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I've seen this quite a few places, one big png file with all elements on it, and then using bg position to place them.
Is there any advantage to using this technique? I'm thinking faster loading time since it doesnt have to load different images.
they are called "css sprites".
Faster loading time, smaller memory footprint.
- overall greater user experience, images appear faster @mouseover, even when in cache.
- no asset bullshit with developers ("oh no, it was buttonxyz222.gif")
- make a big grid and sort your assets in it!
- make only one sprite/template!
it works nicely, except if you have lots of tweeky changes that cause you to have to redo all the positioning if something gets bigger or smaller.
SpriteRight App on apples app store is pretty nice and cheap too. Only works on OS X10.7+ though