I'm having some trouble resizing a group of vector objects in an illustration. These objects used to be lines until I expanded them into vector shapes, and before I scale them they look fine:

image 1

But as soon as I scale them the width of these "lines" completely distort:

image 2

These are the possible solutions I've already tried, but hasn't had any effect:

  • Checking align to pixel grid

  • Scaling after grouping objects

  • checking scale strokes & effects

If anyone has any idea what might be causing this, any help would be appreciated!

EDIT: Included a download link to my file if anyone's interested:

Get the .ai here

  • Did you select the objects when checking Align to Pixel Grid? Things have to be selected first.
    – Scott
    Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 8:20
  • Good point, but unfortunately yes i had selected the objects already. It doesn't seem to make any difference wether i got that checked or not. Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 8:27
  • If the lines are selected, what does the Appearance Panel look like?
    – Scott
    Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 8:29
  • Doesn't look unusual, No Stroke, Fill white, Opacity default. its just a standard vector shape. Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 8:37
  • Although in the dropdown menu "New Art Has Basic Appearance" has been checked (no idea what that means). Tried unchecking it and then resizing, same results. Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 8:40

3 Answers 3



Align to Pixel Grid is indeed checked in your file. Actually it is hyphenated indicating some objects are set to align to the pixel grid and some objects are not. Select all and then uncheck it on the Transform panel. If you don't see it on the Transform Panel, click the menu icon on the Transform Panel and choose "Show Options". You will then have to click the Align to Pixel Grid checkbox twice. Once to check it - removing the hyphen, then again to uncheck it. This will correct the issue with art being changed upon scaling.

In addition....

Looking at the file in Outline mode (View > Outline) shows areas of misalignment in the shapes. When you scale these areas of misalignment the inconsistencies in construction are merely easier to see.


This is caused by expanding overlapping shapes which don't line up precisely.

You can reduce many of these areas by locking the blue background, selecting the white areas and using the Merge button on the Pathfinder Panel (not the Pathfinder Effect menu item) to create solid shapes rather than overlapping pieces.

  • Select the Blue
  • Choose Object > Lock from the menu
  • Select one white shape
  • Choose Select > Same > Fill & Stroke from the menu
  • Click the Merge button on the Pathfinder Panel (Window > Pathfinder - DO NOT use the menu item.)

After doing this the art will appear much less complex in Outline mode. However, there will be areas which have issues due to the uneven expanded strokes...


These areas will have to be fixed manually.

  • 1
    You absolute genius! I was confused about what you meant about the hyphen first but i realised that I hadn't checked "Show Options" in the dropdown box, and there it was! That using that checkbox is a lot better than using the tick in the dropdown menu it seems. Also thanks for the tips on how to refine my hurriedly put together shapes, very much appreciated! Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 9:22
  • Glad I could help.
    – Scott
    Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 9:25
  • What an aggravating setting. Thank you so much!
    – tastybytes
    Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 15:21

I had the same problem. I used Object > Flatten Transparency (with the art selected) and it fixed it.

Why? I have no idea but it did work, even though there was no transparency applied to the art that I know of.

  • That worked for me. :D I don't know why but everything looked distorted with "expand" and "expand appearance". Commented Feb 15, 2015 at 2:46

I had the same problem and as of now you have to start off with "Align New Objects to Pixel Grid" turned off BEFORE you create any object (at least for me), because turning it off after still gave me errors, I'm hoping it's a glitch they will fix.

Let me rephrase, it seems to work if you uncheck when the Options panel is visible, but not by checking it off using the pull down menu!

  • Yes thats worth pointing out. create your objects after unchecking that checkbox. Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 15:16

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