peter sikking wrote:
> can you tell me what you mean with "manual work needs to be done"?
> that can help us with our work.
Well the most common case is simply selecting a slither of an area to be tiled 
as a background image. Sometimes you have to hide a foreground layer before 
making the selection such as filler text or an image. You will also want to 
a colour with the pipette tool that will be used as the background colour of 
element. Most of the background images I deal with are gradients, so the colour 
I want to use is either the darkest or lightest colour of that gradient.

Otherwise you often need to select the right combination of layers. I've 
mentioned foreground layers that might need to be hidden. Other times they 
need to be isolated. In Photoshop the issue is further complicated by the use 
adjustment layers. Transparent gifs or pngs will need to be isolated altogether.

Sometimes a background image will be larger than the dimensions of the 
containing element so the final thing you'd want to do is toggle a layer mask 
get the whole image.

This is the routine I tend to follow when using PS 9:

1) Toggle visibility of layers and masks until I can make a selection of the 
area I need to save.

2) Select area with marquee tool. Can be very annoying when zoomed in because 
selection always overshoots when I scroll. PS does not share Gimp's sensitivity 
when zoomed in.

3) Copy visible. Gimp should probably have a short cut key bound to this 
operation as it is always required.

4) Open new canvas. PS automatically populates the canvas dimensions with those 
of the paste buffer so this operation isn't as cumbersome as it would be in 
Gimp, but really it wouldn't be required at all if PS allowed you to edit an 
image during the next stage. The only editing I ever need to do here is convert 
background to transparency.

5) Save for web. Compare compressed images against original. Adjust for best 
compromise of size and quality then save.

With a "save *selection* for web" feature, steps 3) and 4) could probably be 
omitted altogether for most of the time. Step 5) is often made cumbersome by 
fact that the default save destination is the last directory used by the 
application. Life would be easier if a web images directory could be set in 
preferences (maybe it can and I don't know about it!).

It's getting late so I'll leave it there. I think I may follow this email up 
with a more fundamental description of what a designer is trying to achieve 
marking up a concept, if you think it would be useful. Let me know if there are 
other things you want to know. I'd be interested to follow your progress as you 
design this feature.



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