I'm trying to cut a circle shape with a rectangle overlay and it's changing the shape of the crop somehow. This is similar to the pixel grid issues except I have the align to pixel grid off. So IDK what's going on. Here's what happening:

1. I Add A Circle (with the same circle shape behind it in black to show the distortion) Note: You can't see the black circle behind it because it's the exact same size. enter image description here

2. I Overlay A Rectangle enter image description here

3. I Select The Minus Front From Pathfinder enter image description here

4. I Zoom In And Proceed To Cry Note: You can now see the edge of the shape is no longer aligned with the same circular shape. It's changing the shape. You can't notice this unless you zoom in. enter image description here

This issue is happening on multiple instances of illustrator with new files with align to pixel grid off. I've toggled the snapping features. I've checked the file preferences for whether I was running a print vs web. It's a print file.

  • 2
    Align to Pixel Grid on or off? Anything have a stroke applied?
    – Scott
    Feb 20, 2016 at 0:38
  • If that black outline is a stroke on the green it might be set to draw on the inside of the object. Feb 20, 2016 at 3:01
  • 1
    I'm starting to think Align Objects to Pixel Grid is a virus. I've always kept it unchecked. I even looked at it in transform, but apparently deselecting that isn't enough. I had to uncheck it again from the drop down menu. So what was happening was my existing objects were not aligned to the pixel grid but when I used pathfinder to crop them it treating the crop as a new object and aligning the crop (not the object mind you) to the pixel grid. I hate pixel grid alignment. Why is it in multiple places?! Feb 20, 2016 at 3:34
  • The problem with Align to Pixel Grid is it's not one setting in one place and the logic to turning it off or on is complete confusing. You have to check the document and the objects... which seems like complete overkill to me. It should be an on/off switch like Outline Mode or Pixel Preview.. but it's not.
    – Scott
    Feb 20, 2016 at 5:50

1 Answer 1


enter image description here

Adobe treats Minus Front and other Pathfinder options as new objects distorting the crop's appearance to fit the pixel grid. So while "align pixel grid" might be deselected in your transform palette, "align new objects to pixel grid" might be selected (hidden inside a drop down menu on the transform palette).

Also, this selector can be turned on automatically when opening a file where someone had that option selected and then proceeds to alter the settings of other files that may not have had this setting originally. There is also a pathfinder precision option that you can adjust to make the crop more precise.

  • How many digits of precision do you need?
    – joojaa
    Feb 20, 2016 at 6:51

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