Is smart guide in illustrator limited to some certain capacity?

I wonder why i don't see any smart guide line (magenta one) in circled portion. I think i should see one. (pic 2)

When two circles' circumference overlap each other (pic 1) smart guide says 'intersect' but why is that not happening when two edges of separate triangles are intersecting? (pic 2)

When i see smart guide i am sure that the overlapping has taken place so that i dnt have to check it in outline mode and manually drag to make tht happen. But sometimes checking is tedious when you have so much to do...

Does smart guide have no jurisdiction over triangles? Or i need to change some preference? enter image description here


You can edit your Smart Guides settings in Illustrator Preferences.

Ctrl+K to open preferences and then click on Smart Guides (or Edit → Preferences → Smart Guides)

You can edit the Construction Guides. They have some presets you can choose from, or you can define custom angles, with up to 6 entries.

Smart Guide PReferences

Smart guides do have some trouble when it comes to triangles, to take advantage and still use Smart Guides, switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and move the path by the point, instead of the entire path.

You use the Selection Tool (V) to select the entire path easily, then hit A to switch and only drag from a single anchor point.

  • You are brilliant. Thank you so much. my setting was not eligible for snapping.. but now as i changed it though it doesn't produce any magenta line but it sure snaps with edges....Thank you again. :) – Suraiya Abedin Feb 28 '20 at 19:48
  • @suraiyaabedin I'm glad to help! – WELZ Feb 28 '20 at 19:49

Alignment guides will stop being useful when your scene complexity raises. Its not a bug, rather a consequence of having so many parts where you could snap. In a complex scene lot of points that you could intersect with so the computer gives you the first one it can find.

It is also good to know that illustrator does always search for all possible layers unless you hold control down. So try that first.

Once your complexity is high enough you have to move over to a different toolset and disable alignment snapping. Namely if you use the white arrow then the snapping mechanism is a bit different. You can actually force illustrator to only snap on the actual point you intended. This takes a while to get used to but is way superior to just randomly snapping all over the place.

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