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  • Snap To Grid is Broken in Illustrator and always has been

    Posted on October 18th, 2009 phpguru 1 comment

    I was just reminded of one of the reasons why I hate Adobe. Aside from the fact that they abandoned the great tools from Macromedia including Freehand and Director, even their flagship vector editor, Illustrator, can be extremely frustrating… when it comes to their woefully broken Snap-To-Grid feature.

    At least one other blogger feels the same. I just commented on his blog post about terrible snap to grid performance.

    In a nutshell, it seems perfectly logical. Adobe owns Illustrator, Flash and Photoshop, and these are probably their top 3 sellers, so you’d assume these tools would work well together. Think again. Broken! You create a 1-pixel grid in Illustrator, turn on snap-to-grid and expect everything to just work. Well, it doesn’t.

    Here’s a list of things that just plain don’t work:

    1. You create an object using drawing tools. It’s all snapped to grid perfectly. You can then edit points and drag them off the grid.
    2. You grab a handle with the Free Transform tool. Sometimes it will snap to grid, other times it won’t.
    3. You make a symbol out of an object that is all snapped to the grid, and drag another instance onto the page. Sometimes it snaps, sometimes it doesn’t.
    4. You edit a symbol in context. If it was snapped, sometimes just clicking into the symbol to edit it unsnaps the object points.
    5. You edit a symbol in context to snap the edges and points to the grid and escape the symbol. The symbol is now unsnapped.
    6. You have an object that is snapped to a 1px grid, copy and paste it to Photoshop. Your line edges are now antialiased. They shouldn’t be – a 1px wide piece of vector art in Illustrator becomes a fuzzy blob when pasted.
    7. As Steve pointed out on his post, You type in values for widths or heights of objects that should be on the grid. Save, close and reopen your document and you’ll see that Illustrator added minute amounts of measurements to your object. Presumably these are rounding errors? It’s unclear.
    8. You click the pen tool and assume that when you click to draw a path, all points will always be on the grid. They almost never are.

    There’s probably several more examples. Basically snap-to-grid is useless. Come on Adobe – get your act together.


    1 responses to “Snap To Grid is Broken in Illustrator and always has been” RSS icon

    • You’ve got it right. Snapping to grid does not work. Adobe needs to get with Autodesk and see how they do it with Autocad and their line of products.

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