How to Turn Off Align to Pixel Grid in Illustrator

Grid snapping is used when Illustrator objects always move to a specific location and can’t be moved at small distances. This can be an infuriating problem, but it can be solved by doing a bit of homework and browsing through the drop-down menus. So how do you turn off Align to Pixel Grid in Illustrator?

Working with Illustrator can be frustrating because they often add elements turned on by default and don’t let you know. This can cause problems and significant confusion. Don’t sweat it! Read on and learn all you need to know about how to turn off the Align to Pixel Grid option in Illustrator.

How to Turn off Align to Pixel Grid in Illustrator

Align to Pixel grid is a helpful tool that will allow you to move things quickly and have them align with other pieces of your project. This snapping motion can move the items instantly and can lead to confusion if you don’t know where the details snapped. You can clear up this problem and move forward with your project by checking a few drop-downs.

Why Objects Keep Snapping to Grid

Before fixing the problem, you should know why it is happening. If you have a box clicked or other options selected, you could have a rough time aligning the pieces you want. Each time you attempt to click and move the file, it jumps to another position that could obscure other parts of the logo or design. 

A few reasons that your objects snap to the grid are as follows:

  • Snap to Grid – One of the main options for aligning elements in your project is Snap to Grid. It is like Align to Pixel in that it will take letters, numbers, or vectors and put them in places that could be wrong for your project or job.
  • Align New Objects – A frustrating option often chosen before the job is started is Align New Objects. That means every time you create a new angle or vector for the job; it will align with your project, even if it doesn’t look correct.
  • Align to Pixel Grid – The significant difference between the ‘Snap’ options is where they decide to snap. For some projects, it will be the pixels of your project, and for others, it will align with the grid that is always present in the application.

The reasons behind the pixel snapping are usually pre-selected by Illustrator and can be changed by getting into the menus and unclicking a few boxes. Remember that projects can always be saved, and deleting jobs because of wrinkles in the program isn’t an option if you are a working graphic artist.

How to Prevent Objects from Snapping to Grid

Now that we know the culprits behind Object Snapping, we can get to work knocking those barriers down. By checking a few boxes, you can unleash the potential of your design and set yourself up for success.

The process to prevent objects from Snapping to Grid are:

  • Click Window – The place to start when attacking the grid is by going to the top of the application and looking for Window among the options. There are serious functionality options in the top menus, and Window will have options for everything you can see in the active pane of your application.
  • Transform – One of the most potent tools in Illustrator is Transform. There are options inside the panel that allow you to move the images to an X/Y grid location and even increase the angle of the image. The choice we are looking for is on the bottom and is labeled Align to Pixel Grid.
  • Click the Box – Once you unclick the option in the Transform box, you should be able to move the bits around as you see fit. Remember that other options could be clicked that will continue to Snap your work until you get it all sorted.

Sometimes unclicking the box in the Transform pull-down could just handle the current project you are working on. If you start a new job and realize that everything is still snapping, you could be in for a few more menu fixes and clicks.

Solving the Align to Pixel Grid Problem

When Illustrator continues to Snap things into the grid, the Palette setting could be a problem. This setting controls the area you are working on and keeps them in a grid that could move the pieces already in place or move the ones you continue to add to the project. By removing another option, you can quickly solve this problem.

The steps to turn off Align to Pixel Grid are as follows:

  • Find Search Bar – Since 2017, Illustrator has undergone some upgrades that allow you to make this process much more manageable. You locate one of the most improved application pieces by finding the Find Search bar in the top right of the menu. Look for the row of buttons beneath the search box for the next option.
  • Align to Grid – Now that you are looking at the Search box, you will notice a row of pics beneath it. These options impact all parts of the process, but the one we want looks like a magnet facing a row of boxes. It is the on/off switch for Align to Pixel Grid.

Once you have clicked the Align button, everything will be locked/unlocked. Click it a few times if needed to see how the clicks impact your work. By testing the switch out, you learn what it is capable of and how often you must interact with the button to stop things from Aligning.


Turning off Align to Pixel Grid is easy once you know where the options are located. Snapping or Aligning to grid can be a problem that continues to plague your workspace until you learn how to disable the possibilities and how to get around them.

No matter what job you are working on, Align and Snapping can be turned off by searching in the Transform pane or with the symbol, which is three boxes and a magnet. Once clicked, you can move the bits of your project anywhere you see fit. Learning how to turn off Align to Pixel Grid could save the day on your next project or job.