Export a slice

Slices let you export part of your artwork instead of the whole piece. For example, if you use Microsoft Expression Design to create a mockup of a user interface for an application, you can slice up each part of the user interface and export the parts as XAML files that will be converted into user controls in Microsoft Expression Blend. As another example, you can create multiple slices that display the same parts of your artwork, but configure different export properties on each slice to export the artwork in multiple file formats (.png, XAML, and so on).

You can also copy slices and paste them into another program without using the export process. Use this procedure if you do not have to produce different file formats for individual slices or if you do not want to create XAML Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) (WPF) resources. For more information, see Copy a slice to another program.

  1. In a document open in Expression Design, create slices of your artwork. You can use the procedures in Create or delete a slice and Change what appears in a slice.

  2. For each slice, set the desired export properties, such as the resulting file formats and the names of your slices.

    • If you are exporting individual files, the slice names will become the file names.

    • If you are exporting your slices in a container, the slice names will become the names of the objects or resources in the container.

    For information about how to set slice properties, see Modify slice properties and the topics under Export by using the Export dialog box.

  3. On the File menu, click Export (CTRL+E). The Export dialog box appears.

  4. Under Items to Export, select Slices. The Export dialog box displays all your slices as Thumbnails in a preview window.

  5. You can alternatively view your slices in a paged gallery by selecting a different display size from the drop-down menu that appears when you click the arrow next to the magnifying glass Cc295036.62f25413-1133-4cd4-a14a-92554d4451ef(en-us,Expression.30).png icon.

  6. When you select a slice, the properties under Selected Slice Properties reflect what you have already chosen when you modified your slice properties before opening the Export dialog box. You can change the export properties at this point. You can also select multiple slices in the preview window (hold the SHIFT key), and change all their properties at the same time.

  7. If you want to select a container for all your slices, click the drop-down arrow next to the Container name field to select a container type.

  8. If the Format property for any slice is incompatible with the selected container, you will see a warning symbol under the slice. You can move the mouse pointer over the warning symbol to view the warning.


    Expression Design tries to export incompatible slices in a format that is supported by the container. If the format of some of your slices is not compatible with the container type, the mismatched slices will still be exported in their chosen format, and saved in a subfolder named <container name>_files. For example, if some slices are set to export as .pdf files, while others are set to export as WPF drawing brushes in a WPF resource dictionary container, the .pdf files will be saved to the subfolder, and referenced as image brushes from the resource dictionary. For information about the export formats that are compatible with different container types, see Exporting in containers.

  9. Next to Location, select a location for your exported files.

  10. Finally, do one of the following:

    • To export all the slices, click Export All.

    • To export only some of the slices, select the slices from the preview window (hold SHIFT to select multiple slices), click the drop-down arrow next to Export All, and then select Export Selected Slice(s).

    You can now use your exported files. For example, if you want to use an exported XAML resource dictionary in an Expression Blend project, you can open your project in Expression Blend, and then click Add Existing Item on the Project menu to import your files. Expression Blend automatically imports any supporting folders and files that were created by Expression Design (for example, .jpg files). For more information about how to import assets from Expression Design, see the "Import XAML that is exported from Expression Design" and "Add assets from Expression Design to a Silverlight project" topics in the Expression Blend User Guide.