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Whenever I create a square shape at 100% zoom, I get perfectly sharp edges. However, once I zoom in at any amount, drawing a perfect square (without anti-aliasing) is very difficult. Is there a way I can turn this off?

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Off-topic for photo editing. –  mattdm Dec 31 '10 at 13:23
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If you set the grid to one pixel and activate snap-to-grid, the square will be aligned to the pixels and the anti-aliasing is not a problem. Now I'm closing this question as it's clearly off topic. –  Guffa Dec 31 '10 at 15:31
    
I dont see how this is clearly off topic, the questioner might be adding a rectangle to a photograph for a watermark, to extend the image with a blank area/text box to produce a photobook etc. and if they weren't this question may be of use to people who are. –  Matt Grum Dec 31 '10 at 19:08
    
@Matt Grum: Yes, what the user is doing might be related to photographic editing in some way, but the question isn't. –  Guffa Jan 1 '11 at 17:10
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2 Answers

Firstly you set the shape mode to "fill pixels", you can't turn AA off with shape layers:

Secondly you need to uncheck the "Anti-alias" checkbox (this only appears after you do the first step)

Here I am zoomed in to 800%. The rectangle on the right was drawn with AA on, the rectangle on the left was drawn with AA off.

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If you need to retain the shapes and don't have to be pixel-perfect about the anti-aliasing, you can use selections as a quick & easy guide. Selections always snap to-pixel so they are better "pixel guides" than regular Guides.

For example:

  1. Zoom to 800% (or some other high zoom)

  2. Draw some guides and make a selection. Guides & selection

  3. Using the Rectangle shape tool, draw a rectangle that matches the guides and another rectangle that matches the selection.

    enter image description here

    You'll notice that the guide following the selection is not perfectly aliased, but it's pretty close and probably not be noticeable at normal zoom (keep in mind that if you're zooming in for sub-pixel edits, you're taking a much closer look than most people will).

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