I checked it and it seems not possible. CS5. It snaps to the grid the sides of the object's bounding box in its reset state or the bounding box of a group of objects. The center or place of the cursor is disregarded.
I also realized that Smart Guides are not working while Snap to Grid is on.
A couple of workarounds.
1. Using Snap to Grid, create short path with two anchor points snapped to the grid. You can create just one anchor point but this will require Outline view to see it. Turn off Snap to Grid and using Smart Guides snap the center to the anchor point of the path you created.
2. Create your own grid using the Grid tool, turn it into Guides (Ctrl+ 5), and use the Smart Guides. Have in mind that guides belong to a layer, so you may create a dedicated layer on top of all layers for the grid guides and lock it to prevent the grid affected from things like Hide Others.
Mike and Emil,
thanks for your helpful advice. Helpful for a workaround, but talking
about 21.century software, it's a desaster.
Aha, I'm still using Illustrator CS2, and this odd issue is obviously
But have a look at InDesign CS2: here, Snap to Grid works either
for the bounding box of the object or for the center - whatever is
For my simple graphical illustrations I could use InDesign, but alas,
there is no Arrowhead.
Illustrator CS2 offers Arrowheads, but -puh- adding an arrowhead to
a line places the arrow additionally to the line length, instead of
finishing the original line with an arrow.
Should we call this 21.century software?
Best regards --Gernot Hoffmann
Glad the workaround helps. In writing looks like alot of steps, but should really take lea few seconds.
Having worked on systems like Hell Chromacon, CrTronic before the desktop systems, there were lots of aggravating long processes and code to remember, so I can live with this. But I do feel your aggravation, and is especially disappointing that in recent years Adobe software has not advanced as much. We really need innovative people with attention to detail like Kai Krause to help push the graphics industry again.
Ha! That was cool Carlos. How did you find this? Snap to point must be on though.
So, once the center point is snapped, Illustrator is smart enough to know this and is using a different snapping rule? It doesn't snap any longer using the bounding box. To get back to that rule, the snap to grid must be turned off, move object off the snapping, and turn the snap to grid again.
This makes me wonder how they haven't made so many things in Illustrator being more intelligent while in certain aspects they put the efforts of making intelligent behaviors in such obscure ways that most likely will be missed by many users.
pretty cool hah, I was just playing with it, initially trying to find a key combination that magically allowed snapping the center, no luck. Then I was going to post another work around, I would hit P for pen tool and click anywhere to create an orphan point, then the center would snap to that point, side effect is, we would have to delete the point afterwards.
after I deleted the point, and moved around the shape....still snapping....mmmm, interesting. Then, load, rinse, repeat 20 different things till realized how it worked.
by the way, all this was done with Snap to Grid On, once the center snaps, there's no need to turn snapping Off and back On again, simply grab any other outer anchor, they will all snap, but the center will loose the snapping....no biggie, drop it to another already snapped anchor to get its snapping back.
....I don't think this is a feature or anything close to "intelligent design", this behavior seems merely accidental.
Then, may be you are the first one to find this.
I think you are right, "intelligent design" is unlikely in Illustrator lol - accidental likely. It is obvious they designed it to snap the bounding box and technically this is a bug that is useful in this case. They don't usually fix things and in rare cases like this, it is for good.
Thanks for all contributions, much appreciated.
I'm apologizing for not giving points, in my opinion it's a
somewhat childish concept.
Mike #1+ #4, thanks for taking the time.
Carlos #5: this doesn't work here with Snap to Grid.
It works with Snap to Point. This is a true alternative,
probably intended by the programmers.
I'm still using CS2, there may be a difference.
JET #9: thanks for the hint. Making ten years long
arrowheads in PageMaker manually, I had missed
the possibilities in InDesign. 'Help' doesn't mention
arrows or arrowheads. It's a feature in Stroke, simply
accessible by Start and End.
The very good news is this: Adding an arrowhead to
a line doesn't make it longer!
Perhaps the Illustrator staff should consult the InDesign
Problems solved - I can use InDesign and my own Post-
Script graphis for docs like this:
Best regards --Gernot Hoffmann