I am a total newbie to Illustrator, though I've been working with Photoshop for years. I've been trying to figure out how to mimic the "slice / save for web" functionality of Photoshop in Illustrator and am finding is super difficult despite reading many tutorials online.

This tutorial comes closest (I think) but I'm stuck at step 1 in the "create two artboards" section - ie select the first set of shapes with the array tool. What is the array tool? I hovered over all the tiny icons but couldn't find it. :) Online searches seem to think an array tool is something totally different, but here it sounds like a selection tool.

Anyone know what this tutorial is referring to? I'm using Illustrator CS6 if that helps. Thanks!

  • Your question is a bit confusing, since title asks one thing and content something different focusing on a tutorial which (imho) has a very specific approach and need (web animation). It would be also a good idea to put an image example of the file you want to manipulate to give you the best approach, but trying to guess Im adding a simple solution below ;)
    – Sam
    Feb 24, 2016 at 17:18
  • Hi Sam, sorry, I didn't realize that tutorial was to do with web animation - I was just looking at the PNG thing.
    – Michelle
    Feb 24, 2016 at 17:51

2 Answers 2


Illustrator and Photoshop have the same "Save for Web" module, therefor you shouldn't have any issues exporting PNG's using same shortcuts (the only extra bit for the save for web module is a "use artboards" option. It also has layers as Photoshop...

  • a) Open your file.
  • b) Put each piece or set of pieces you need to export separately in a different layer.
  • c) show/hide the different layers (just as you'd do in Photoshop) as needed.
  • d) Save for Web (for each desired content state), select the PNG24 option.
  • e) Save it, and ready.

As for artboards, this is where you can find the tool enter image description here

The idea of using artboards on that tutorial was meant to save "time" exporting several different PNG's from a single document, since each artboard can be exported as different files which avoids you from creating a document for each from the beginning. (Art boards are also used for files that need pagination, like PDF's and such, each artboard would be treated as a single page of the document, etc...)

  • Thanks again - I think I figured it out based on the original tutorial. My problem was I didn't know how to select all the 'paths' but shift-plus-arrow-plus-much-clicking got me there. I would love to use your answer - most of my initial problem was figuring out how to use layers in Illustrator! They are so different from Photoshop. The file I was given has 1 layer with about 50 different clip paths/text etc in it, so finding what I need is challenging. Maybe it's just the designer I'm working with doesn't use layers? I will try to do it this way though!
    – Michelle
    Feb 24, 2016 at 18:03
  • 1
    All good ;) and yeah, most of this starts with the designer >_< , he/she should be used to arrange contents properly if any other person's gonna work on the file. Layers indeed are quite different at some point but you'll get the hang of it I'm sure! BTW, you can lock/unlock paths by pressing Cmd+2 (lock selected path) or Cmd+Shift+2 (unlock all locked paths). This is pretty useful when rearranging paths in a document and its layers, also using onion mode (Cmd+Y to enable/disable it) so you can get more control over paths :) . Hope it helps!
    – Sam
    Feb 24, 2016 at 20:57

Another way to export parts of a file is to use the Slice tool. Use the Slice tool to cut the file into peaces and then use file>Save for Web in the lower right hand corner there is a drop down menu labeled Export in this menu make sure that the All User Slices option is selected hit save and off you go. just a note the Save for Web command uses the name of the file as the start of the exported file name so you will have to rename the exported files with unique names

  • Thanks for the contribution and welcome to GraphicDesign! Let us know if you have any questions Mar 7, 2016 at 5:51

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.