I have created a Symbol in Adobe Illustrator, starting from the circle with a shadow. Because of the shadow, the "center of mass" of the Symbol does not coincide with the origin.

This results I am unable to snap the center of the circle, because it is shifted.

enter image description here

Origin is displayed all the time as a cross and not snapped. Center of mass is diplayed only when snapped, but I don't want it to snap.

Is it possible to snap with Origin in Adobe Illustrator?

Video is here: https://youtu.be/fob7cANTpG0


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enter image description here

  • 1
    Its not center of mass. Just center of bounding box. – joojaa Jan 18 '17 at 18:19
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    Yes, I agree. But the problem persists. By the nature of symbol, it can be wished to snap not with this point. – Dims Jan 19 '17 at 7:48

Before creating symbol you can add rectangle with no fill, no stroke. The center of this object can be in any place where you want by moving, resizing this rectangle.

Second Solution:

Select symbol

Press Edit Symbol

Select element (circle in you case)

Select center of this circle and move it to the center of symbol (marked as cross)

Exit from edit mode

Now circle's center and symbol's center are the same and snapping to the circle's works.

  • 1
    Looks like a cheating... Isn't these dedicated way for this? Why to indicate origin, report it's position, but not allow to snap??? – Dims Jan 19 '17 at 7:50
  • @Dims no adobe does not hold a really static scene graph so there is no pivot that can be stored as they reset the transformation info from time to time. So to simplify mental model center is the orgin (or any f the 4 corcers or side midpoints). Once you have made the symbol then you can doubleclick on it and move it so theat center is wherever you want it to be. But no Illustrator does not store such info inherently so it must infer something form what you drew. – joojaa Jan 19 '17 at 9:03
  • I found another solution, see updated answer. – emax Jan 19 '17 at 9:50
  • @emax this does opposite, because center of a circle does not coincide with center of circle+shadow. When editing symbol, I deal with circle, i.e. "incorrect" center – Dims Jan 19 '17 at 12:59
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    @Dims yes, symbols have an origin but objects do not have conclusive origins. So when you turn things into objects illustrator has no real way to know what the hell you mean. So it has to compute the where to place origin of symbol form grouping info and it gives you 4+ 4+ 1 options. None of the obpions is center of first object in thing to symbolize. But yeah now i know what your asking, you are unaware that inorder to do certain kinds of snaps you have to hold control down while dragging! – joojaa Jan 19 '17 at 14:13


you may not be aware of this but illustrator has limited snapping visibility by default*. So enable smart guides select and start dragging from point then while dragging hit Ctrl down. This toggles priorities of snapping and expands the list of snappable things to everything visible.

* It is common that people do not know this. Ive met dozens of peoplewith more than 15 years of experience wo do not know this.

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