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Working in pixel preview mode

    When you save artwork in a bitmap format--such as JPEG, GIF, or PNG--Illustrator rasterizes the artwork at 72 pixels per inch. You can preview how objects will appear when rasterized using pixel preview mode. This is especially helpful when you want to control the precise placement, size, and anti-aliasing of objects in a rasterized graphic.

    To understand how Illustrator divides objects into pixels, open a file that contains vector objects, choose View > Pixel Preview, and magnify the artwork so that you can see its individual pixels. The placement of pixels is determined by an invisible grid that divides the artboard into 1 point (1/72 inch) increments. If you move, add, or transform an object, you'll notice that the object snaps to the pixel grid. As a result, any anti-aliasing along the "snapped" edges of the object (usually the left and top edges) disappears. Now deselect the View > Snap to Pixel command, and move the object. This time, you'll be able to position the object between the pixel grid. Notice how this affects the anti-aliasing of the object. As you can see, making very minor adjustments can affect how the object is rasterized.

    Vector preview and Pixel Preview
    Vector preview and Pixel Preview

    Important: The pixel grid is sensitive to the origin (0,0) of the ruler. Moving the origin of the ruler will change how Illustrator rasterizes artwork.

To view artwork in pixel preview mode:

    Choose View > Pixel Preview.

To disable or enable snapping in pixel preview mode:

    Choose View > Snap to Pixel.

    Note: By default, the Snap to Pixel command is enabled when you enter pixel preview mode. You must deselect the Snap to Pixel command if you want to position objects between the pixel grid.

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