I am learning Illustrator right now, and I follow this Adobe guide to learn how to create pixel-aligned objects.

The problem is that I seem to do everything as described in the guide, but regardless option 'Allign new objects to pixel grid' set to true at document creation, I still have to manually check checkbox 'Allign to Pixel Grid' at Object Transform panel for each object I create, as it comes unchecked by default for newly created objects.

Why don't Illustrator automatically aligns my object as specified at document creation?

  • 1
    From the hamburger menu of the transform panel check align new objects to pixel grid. Nice images here. Personally i find that using pixel grid snapping feature is worth less than the effort its much better to make a 1/2 pixel increment normal snapping grid at least then you can use middle aligned lines, plus you dont end up in a situation where some objects snap and others dont that is confusing.
    – joojaa
    Jan 28, 2016 at 18:47
  • I'll second Joojaa's suggestion of a ½ pixel grid, it's a lot easier to work with.
    – Cai
    Feb 28, 2016 at 10:25

3 Answers 3


If you are creating Rectangles, Ellipses etc they are "Live Shapes" that do not, for reasons unknown, heed the setting "Align new objects to pixel grid".

I've become irritated with the same problem as you today and asked about it here: Illustrator CC: Align to pixel grid is on but to no effect

I'm currently using the solution with creating a 1 px grid and it works OK, but not in conjuction with "Smart guides" feature. I think Illustrator is lacking severely in the grids/snapping department and greatly prefer Sketch from Bohemian Coding for the design I'm doing these days. But that is Mac only, and I'm tied to a Windows computer at work.

  • 1
    For the smart guides problem, you can just leave smart guides enabled and quickly turn snapping to the grid on and off when you need to with cmd+SHIFT+'
    – Cai
    Apr 28, 2016 at 12:34

In illustrator (and photoshop) you can change default settings very easily.

Just open illustrator but don't open any document. In this stage, any settings you change will remain saved for future documents

So for example if you press the "align to pixel grid" checkbox in this stage and afterwards open a new or saved document, it will stay checked.


If you make your keyboard increment and your grid line values the same this will solve your snapping issue.

So here are the directions: (These are the setting I use for our ui projects. Your grid and increments will be whatever grid you want to use)

1) prefs/ gridline every:16px & subdivisions:1

2) view / snap to pixel

3) prefs/ "keyboard increment" 16px

With these setting what you will see when you have the grid turned on or off is that my text or object will snap every 16px. I usually start by putting the object on a grid line and it should snap to the next.

I should also mention Illustrator CC has snap to grid and Illustrator CS6 has snpa to pixel/point so needless to say the experience is better in CC.

  • Your last sentence is incorrect. Both CC and CS6 have snap to grid and snap to pixel. Which one is visible in the menu depends on wether Pixel Preview is on or not.
    – Cai
    Apr 28, 2016 at 20:45
  • Thanks for pointing that out. That is not obvious and helps me out Apr 28, 2016 at 20:48

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