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The title says it all, I want to know what the simplest way to export the selected objects. In Inkscape, there is a menu option called export selected which does just this.

The aforementioned option lets you export the selection as a composite image or as a batch of individual images. Both would be nice, but in this scenario I want to export the selected objects as a single image.

I can already create a new document, and paste in the selected items. I am looking for a way that is easier than this.

How can I save / output / export only the objects I currently have selected, to an image file, in Adobe Illustrator CS5?

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I sure miss FreeHand, export-->selected checkbox, done. –  user21495 Apr 4 '14 at 20:52
Hi there, and welcome to GD! This appears to be a comment and not an answer. Please use the comment fields for this, and strictly answers in the answer-field. –  Benteh Apr 4 '14 at 21:17

10 Answers 10

up vote 16 down vote accepted

You could use slices.

You could set up artboards for each object.

Ultimately I find, Copy, New, Paste, Save faster than most other methods.

You can also utilize the hidden "hide other" shortcut. Select the object you want to save/export and then hit Command-Option-Shift-3 (Mac) or Ctrl-Alt-Shift-3 (Win). This will hide everything which is not selected. Save/Export, then hit Command-Option-3 (Mac) or Ctrl-Alt-3 (Win) to show everything again. Select a new objects and repeat.

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Ctrl-Alt-3 --> didnT seem to work :/ –  Zortkun Sep 29 '13 at 9:56
Read more carefully... Ctrl-Alt-SHIFT-3 –  Scott Sep 29 '13 at 18:07
still doesnT work, CS6 tho. pls ignore if it s not supposed to.. –  Zortkun Oct 2 '13 at 20:49
I've been using Illustrator (basically daily) since "Illustrator 88" and you Scott just taught me a new trick. Thank you! You just save me 100 "Select a path, lock it, select all, hide 'em, unlock all" keystroke combos a day. And @Zortkun it does work in CS6, at least for me... –  TunaMaxx Nov 29 '13 at 0:45

I just fit the artboard to the objects I want:

  1. Select desired objects.
  2. Object -> Artboards -> Fit to Selected Art
  3. ctrl+alt+shift+s to open the Save for Web dialog.
  4. ctrl+z to undo fit.
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This is really great! Thank you. –  Gabriel R. Jan 23 '14 at 12:10
This is cool answer. Thank you! –  mysticboy59 Mar 4 '14 at 10:25
Great answer. This gives purpose for using artboards –  blackhawk Oct 1 '14 at 16:49
You rock! Thank you. –  haemhweg Dec 12 '14 at 7:00
Very quick and easy, thanks! –  Robin Zimmermann Mar 13 at 21:09

Not the ideal solution, but if you put the selected objects into a layer (either move them or duplicate them to a new layer temporarily), turn off the rest of the layers and export.

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This requires both Illustrator and Photoshop, but is my favorite:

  1. Click to select the object/objects in Illustrator
  2. Do a "File>Copy", Ctrl+C or applekey-C to copy
  3. In Photoshop, do "File>New", Ctrl+N or applekey-N and keep the default options it gives you (exception: you may want to change Background to Transparent)
  4. In Photoshop, do a "File>Paste", ctrl+v or applekey-V.

You will now have just the object/objects by itself (already cropped!), and can Save, Export or Export for Web from there. Not sure if this works on all platforms but it surely does on my macbook air.

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Not sure what format you're exporting to, but one solution is to turn off the visibility of the objects you don't want to export in the Layers panel, then export.

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Is this different from what John mentioned in the previous answer? –  Yisela Apr 18 '13 at 3:31

Easiest way I know is to select the objects you want to export and select then the Artboard Tool from the toolbar. Use this tool to click on the selected objects one by one (you might have to click twice on objects after the first one) and a new artboard will be created for each object.

Then you just have to hit Cmd+E(mac) or Ctrl+E(pc) to export and then simply select the format you want and make sure 'Use Artboards' checkbox is ticked. Each individual image will be exported as an instance of the filename you type according to its artboard number (ie: filename-01, filename-02 etc.). Just bear in mind that this will export everything in the artboard area on all layers, so if you need transparent BGs you will need to hide any BG layers or other layers you don't want to include in the export.

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Better solution: record action in panel Actions (add key for this action - for example F2):

Actions step:

  • select something on artboard (object, two object etc),
  • press Ctrl+C (copy),
  • press Ctrl+N (create new document),
  • select Insert menu item... from Actions panel menu (right corner in Actions panel)
  • select file -> save for web
  • stop recording actions

From now when you press F2, you automatically save for web selected object :)

Ps. This also works in PS

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Easiest I've found - make your selection, file, export, then check the 'selection' box to export only the elements selected.

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Hi Jack, welcome to GDSE and thanks for your answer. If you have any questions, please see the help center or ping one of us in chat once your reputation is sufficient (20). Keep contributing and enjoy the site! –  Vincent Sep 16 '14 at 10:16

Thanks, Jonathan! :)

So I make it this way: Assign a hotkey Ctrl-Alt-Shift-4 to Objects\Fit to Selected Art, and a Ctrl-Shift-E to File\Export This way:

  1. Select object
  2. Press Ctrl-Alt-Shift-3 (to hide all other)
  3. Press Ctrl-Alt-Shift-4 (to fit the artboard)
  4. Press Ctrl-Shift-E (to export)

PS: don't forget to check "Use artboards" on export dialog! And hit Ctrl-Z twice to undo temporary changes.

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Shouldn't this be a comment for the answer of Jonathan!? Or an edit? –  Kurt Oct 13 '14 at 10:04

If you are exporting SVGs here is a super easy way:

  1. Copy the shape you wish to export to the clipboard.
  2. Open Terminal
  3. Type pbpaste > someFileName.svg

Your SVG will be ready to go in whatever directory you'd like.

Bonus step

  1. Download SVGO and compress your SVG with svgo someFileName.svg
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