Starting yesterday, Illustrator has been refusing to let me set a line weight under 1pt. If I set a lower one, the line snaps back to 1pt weight.

This is crippling to my work: The art is being output to a laser cutter. 0.01pt lines are how you signal "cuts" for the printer driver. Heavier weight lines are treated as "etch" commands. Without fine lines, I can't cut things out.

I first noticed the problem yesterday, and it's persisted through reboots and such. Prior to it cropping up, I'd been doing a lot of work with making custom brushes in Illustrator.

Has anyone run into this before or have an idea what might cause it?


1 Answer 1


Uncheck "Align to Pixel Grid" in the Transform Panel.

You may need to first select objects, then uncheck the option on the Transform panel.

When opening a new document you can uncheck the "Align to Pixel Grid" option in the new document dialog box as well.

This is a feature in Illustrator 15.x (CS5) to assist in the creation of sharp web/screen images. The pixel grid assumes the smallest measurement is 1 pixel so as little anti-aliasing as possible is used. This allows strokes or fills to be sharp and crisp when output for screen devices. However, it also means you can not draw a stroke smaller than 1pt (1px) and some paths or fills may move slightly to align to the pixel grid.

You may need to choose Show Options from the Transform Panel Menu to see the Align to Pixel Grid Option

  • 1
    Yes! That fixed it. I don't know where that got set along the way. I don't normally even see the transform panel: I keep illustrator wide enough that it just puts the XYWH field in the top bar, and the transform panel never appears. So I ended up shrinking the window enough to make the transform panel replace the XYWH field, and sure enough, Align to Pixel Grid was set, and it was set to apply it to all new objects. Fixed and fixed and I can make cutting lines on the laser again. AWESOME.
    – baudot
    Jan 30, 2012 at 2:28
  • @Scott: sweet! good job. I didn't even know what that function was. Jan 30, 2012 at 11:55
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    lots of users get caught by this when they start using AI15.x. I mean LOTS. It is a helpful feature for web graphics, but it's a bit undiscoverable and can be horribly frustrating until it's explained. It'll restrict stroke sizes, cause shapes to change or move... all sorts of tiny little things that appear like bugs. But, once you know about the feature, it can be exceptionally helpful.
    – Scott
    Jan 30, 2012 at 21:07
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    I am having the same problem with CS6. I cannot find the command "align to pixel grid", so I can't fix the problem. Is there an other explanation for CS6, or it's just me?! Thank you
    – user13430
    Jun 17, 2013 at 17:23
  • Just to add to this, I specifically created a new document that had the Align to Pixel Grid setting unchecked, but when I copy-pasted something from a document that DID have Align to Pixel Grid checked... it followed the object. The only work around I could figure out was to delete and recreate the object.
    – Zelbinian
    Jul 2, 2014 at 21:34

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