Graphic Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for Graphic Design professionals, students, and enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is there a way to force Photostop to never put anything on a sub-pixel or size anything to a sub pixel level? I'll move layers around or resize them and I'm always getting the positions at 234.2 or 340.5 and this is not a good thing when doing game art. I need stuff to be pixel perfect.

I try snapping everything to a grid, but this doesn't help in all cases. It seems once something is at 340.5, snapping to the grid never gets rid of the fraction. I'm constantly forced to go in and hand edit all the value.

I'm using CS3, but would happily upgrade to CS6 if this was fixed.

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

If you're after pixel aligned shapes and are considering Photoshop CS6, my advice is to buy it. There were many positive changes from Photoshop CS5. Two new options that replaced all the previous pixel snapping options found within the tools. It's so much nicer now.

For me, the biggest change in CS6 is pixel snapping being moved from the individual vector tools to a global setting, with the catchy title of Snap Vector Tools and Transforms to Pixel Grid. It’s hidden under the general tab in preferences, but is actionable, so you can enable and disable it with a keyboard shortcut.

With pixel snapping off, Photoshop’s nudging behaviour is similar to how it was previously — nudging is connected to the zoom level. If you’re zoomed to 100%, then nudging will move one pixel. If you’re zoomed to 200%, nudging will move 0.5px. Keep zooming in and the increments get smaller:

100% — 1px.

200% — 0.5px or half a pixel.

300% — 0.33px or a third of a pixel.

400% — 0.25px or a quarter of a pixel.

500% — 0.2px or one fifth of a pixel.

600% — 0.1667px or one sixth of a pixel.

...and so on, all the way up to 3200%, which nudges 0.03125px.

With pixel snapping turned on, nudging always moves one pixel. And by one pixel, I’m talking about one pixel, relative to the current position. A point that’s located at 50.5px will move it to 51.5px if nudged while pixel snapping is enabled.

Photoshop CS6 also contains a feature called Align Edges, that's a little different, but related.

Align Edges, found in the options bar, ensures the edges of the layer are aligned to the pixel grid. The non-edge contents of the layer are scaled without snapping to the pixel grid (this is important to note). In some cases, sloppily drawn vectors can be fixed simply by turning on this single per-layer option.

I've written more about them both here: Vector shapes in Photoshop CS6

share|improve this answer

You'll certainly have an easier time of things with CS6. One of the GPU-related features that came in around CS4 or 5 was the visible pixel grid that shows at high levels of zoom, new brush capabilities, greatly improved shape layers, and so on.

You already have your grid preference set in pixels, I expect. (I use a 10-pixel grid with 10 subdivisions in this scenario.) I don't have CS3 loaded to test, but in CS5 and CS6, with Snap to Grid turned on and the grid set to pixels, I can't resize an object except to exact pixel boundaries.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

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