Tech specs: Illustrator CC 19.2.1, Windows 7, HP ZBook 15 w/NVidia graphics. External monitors, mouse etc.

Problem: I want to use the feature "Align new objects to pixel grid". I create a new document, check the appropriate box "Align new..." and add a rectangle to my document. It is not aligned to pixel grid. The checkbox in Transform panel is not checked. Clicking the flyout menu in Transform panel reveals that the checkbox "Align new objects to..." is indeed checked.

However: using say the pen tool, objects are aligned to pixel grid!

Am I missing something? Are there other steps involved in enabling the above feature? Is it not available for rectangle tool? That would be quite hilariuos.

Ok I found some more info (must have been googling the wrong words): https://forums.adobe.com/thread/2031120

Apparently a rectangle is a "live shape" that does not align to pixel grid automatically. Now that's what I call a great feature.

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    – PieBie
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 7:24

3 Answers 3


As has already been established, Live shapes do not respect the 'Align to Pixel Grid' setting. A few workarounds:

  1. Set up a regular grid at 1 pixel increments and enable Snap to Grid.

  2. Convert the shape to a regular shape (Object → Shape → Expand Shape). The shape will then align to the pixel grid as normal. If there isn't already a keyboard shortcut for this, you should be able to set one (I don't have CC to check).


As of Illustrator CC (version unknown) objects created with Rectangle, Ellipse and other "sub tools" of Rectangle tool will create "Live shapes". Live shapes don't heed the setting "Align new objects to pixel grid". I personally hope that this is considered a bug by Adobe as it makes wireframing, UI design and pixel-perfect design more cumbersome.

  • Agree! This is crazy, what is the point of the setting if so many of the created objects ignore it?
    – Nick Coad
    Commented Dec 19, 2016 at 22:36

There can also be another reason--importing or copy/pasting objects that are masked. Sometimes it may not be obvious, but may be worth checking (and releasing from the mask), if other techniques aren't working.

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