Editor). Instead, the image resizes proportionally, but based on the narrowest dimension, height or width. Any extra defined area just fills with blank space.


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