Smart guides don't work properly
It has been too long for this not to be working right yet. Smart guides aren't smart enough. When smart guides snap to something it has to be exact, not .05 pixels off. Close enough is not good enough. Also, when I drag over an object it needs to snap to that object, not some random shape clear across the pasteboard. If I have to zoom in 2600% to manually align something (which I often do) smart guides and snapping have failed. Is there some ridiculous setting I have to change to get this to work the way it's supposed to?
It’s dangerous to call things Smart... When they behave dumb, the name sound like an insult. Sadly, this is the case.
Please provide more specific cases, with video proofs, ask you colleagues to share and vote, to move this further. This is the way to force changes to things that are broken — be vocal and persistent. Thank you all and let’s hope we get heard.
How are we going on this? Are we 'smartifying' the smart guides yet?
roma krivenko commented
Here is one more video. Just trying to clone some rectangles and let them snap to each other... When you zoom in, you can see there is a gap between them. Such an easy task and it just does not work properly. Most of the time, doing stuff like this, I have to zoom in, to get the snapping result that I want and to double check, if everything is in place...
I agree with all the statements below.
The way smart guides snap to objects beyond the view or to a random (for us) picked point is maddening.
The video shows the exact reason I prefer creating new artboards with a set of custom made scripts and hotkeys.
Thank you all for pushing this. I very much hope to force some good changes, when smart guides problem is put on the table.
The video shows the general problem very well, thanks for sharing it! Just want to add, that the problem is not limited to artboards neither to pixels as a measurement unit.
...and also snapping to (ruler)guides shows similar inaccuracies.
Here you go Egor. Here's an almost blank Illustrator document showing guides fail epically.
If you take note, you'll see that the first artboard is 1080x1080px and is perfeclty placed to the pixel.
Even though Illustrator tells me the new artboard I'm creating is snapped to the top and bottom of the other artboard, it's a completely different size and isn't aligned to either top or bottom.
This is a compounding issue due to the bug that adds extra pixels when exporting, so things quickly become a mess at no fault to the user.
You can also see in the video that nothing I could have done would make the artboard snap. It basically refuses to snap.
What you wrote sums it up well. What I can add to it: I often have to zoom in, to get something alligned properly. For example, when alligning an object to a guide it often does not show, that it snaps. After zooming in and trying again, it works. And as you already wrote: Illustrator often snaps to some random object and not to the nearest or logical one... I just can continue to advice Adobe developers, to get a copy of Freehand from the attic and have a look at it’s snapping beahaviour. It had great visual and acoustic feedback and you always could rely 100% that your object is in place. In Illustrator I double check (Zoom in) every time...
I believe I know what the issue is, and I have a file that I can show you.
However, as I work professionally I can't share the file here. It's private and I don't have rights to share.
In summary however, I believe the issue is as follows:
- The 'reach' of snapping in Illustrator is too broad. I believe smart guides often try to snap to anchors on other artboards.
- The indicator to show that you're snapping to the artboard is not clear enough. It should be a different colour to show that you're snapping to the artboard edge instead of an anchor or other object that you can't see. Currently every snap indicator is pink
- In fact, this would also come in handy when aligning to the artboard center or aligning artboards with each other. Often I see a centre pink smart guide line and think 'oh great I'm aligning to centre', but actually illustrator has picked some random anchor point on some complex shape to snap to.
- Perhaps snapping should be separated out (have a separate Snap to Artboard function)
- Prioritise snapping to the artboard edge when within 5 pixels or so.
What I've found is that often when Illustrator is telling me that my object is placed against the edge, it's actually snapping to some other random object.
You have to understand the communities frustrations. It's not always easy to capture this stuff, and we often can't share files due to sensitivity.
If you still have this issue, please provide a document that behaves like this for you and a video demonstrating the issue.
'It's been better in older days' is not enough to replicate the problem, and there are a lot of ways to use Illustrator.
Please, help to track it down.
+1. AI smart guides are the worst. Unline InDesigns which are amazing.
If they think they've fixed the issue, I think they need to rethink how smart guides are handled in Illustrator. I'm on version 26 and it still SUCKS.
@OliverMalms all true, also because the competition is on the wind ... Affinity for negligible cost certainly has better functions (which work better), it also has many shortcomings, but as also illustrators, if we are used to the lack of illustrator we can do it also for those of Affinity, maybe one day, soon they also implement the deficiencies ... then it will be death for Ai ...
