How do you disable Snapping?

Chat about the original Pixelmator.
User avatar

2012-08-11 00:09:45

How do you disable objects snapping to each other in Pixelmator 2.1? In previous versions there were checkbox's in Preferences.

I had to restart into Windows and install just to align some objects. =(
User avatar

2012-08-11 10:43:03

In the guides section of the view menu you can disable snapping by disabling the various guides options. I agree that it would be nice to be able to use the cmd key while dragging an item to temporarily disable snapping.
User avatar

2012-08-11 23:56:14

Oh! That's why I couldn't find it.

See that should be called "Snap guides to object center/Snap guides to object edges" instead of "Show guides at object center/Show guides at object edges"

Thank-you Sebastiaan. Hopefully this thread will help people Goggling how to disable automatic snapping.
User avatar

2012-10-05 13:39:32

Found this thread by searching for disable snapping. So thanks for that. Agree that it could be labeled more clearly and that a modifier key to disable snapping would be very desirable.
User avatar

2012-10-05 15:19:47


We have updated Pixelmator since this thread was posted and cmd-key can now be used to disable snapping temporarily.
User avatar

2012-11-04 20:11:33

Brilliant! Just what I needed to push me over the edge and buy. I loved Fireworks (most of Photoshop's power, only cheaper), but it stopped working when I moved to the new MacBook/Retina, so needed a new replacement app, and this seems to be it. And the responsiveness of the support staff was the decider. Well done!
User avatar

2012-11-04 23:01:13


I just wanted to let you know, what you've actually experienced is the responsiveness of the community. Pixelmator's team does answer some questions. But, often, you will discover that Pixelmator's users support each other. Sebastiaan has achieved the ranking of grand high triclopse with the number of people he's helped out. I'm kidding about the ranking, but Sebastiaan is just one example of a user who gives a dam.. er darn.
User avatar

2013-02-01 02:22:00

The cmd functionality is gone in 2.1.4.
User avatar

2013-02-01 11:08:01

Still works fine over here. Are you pressing the right key?
User avatar

2013-02-09 00:11:43

I'm using 2.1.4 and holding cmd my selection still snaps to guides while they are on.
User avatar

2013-02-09 15:42:46

The snapping is so annoying. In a selection, I very carefully am edging closer and closer to where I want to select and then BAM SNAP and it moves the ever loving selection region way past where I was targeting. I tried holding down every ever-lovin key on the keyboard and nothing stops this maddening behavior.

Don't get me wrong, I love the app and the price but this feature is infuriating. (please mommy, make the bad man stop!)

I WOULD HAVE NEVER GUESSED in a million years that "show guides" means "snap to guide" Does "show relative spacing" mean "snap to relative spacing"? Does "show fonts" mean "snap to fonts"? Perhaps "show window" means "snap to window" and "show spelling and grammar" means "snap to spelling and grammar"? (need I go on?)

When you have to use Google to figure out an application, it means you are looking for someone else's trail of confusion and their solution. Pretty good sign that the interface needs to be changed. This was pretty clear 6 months ago on the original post when the poor fella had to go to a different app.

Oh snap!
User avatar

2013-02-09 23:55:06

Hi Cerniuk,

Thanks for the feedback! You are right and we'll see how we can implement some improvements here.
User avatar

2013-07-16 16:40:04

Is the Command key supposed to prevent snapping at edges? I'm using Pixelmator 2.2 (30425), and can't get it to cooperate unless I go to the View menu and disable Show Guides at Edges. : (
User avatar

2013-07-18 10:33:06

Yes, the Command key supposed to turn off snapping at edges as well. What are you trying to move a shape, a selection, or an image layer?
User avatar

2013-07-19 22:19:23

I made the following tests on Pixelmator 2.2 Blueberry (30425):

1) Resizing a shape: CMD disables all snapping for both grid and guides. It works also while pressing the SHIFT key.
2) Moving shapes: CMD works as expected
3) Selections: The CMD key is not working. The selection snaps to both grid and guides.
4) The polygonal lasso tool does NOT snap to grid, and the CMD key is used to complete the path.
5) Move layer works as expected, with CMD key disabling the snap to grid and guidelines.
User avatar

