Photoshop: At low zoom levels, pixels anti-alias if moved when pref "Snap Vector Tool..." is checked

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  • Updated 5 years ago
  • (Edited)
Environment: PS CS6 - 13.0.5 x64 on Mac OS 10.8.4 2.66 Intel i7, 8 GB RAM, 240 GB Solid State drive.

Problem: If the PhotoShop preference "Snap Vector Tool and Transforms to Pixel Grid" is checked & the user moves shape layer objects at a zoom level of roughly less than 95% the pixel edges of those objects become anti-aliased when moved.

Note that I found the extreme zoom(95%) end where this is the case but did not outright test other lower zoom levels. As a user I have experienced the issue occur at lower zoom levels and have not seen it above 100%.


1). Create a new PS doc at say 500 x 500 px. Go to Photoshop >> Preferences >> General & check the setting "Snap Vector Tool and Transforms to Pixel Grid" >> Click OK.

2). Zoom to 100% or higher >> Select the "Rectangle Tool" & draw a rectangle. Now a shape layer exists with a rectangle in it. Make sure the shape layer is a different color than your background. Preferably red.

3). Zoom out to 95% or less >> Select the "Path Selection" tool, click on the rectangle object you just created and move it anywhere from 5 to 9 single pixels.

Result: When zoomed in you will notice that the edge of the rectangle has become anti-aliased and fuzzy.

Expectation: The setting "Snap Vector Tool and Transforms to Pixel Grid" should allow a user to move whole pixels without having to deal with and correct anti-aliased pixel edges.

Imapct: This can impede the tightness of a design if not noticed or make rework to correct it utter heck especially where mobile and web interfaces are concerned.
Photo of otokoyama


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Posted 5 years ago

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