When a symbol is not aligned to pixel grid, the origin is not aligned to an intersection of the grid. Thus it becomes very difficult to create pixel perfect symbols. Paths that are snapped to the pixel grid are then redisplayed offsetting from the origin, causing bleeding in the isolation mode.

This makes symbols essentially unusable as it becomes impossible to align objects scaled down to look good at the pixel level because such objects do not have easy to work with dimensions. With original objects it's somewhat reasonable to correctly align them numerically.

There is absolutely no reason I can think of why this should be the case and it renders using symbols virtually impossible. This is a bug unless there is a setting to fix it. Essentially the pixel grid is not aligned to the ruler.

  • Have you tried repositioning the ruler origin?
    – nine9ths
    Dec 11, 2012 at 4:35
  • 2
    You might want to sum your problem up with a direct question to get helpful answers.
    – kontur
    Dec 11, 2012 at 7:57
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    Please provide a sample. Previously created symbols should NOT auto-align to the pixel grid. It'll be a cold day below before I want any application automatically adjusting existing artwork for any reason. Only newly created art should adjust. Old artwork should require manual interaction to adjust and snap. From my experience, that's exactly what Illustrator does.
    – Scott
    Jan 10, 2013 at 8:37
  • Align to pixel grid is tricky. It doesn't mean your shape will "snap" to whole pixels (when viewing them in the Transform palette). Rather, it just means that it attempt to position paths and shapes in accordance with the pixel grid. That doesn't seem to answer your question. Have you tried Shift+o and selected the artboard you're working with, and checked it's x,y coordinates? Sometimes rulers and shapes set to snap have fractional x,y coordinates because of this, even though their h,w values are whole. Check to make sure x,y position of the artboard is using whole numbers i.e x=0 y=0
    – JWhiteUX
    Jul 30, 2015 at 6:10

1 Answer 1


You're asking for auto-distributed symbols that are pixel accurate? I'm not sure why a haphazard approach would result in perfect pixel alignment.

Align to pixel grid might help, if the symbols are built correctly from the start. I've never tried, to be honest. I have used patterns with correct pixel alignment without any trouble. You just have to take the care to build them right at the start (which is rarely simple).

If you're looking for objects that are uniformly distributed, have you tried the Transform effect? It enables you to reposition the original or duplicate effects based on multiple transformation types. I've used this most often when building comps but it comes in handy within individual objects as well. Here's a quick video overview, if you're not familiar with the idea.

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