2013-10-11 21:36:24

This is still broken in the latest version when you're resizing a crop selection.
User avatar

2013-12-18 17:14:07

I confirm disabling snapping with the Command-key when moving objects works OK in Pixelmator 3.0 FX (31016).
User avatar

2014-06-04 00:03:27

Just confirmed this is working just fine in 3.2 Sandstone (40509). That Command-key to disable snapping is pretty darn handy…where was that earlier today when I needed it?!?!? Well, now I have it in the toolkit and will use it goin' forward. Cheers!
User avatar

2015-04-20 12:39:23

Found it!
User avatar

2016-01-23 11:27:12

Cmd feature to disable snaping works in 3.4.2 but my question is - why you need to google and a lot of luck to find this thread to be able to realize that showing guidlines is responsible for snaping? You should add alternative name in menu.
User avatar

2016-04-13 08:49:00

Agreed! Searching "snap" in the Help also doesn't... help.

Cerniuk was right and three years ago Ausra said they'd be looking at it.

So, it was looked at and decided that such a basic and expected feature should remain hidden due to other things taking priority? For three years. Really? :)
User avatar

2017-07-09 20:11:32

Holding Cmd doesn't disable snapping when moving something from within a marque tool (maybe because Cmd is initially used to "pick up" the selection?). A global snapping toggle would be nice to have.
User avatar

2018-07-22 13:19:46

I can't believe this has not been fixed. This is clearly a bug as "Show" as verb does not denote "Snap"

I have been using Pixelmator for years and have never been able to figure out how to turn off the Snapping function . I finally got fed up and googled "how to turn off snapping in Pixelmator" (it's a design-fail when you have to google to figure out how an app works)

When I "Show" a button bar, it does not denote pressing the buttons in that bar to execute the actions.

When I "Show" the sidebar in the finder, it does not denote clicking on the items in that sidebar.

When I "Show" rulers in any product, it does not mean that I put tabs in or did anything to make the document editing actions act differently.

When I "Show" gradients, it does not apply them to my selection or document.

When I "Show" fonts, it does not change the font I have selected nor modify the environment of my document in any way

When I "Show" File extensions in the Finder the Finder does not treat the document differently in any fundamental way.

When I "Show" Shapes, Gradients, Brushes, Photo Browser, Fonts, Colors, Effects, Layers, Infobar, All Tabs, Tabs, All in Pixelmator, it does not modify how the tools react.

Show != Snap

Show <>
verb (used with object), showed, shown or showed, show·ing.
to cause or allow to be seen; exhibit; display.
to present or perform as a public entertainment or spectacle:
to show a movie.
to indicate; point out:
to show the way.

Snap (verb, used with objec), snapped, snap·ping.) <>

to seize with or take, buy, or obtain as with a quick bite or grab (followed by up or off):
The bargains were snapped up.
to secure, judge, vote, etc., hastily:
They snapped the bill through Congress.
to cause to make a sudden, sharp sound:
to snap one's fingers.
to crack (a whip).
to bring, strike, shut, open, operate, etc., with a sharp sound or movement:
to snap a lid down.
to address or interrupt (a person) quickly and sharply.
to say or utter (words, a command, a retort, etc.) in a quick, sharp manner:
to snap complaints.
to break suddenly, especially with a cracking sound:
to snap a stick in half.
Photography. to take a photograph of, especially quickly.
Digital Technology. to use a smartphone or other digital device to scan (a QR code or other source) in order to read the encoded text or URL and to browse the hyperlinked website or web page.
Building Trades. to transfer (a line) to a surface by means of a chalk line.
Football. to put (the ball) into play by tossing it back to the quarterback or other member of the offensive backfield, especially from between the legs when bent over double and facing the line of scrimmage; center.
Hunting. to fire (a shot) quickly, especially without raising the gun to aim from the eye.

And most importantly....
In computer graphics, snapping allows an object to be easily positioned in alignment with grid lines, guide lines or another object, by causing it to automatically jump to an exact position when the user drags it to the proximity of the desired location.

Some CAD software provides a "Snap" pull-down menu with diverse options as preferences for the practice of the operation.

In Windows with the option snap enabled, vertical positioning of a window against the top edge of the screen causes it to change into full screen.