You are so right, nicky... I miss the precision of snapping in Macromedia Freehand everyday that I use Illustrator. Snapping in Illustrator behaves weird, inaccurate, illogical and having to use third party tools for a function that should be essential is just embarrising. I also miss the accoustic feedback from Freehand. I could always be absolutely sure, that everything is exactly in place. In Illustrator I often have to zoom in, to double check and have do pick up an object twice to get it snap where I want it to... And that are just 2 examples. Over the years , after acquiring Freehand, Adobe implemented quiet a few useful features from it (even if it took years...) So now, Adobe, please make snapping in Illustrator just as accurate and easy like it was in Freehand decades ago. Snapping in Illustrator sucked from the very first day and it still does...
well, I believe that at the threshold of the year 2022, Illustrator is not yet able to return drawings built with precision, there is always a tolerance of error that is inadmissible for a vector drawing software.
The mistake can stay there as long as you create artistic illustrations, but think of all those who build web interfaces, pixel icons, die-cut paths for packaging with illustrator !!!
To be honest, for jobs like packaging dies I was much more precise with Macromedia Freehand! He had some fantastic point or track alignments, he was never wrong. And it's funny, because it is a very old software, with so many bugs, Adobe has acquired the Freehand license but cabbage not even the cunning of taking things that worked well in freehand and transporting them by enhancing them in illustrator?
To think that it is not an illustrator who is not able to do it, but I think they make it purposely inefficient, suffice it to say that with smart graphics plug-ins you get very powerful snaps and alignments, perhaps they use a magnet or a much more powerful glue !!!
Even Affinity's competition works better on snaps!
So dear ADOBE, is there anything you are not telling us? Why do others make their and your software work better and YOU the undisputed leader of the graphics market are not able to upgrade your weapons?
These are thoughts that go through your head ... that's all
PS: often even with the zoom at maximum 64000% you can't even snap precisely between your curves ... what's the point of zooming so high at 64.000% if you can't even be precise? (affinity makes it even higher 3715551169.5%))
Stéphanie Noverraz commented
I have recently updraded to Illustrator 25, and it's still not working as it should… :-(
what I miss seeing in Smart Guides is still not being reflected in the current version. I don't think I'm imagining that at one time using Smart Guides Illustrator would give you prompts when you were aligning to top/bottom/middle/left/right edge of a shape - that's the feature I miss most.
David Cuesta commented
I just created 2 new bug reports for this. Cause obvs this one is from 2018. Can you guys try to get some traction on them. I included a screen recording too so they don't think I am just magically making it up. ...... Select more than one object and you can't snap to the artboard.
Also when you hold down shift and have smart guides on the smart guides conflict with the constraint. This started a few years back.
John Bradley commented
The miracle of "Software as a Service". In the past, they might have felt obligated to fix some bugs as well as add *useful* new features to Illustrator with every major release, 'cause if they didn't maybe you'd skip that update and wait until next year, and they'd get no money (I think I only bought CS1, CS3, and CS5, skipping the even releases.)
Now of course by tying all the **** together in a single subscription, you have no say in whether you want the latest major releases. Sure, you can choose not to install them, but you're paying for them either way. And no matter how bad Illustrator gets, you're still going to pay the $50ish/mo because you need Photoshop, or Premiere, or any ability to open any of the files you've created in the last decade...
David Cuesta commented
I have been having this issue for about 10 years since about 2008-2009. I can't remember when exactly. I just dealt with it and worked on silently. I have since started using Figma a lot and going back to Illustrator it is plain to see how bad the smart guides are. I mean basic stuff like trying to snap to the edge of an artboard does not work. Come on Adobe get real. This needs sorting. And please don't write to use asking us to reset our preferences, or for more information. Go into illustrator your self and try to test it. I mean we build medium size website and before we launch ANYTHING, event the smallest feature we test it like 50 times before launching it. How you can tell me any beta tester, or manager signed this off I don't know. Just go into Illustrator and try to snap to objects together. Try a circle onto an anchor point. Or try snapping something the edge of your artboard when grids are turned off.....
Answer is simple... Adobe only cares about bringing out "new" features to try and attract new clients to get more money. They do not care about existing clients or the way applications work. This bug has been there for years and it's too small for them to care about. Snapping only works once you disable and re-enable it.